Date: Mar 11th 2014 10:23a.m.
Contributed by: tingy13

The roast has been a tradition since the cavemen days of slowly cooking meat over a fire. And that is why large roasted animals are a part of cultural traditions and holidays today, because vast quantities of food will always mean it’s a celebration. Before I started writing this column, the last roast I ate was at a frat party in college, where a whole roasted hog and an immeasurable amount of beer made it memorable no matter how intoxicated I was.

I forewarn you all that ordering a whole animal takes effort—you need to give every restaurant at least a day’s notice and make sure that you have a big enough group of hungry people in your party. I initially called White Nights because I had heard rumors of them serving a whole roasted suckling pig. But after multiple calls and inconsistencies with the pricing and how much time I needed to order in advance, I figured they were trying to rip me off.

Fortunately, there are plenty of places that serve whole roasted lamb in the city. Most Xinjiang restaurants in the city serve the entire animal or at least lamb leg, and I was recommended on good authority that the version at Crescent Moon is worth trying.

Tan Hua is a Chinese roasted lamb restaurant with two locations. I visited the Beixinqiao branch, which is packed at 6pm, so be prepared to line up if you arrive after. This place doesn’t serve the whole lamb, but the entire leg (RMB300), which equals between two and three kilos and fed five of us comfortably. I loved that the lamb is served on a spit that roasts above their tightly arranged grill tables. Even better was that we got to carve it ourselves with long ...

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