Once a year, Auckland’s Albert Park lights up with lanterns in honour of Chinese New Year. The park and area directly surrounding it become swamped with lights, food, music and most importantly, people thronging to take in the atmosphere and enjoy what is on offer. The Lantern Festival is a great part of the social year in Auckland drawing thousands.
On Friday I went with my mother and sisters. It’s a surreal experience, almost like being in Spirited Away as the Lanterns glow orange amongst the tree growth. My favourite lanterns this year would have been the Pandas and the curtain of fairy lights. The fairy lights reminded me a bit of Avatar, glowing on and off.
And of course the biggest highlight this year was this Chinese Reggae band, complete with dreads.
The next night I went with friends to Canton for dinner. This was another triumph of the shared meal. Between us we got Lemon Chicken, Combination Fried Rice, Vegetables with Noodles, Pork with Egg Noodles and Wontons. Canton is great because while the decor isn’t anything special. The food is amazing and it’s a great place to go with friends for a really raucous loud meal. When we went it was someone’s birthday and the whole restaurant joined in bellowing Happy Birthday. It’s also BYO, which I quite like – restaurant mark ups always suck.
Canton – Another big thumbs up.
Canton can be found in the Kingsland Shops (09) 846 7888