Enjoying a special meal with family and friends is usually the most important element of any Chinese New Year celebration, which falls this year on January 25. While the feast can differ depending on one’s own customs, it will definitely include food with symbolic significance—noodles for long life, vegetables for good health, nian gao or tikoy for prosperity, to name a few.
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For those looking at celebrating this lunar new year in a restaurant, or prefer to celebrate at home with some sumptuous takeout, here’s a short list of old and new Chinese restaurants to try, some of which offer Chinese New Year menus and/or auspicious dishes available for a limited time.
New World Makati Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati, Manila.NewWorldHotels.com
New World Makati’s Cantonese cuisine restaurant Jasmine offers an array of set menus and dishes, aside from special Nian Giao (or tikoy) in elegant boxes. The Lunar New Year Yum Cha all-you-can-eat deal features all-time dim sum favorites combined with festive auspicious dishes that are available for lunch and dinner from January 24 to 26. These include Machang or glutinous rice and assorted meat wrapped in lotus leaf, Wagyu Beef with Mango Roll, Deep-fried Pork Spare Ribs, Kung Pao Chicken, Squid with Chives, Asparagus Dumplings, Almond Cream Glutinous Dumpling, and Kei Chee Cake. You can also order Jasmine’s bestsellers like Shrimp Har Gao or hakaw, Crispy Wonton with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Barbecue Pork Puff, and Mango Sago. Those who can’t make it this CNY weekend can always check out Jasmine’s ongoing Yum Cha Lunch all-you-can-eat deal from Monday to Saturday, a steal at less than PHP1,000 per person.
2. Crystal Dragon
Nüwa Tower 1, City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue, Parañaque, CityOfDreamsManila.com
Diners can toss to a prosperous Chinese New Year at Crystal Dragon with a Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng. This salad is filled with abalone, chopped peanuts, deep-fried flour crisps, shredded radish and ginger, and pomelo, which diners toss to create a merry mess to good fortune. The restaurant also offers a special menu filled with auspicious Cantonese offerings available for lunch and dinner until January 31, aside from the à la carte menu.
3. China Blue by Jereme Leung
Conrad Manila Hotel, Seaside Boulevard, Coral Way, Pasay, @conradmanila on Instagram
This award-winning restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of Chinese cuisine. Executive chef Eng Yew Khor prepares a premium selection of dishes for CNY to include Golden Roast US Duck with BBQ Sauce, Braised Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Money Bag in Superior Carrot Prawn Stock, and Steamed Live Sea Lapu-lapu with Pickled Turnip, among other dishes that diners can enjoy as a set menu or à la carte.
4. Canton Road
Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Taguig, CantonRoad-Fort.com
Canton Road’s Chinese executive chef Wang Wei Qing curates a series of limited-time offer set menus good for 10 persons. Aside from the traditional Prosperity Toss Salad or yee sang, other special dishes are available only until February 8. Diners can also avail of à la carte dishes, including some of Canton Road’s new menu offerings.
5. Summer Palace
Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Shangri-La.com/manila/edsashangrila/
To celebrate the lunar new year in style, Summer Palace’s Chef Tony prepared three CNY set menus to choose from, appropriately called Wealth, Prosperity, and Longevity, available from January 25 to 26. Guest may also opt to pre-order from the limited à la carte menu on those two days.
6. Paradise Dynasty
Branches in SM Aura, The Podium, S Maison Conrad, Pasay, ParadiseDynasty.ph
Paradise Dynasty is well known for its Xiao Long Bao, including its eight international versions flavored with the likes of foie gras, crab roe, and ginseng. Eating these soup dumplings this coming new year is said to increase your chances for more good fortune or wealth in 2020 due to their auspicious shape which resembles money bags. Another must try are the Steamed Glutinous Rice Stuffed in Red Dates.
7. Hawker Chan Philippines
Branches in SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta 3, SM Fairview, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Food District BGC, SM North Edsa, @hawkerchanphilippines on Instagram
The Manila branches of the world’s first Michelin star-rated hawker stall from Singapore offer a special CNY Roast Combination Platter, comprised of Soya Sauce Chicken, Roast Pork, Char Siew, Fried Dumplings, Braised Beans, and Steamed Vegetables. Starting at PHP 1,740, this special platter is available for take-out or delivery via LalaFood.
8. Tim Ho Wan
Branches in SM Megamall, Glorietta 3, SM North, SM Mall of Asia, Uptown Mall Taguig, Robinsons Place Manila, @timhowanph on Instagram
Everyone’s favorite value-for-money dim sum specialist from Hong Kong is giving away free Pan-fried Radish Cake (considered an auspicious offering) this weekend, January 24 to 26, for a minimum spend of PHP 500 at all Tim Ho Wan branches.
9. Honolulu HK Café
Branches in SM Aura and Robinsons Place Manila, @honoluluhkcafeph on Instagram
Honolulu HK Café is a cha chaan teng or traditional café concept from Hong Kong that offers savory and sweet comfort food. Top of the list are its signature Egg Tarts and pineapple buns or Bo Lo Buns that are best eaten slightly warmed with butter. Diners can enjoy these baked goods with one of their delectable noodle dishes, like the Fried Noodles with XO Sauce and Pork Chop for a lucky CNY meal that won’t break the bank.
10. 8 Treasures
Branches in EDSA (Petron) Dasma, Santolan Town Plaza, Power Plant Rockwell, @8treasuresph on Instagram
8 Treasures has curated a special combination platter to include dishes that are usually eaten during the Chinese New Year for their symbolic meaning. In this case, the platter includes roast meats (red sausage and soy chicken), dimsum (siomai and hakaw), and something sweet (malay cake) for PHP 888. Also available to order is Radish or Turnip Cake, another auspicious dish for the new year.
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