Lunar New Year celebrations are bound to be more fun and festive this year. After all, families and friends can already hold reunions and get-togethers—but still observing minimum Covid safety protocols, of course. The oldies may still want to wear masks, for example, and those feeling under the weather should seriously just show up in the next family occasion.
We all want 2023 to be prosperous, so we might as well help ourselves to an abundance of sumptuous Chinese fare. Take note: the Spring Festival is celebrated much earlier this year—on Sunday, January 22. So if you’re planning to book reservations or order for food delivery, the best time to do it is now. Here are three suggestions:
City of Dreams’ auspicious specialties
From January 16 to 29, Cantonese restaurant Crystal Dragon is boasting an especially festive lunch and dinner menu. For the traditional dinner table yu sheng (or yee sang) toss ritual, the salad is offered with a twist: Prosperity Roasted Duck in lieu of herring or salmon, with jellyfish, crispy vegetables, and plum dressing. This is good for a group of five at P1,600++ per. The roasted duck symbolizes wealth, abundance, and fertility; the flour crisps, prosperity; while the plum dressing denotes sweetness and harmonious family relationship.
For even more abundance, order the Steamed Duo Flavor Live Grouper with signature tofu and Roasted Crispy Spring Chicken with supreme soy sauce. For luck and togetherness, the Crispy Taro and New Year Cake Pillow is recommended.
Other Crystal Dragon specialties to welcome the new year: Buddha Jumps Over the Wall; Braised Sea Cucumber and Pork Trotter with black moss and brown sauce; Wok-tossed Creamy Prawns with fragrant shredded coconut; and Wok-fried Fragrant Glutinous Rice with Guangdong cured pork.
The season’s flavors can likewise be savored at Red Ginger from January 17 to February 5. The ala carte dishes are: Fortune Lao Sheng, a chicken salad with plum dressing; Longevity Noodles consisting of egg noodles with crispy pork belly, and quail eggs; braised Prosperity Pork Knuckle with king mushrooms; Happiness Prawn and Squid, a medley stir-fried in curry XO sauce; and for dessert, Harmony Coconut, a mix of coconut jelly and ice cream.
Singapore’s TungLok Signatures also features the quintessential Chinese New Year staple fare. The yu sheng salad, which was popularized in Singapore, and known as lo hei in Cantonese, signifies blessings and fortune. Tung Lok’s salad is prepared with salmon, a medley of fresh vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients, each representing a wish during the toss while huat ah! or lo hei! is being recited. It is believed the higher the toss, the greater will be one’s fortune. TungLok Signatures’ Prosperity Yu Sheng Salad (Php2,888) is available from January 16 to 24 and can be shared by a group of six to eight.
For inquiries and reservations in Crystal Dragon and Red Ginger, call 8800-8080 or e-mail email@example.com. For direct reservations at TungLok Signatures, call +63 917 7024024. For more information, visit www.cityofdreamsmanila.com.
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lucky Rabbit set menu
MPOM is currently offering the traditional nian gao, more commonly known as tikoy, until January 22. The delicious rice cake comes in four variants: Double Gold Bar Nian Gao (Php 2,598); Double Flavored - Red Dates Sugar and Fortune Orange (Php 2,598); Red Dates Sugar Round Tikoy (Php 1,898); and Fortune Orange Round Tikoy (Php 1,898).
From January 14 to 23, Lung Hin will be featuring a Lucky Rabbit Chinese New Year set menu. The 10-course repertoire will include Salmon Yu Sheung; Sea Moss Soup, Pork, Dried Oyster, and Lotus Root; Work Fried Prawn in XO Sauce and Golden Crispy Prawn; Braised Calmex Mexico Abalone, Japan Shitake Mushroom in Abalone Sauce; Baked Fresh Scallop with Cream Cheese Sauce; Steamed Lapu-Lapu Fillet, Shredded Pork; Mushroom and Red Date; Hong Kong-Style Roasted Duck; Braised Fu Noodle and Dried Fish; Rabbit Marshmallow; and Ginger Tea-Sweetened Soup with Black Sesame Glutinous Dumpling. This special menu will be offered at Php52,888 for 10 people and Php 26,888 for five people.
The hotel will also be hosting a 2023 forecast reading with Feng Shui Master Joseph Chau. Known as a primary figure in Chinese geomancy, he has mastered the ancient Asian tradition and created a feng shui compass that guides enthusiasts from all over the world to prosperity. This will take place at Lung Hin on January 20.
Rounding up the festivities will be Master Joseph Chau’s traditional ceremony and blessing at the ground floor of the hotel on January 22 at 10AM, followed by a grand lion and dragon dance performance at Lung Hin.
For more information and updates, visit marcopolohotels.com, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila on Facebook, and @marcopolomanila on Instagram. For reservations, call (+632) 7720 7777.
Diamond Hotel’s takeaway Chinese platters
Diners can expect mouthwatering Chinese New Year favorites courtesy of Chef Yang Yong. Corniche is serving lunch and dinner buffet for Php 3,500 net per person from January 19-22. Every minimum of Php 7,000 spent at Corniche during this period entitles guests to “pick-a-prize” from the Prosperity Tree with a chance to win surprises from the hotel.
The Asian restaurant also features Lucky Chinese set menus for lunch and dinner with prices starting at Php16,800 net, good for five persons. These set menus are available by reservation until the end of January.
If you feel like celebrating at home, you may also order the Yu-Sheng platter, Lucky Chinese set menus, and Savory Chinese Platters from onlineshopping.diamondhotel.com. These offers are available until the end of January.
For reservations call 85283000 ext. 1121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taste of Chinatown from BGC
Their Chinese New Year offerings include Lumpia Shanghai (Php1,095), Lemon Chicken (Php1,850), Sweet & Sour Pork (Php1,850), Chinatown Fried Rice (Php1,095), Pancit F&F (Php1,350) and Chopseuy (Php1,350). These dishes are also available a la carte.
For advanced platter takeout orders, you may call or text 0917-8166061 or 0917-8405467.