Paying respects to the departedA La Carte
March 22, 2020
Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant on North King Street in Chinatown stands ready to supply customers with the items needed for this year’s Ching Ming (also known as Bai San).
Manager Gary Lam explains that Ching Ming is a memorial observance in Chinese culture when people visit their deceased family members’ graves. During the outing, they cut away grass and weeds, clean around the site and sweep away leaves, in order to pay respects to their ancestors. This year Ching Ming begins on April 4.
“It lasts for a month. It’s at a set time of year,” Lam shares.
Ching Ming participants bring to the tomb or grace food offerings, including chicken, duck, shrimp, stuffed tofu and fish, Lam says.
Other typical items brought to the ceremony are five cups of tea, five cups of wine and five bowls of rice, he adds.
Lam notes that another offering, known as San Ga, is also made to the gatekeeper of the mountain. It consists of a slab of pork belly, a salted duck egg and shrimp. In addition, family members light incense and burn paper that is meant to represent money.
“We provide everything except the liquor, the incense and the paper money that you burn as offerings to the ancestors,” Lam says, adding that the set price is $49.99.
The restaurant can sell customers all the food, utensils, cups and tea for the offerings.
Besides Ching Ming, Lam also notes that Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant is open every day to take orders over the phone, and walk-in customers can bring the eatery’s dishes home to eat. The restaurant also has a takeout area dedicated for dim sum orders. (Dim sum is available during the morning and lunch hours, from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
The restaurant is well-known for its dim sum bite-sized items, such as Pork Hash with Shrimp, Baked Char Siu Manapua, Baked Custard Manapua and Rice Cake.
Besides dim sum, Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant is also renowned for its seafood, meat and vegetable dishes.
A longtime neighborhood business, Golden Palace opened in 2001 and is family-owned and operated. Lam shares that the restaurant makes cleanliness and sanitation a priority. Lam also adds that his father, Howard, has more than 50 years of professional cooking experience.
Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant offers its takeout Ching Ming set ($49.99), also known as a Bai San set, which features traditional items that are used to honor one’s family ancestors.