Bring on the lion dances and fire crackers – it’s Chinese New Year, the perfect time to gather with family and friends to do what we all do best: eat! To help ease the hectic family plans and indecisive yet opinionated family members, we at Crave have rounded up the best gifts and feast to welcome the Year of the Dog.
Words Lorria Sahmet
Anchor’s Seafood and Beer
G/F Bay Bridge, 123 Castle Peak Road, Yau Kom Tau, Tsuen Wan
Tel: 2945 1111
In true Chinese New Year tradition, gather friends and family and head to Anchor for a New Year feast. From February 15 to 19, stuff your face with Anchor’s Seafood and Beer’s buffet dinner ($468pp) which features various Chinese speciality dishes as well as a French free-flow oysters which symbolises good luck and good fortune. To celebrate the holiday of family, for every four paying adults, one child eats for free. Book five days in advance for an extra 20 per cent off. Call 2945 1138 for reservations.
51/F The Ritz-Carlton Macau, Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperançam, Macau
Tel: +853 8886 6868
To extend CNY festivities, make use of the long holiday for a small family getaway to Macau. From February 15 to 23, head to Lai Heen at The Ritz-Carlton Macau for its Chinese New Year menu specially designed by executive chef Bill Fu. The eight-course menu includes double-boiled chicken broth with abalone, coconut and papaya and a sautéed lobster fillet dish topped with bird’s nest (MOP2,188). A Rice Pudding Treasure Box will also be available until February 15 in limited quantities and contains a traditional glutinous rice pudding and water chestnut pudding to share with family and friends. An a la carte menu is also available. For bookings, call +853 8886 6608 or email email@example.com.
San Xi Lou
7/F & 22/F Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Central
Tel: 2838 8811
Ring in heaps of good luck and prosperity in the new year with San Xi Lou’s traditional takeaway poon choi (Cantonese for “big bowl casserole”). Fit for eight, the poon choi ($2,480 each) is available in two styles – Cantonese non-spicy “nam yue” and numbingly spicy Sichuan “mala”, layered with various CNY symbolic ingredients such as abalone, conpoy and dried oyster. For dinner, pick from a selection of three menu options, the mild Cantonese dinner Golden Set ($16,800) with classic roasted suckling pig and pan-fried prawns with salted egg yolk, the spicy Fiery Set ($8,800) suitably in the colour red to symbolise good luck with mouth-numbing dishes such as Sichuan hot and sour soup with seafood, and stir-fried mud crab with mapo tofu with lobster. Last but not least, the Prosperous Set ($6,880) combines the best of both worlds with dishes like Sichuan-style stewed beef and dumpling noodle soup on its menu.
2/F Garden East, 222 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
Tel: 2868 1883
You can’t go wrong with a traditional Cantonese dinner. Available until March 2, Zen is celebrating Chinese New Year with three separate menus aptly named Lucky ($5,500), Joy ($6,688) and Prosperous ($7,788). Each of the menu features 10 courses and specially crafted dishes that symbolise good luck and good fortune for the new year. These include the deep-fried scallops stuffed with shrimp paste and the Zen signature roast sesame chicken on the Lucky menu, a whole suckling pig on the Joy menu, and the fried baby lobster coated with golden duck yolk and double-boiled yin yang chicken soup with ginseng on the Prosperous menu. Whatever you choose, it’ll be a lucky new year no doubt! For bookings, call 2868 1883.
Ming Court at Cordis Hong Kong
6/F 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok
Tel: 3552 3508
To celebrate the Year of the Dog, the chefs at Cordis Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred Ming Court has prepared a selection of handcrafted puddings which include an aged pu’er with dark brown sugar and coconut pudding ($238), pumpkin and coconut pudding ($268) and a savoury turnip pudding made with abalones, conpoy and dried preserved meat ($288).
The Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant
B2/F The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2724 2666
If you’re looking for a something new this CNY, The Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant is presenting four new puddings in honour of the new year. These include a low sugar red date pudding ($288) handmade by the restaurant’s executive chef Ho Wai-sing, dried citrus peel with red bean and lotus seed pudding ($278), ginger pudding ($278) and water chestnut with osmanthus pudding. Of course, for those who prefer a bit of tradition, the all-time favourite turnip pudding and coconut pudding are also available ($278 each).
Ying Jee Club
41 Connaught Road Central, Central
Tel: 2801 6882
Newly minted Michelin-starred Ying Jee Club is celebrating the Year of the Dog with its first-ever launch of Chinese New Year puddings. Spicing up traditional puddings with a modern twist is the restaurant’s take on coconut puddings with the added delicate fragrance of Ceylon ($228). The turnip pudding retains its traditional ingredients and is made using conpoy, dried shrimps, preserved Chinese sausages and bacon ($288).
Above & Beyond
28/F Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East
Tel: 3400 1318
Above & Beyond Chinese Restaurant at Hotel ICON has prepared a tantalising selection of traditional Chinese puddings crafted by executive chef Paul Tsui. Featuring three traditional flavours, sweet puddings include the traditional brown sugar pudding while savoury puddings include turnip pudding made with Yunnan ham and preserved meat and taro pudding made with conpoy and preserved meat. Puddings are $288 each and will be available until February 15.
As the popular CNY greeting goes: “Good Luck, Great Profit” (大吉大利 in Cantonese); Chinese beliefs shows mandarin oranges to be signs of good luck and prosperity. Nothing says “Happy Chinese New Year” like a fresh box of Japanese mikan, which is a seedless, easy-peeling citrus. Flown in fresh from Wakayama, labelled Kingdom of Fruit and home to the fresh mikan, these well-loved fruits are enjoyed for its delicate balance of sweet and sour flavours.
Shop 2096A, 2/F International Finance Centre, Central
Tel: 2865 1099
Taking the traditional CNY confectionary box up a glamorous notch is Lady M’s One Sweet Tree. The candy box is beautifully designed with hints of gold and red along with a mini mandarin tree on top. Symbolising good fortune and prosperity for the family, Lady M Mandarin Deluxe Chest ($880) features eight different candies like champagne-infused white chocolate truffles, Mandarin Charms, a mandarin-flavoured jelly and classic Lady M chocolate coins. Also included are Happistachios, salted roast pistachios also otherwise known as “happy nut” in Chinese.
La Maison du Chocolat
For chocolate lovers, here’s a New Year treat just for you. La Maison is celebrating an indulgent Chinese New Year with the Flourish Gift Box ($680). The red and gold embellished confectionary box includes five variations of chocolate-covered treats including whole almonds and hazelnuts encased in chocolate, caramelised almond rochers suisses covered in chocolate with hints of nuts and and ones we guarantee you won’t be able to get enough of – almond and hazelnut praline petits rochers with roasted almonds.
Add a tropical kick to your yearly CNY confectionary box with Moreish’s latest pineapple concoction ($138 for box of nine). Introducing the Pina Colada Festive shortcakes, these bite-size pastries are generously stuffed with golden pineapple and coconut, wrapped in a shortbread pastry and sprinkled with a touch of pink Himalayan salt. The pineapple, with feng shui connotations of wealth and prosperity, definitely adds a touch of good luck to your favourite family holiday.
Shop 124, Lee Gardens Two, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2816 1838
Stray away from tradition but still keep the spirit of CNY interesting by treating your friends and family to a Lunar New Year-themed afternoon tea set. The Cakery at Lee Gardens Two is celebrating the traditional holiday with an exclusive selection of eight healthy vegans delights that include the classic turnip cake made with black fungus, black fungus dumplings and adorable steamed mandarin buns. The Cakery’s homemade sugar-free red date tea and ginger tea will also be served. Healthy but still full of traditional flavours, there’s no harm in having one, two or three more treats. For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.