Can’t decide on where to eat for the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays? Here’s the best new menus to consider.
First-day-of-the-year hikes for auspicious, well-intended prospects. Designated colour palettes. Dinner table customs. New clothes. Chinese New Year is a holiday riddled with traditions, if not also endless gatherings with tables upon tables of food. However celebrations may look like this year on a festival centred around visiting friends and family, there’s bound to be heaps of your favourite dishes. Below are some Chinese New Year menus to note.
Bringing a contemporary touch to age-old traditions, modern Cantonese restaurant Yung’s Bistro is tapping into the time-honoured tradition of the renowned Yung Kee brand with a Chinese New Year lunch set designed for two (HK$900). The six-course menu welcomes good fortune and happiness for the new year with an array of beloved Cantonese dishes tinkered with symbolic means, including a dim sum platter with shrimp dumplings and baked barbecue pork pie, double-boiled soup flavoured with cordyceps flower, fish maw and black mushrooms and braised conpoy. The crackly and crispy claypot rice from Yung’s Bistro is also a worthy mention and will double as the traditional poon choi centrepiece. Topped with cured goose liver sausage and pork sausage, it makes for a warming, comforting dish anchored on the season’s most loved delicacies.
Yung’s Bistro, Shop 701, 7/F, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2321 3800
Smoke & Barrel
Wyndham Street’s resident American smokehouse, Smoke & Barrel, is sharing its modern take on a traditional Chinese New Year menu. Arranging a traditional poon choi (HK$688) layered with the soft, succulents morsels fired up in the restaurant’s signature ‘The Beast’ smoker, the classic mushrooms- , cabbages- and green-based casserole is topped with the likes of 12-hour smoked brisket, Japanese pork belly, Texan-style baby back ribs, homemade sausage and smoked chicken. On the side, a seasonal special recreation of a local favourite: roasted goose (HK$988), which is also, of course, smoked with an additional coating of a secret spice blend and glazed with sorghum molasses and Hong Kong honey for good measure — orders must be placed 48 hours in advance.
Smoke & Barrel, 2/F, Wyndham Mansion, 32 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2866 2120
Should dampened Chinese New Year celebration yearn for meals that deliver a fragrant, more flavourful punch, Sichuan mala specialist Chilli Fagara is rolling out with a fiery festive menu of its own. Prepared in the restaurant mouth-numbing, throat-burning style, the menu highlights Sichuan cuisine mainstays while addressing the auspicious nature of the holiday: The Year of the Ox is welcomed with a hot-and-sour soup (HK$108) prepared with oxtail (牛年運到); wealth-bringing luck is instilled in a deboned pork knuckles (橫財就手) dish tossed in house-blend of dried chilli and spices (HK$268); while the Boston lobster (游龍獻瑞), tied to represent the lucky dragon dance, is de-shelled, cubed and set in a bed of coriander and Sichuan chilli oil (HK$268). Take a browse through the menu here and spot playful puns in replacement of the restaurant’s otherwise nondescript dish names.
Chilli Fagara, 7 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2796 6866
Highbrow Chinese contemporary dining Mott 32 ushers in the Year of the Ox with a specially curated eight-dish menu (eight being homophonic to prosperity and wealth) prepared by executive chef Lee Man-Sing. Taking the festive tradition further in innovative, modern strides, on the menu is a seasonal selection of Chinese New Year favourites, including braised giant garoupa prepared with pork belly and crispy tofu skin, crabmeat E-fu noodles in soup and Boston lobster ‘lo fu’ salad served with Australian abalone. Customised menus can also be curated to include dishes from the restaurant’s beloved mainstays — crispy-skin duck; barbecue Iberico pork — or from a newly released menu of plant-based plates. Mott 32’s Chinese New Year menu is available 12 through 26 February.
Mott 32, Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2885 8688
Ying Jee Club
For a taste of good ol’ tradition, two-Michelin starred Ying Jee Club’s executive chef Siu Hin Chi has designed a selection of limited-time dishes to usher in the Year of the Ox, including exclusive eight-course menus for bigger groups of 10 (HK$12,888) or smaller parties (HK$2,288) as well. Filled with the fine-dining establishment’s moreish Cantonese recipes, the dishes are labelled in creative names that nod towards auspicious idiomatic expressions. See seasonal offerings like braised abalone layered over sea moss and sun-dried oyster for a side serving of luck and prosperity, along with scallop- and caviar-stuffed taro puff that represents Chinese gold ingots and silver coins. Cantonese crowd favourites like crispy suckling pig, wok-fried lobster and double-boiled bird’s nest with fish maw also make an appearance.
Ying Jee Club, G05, 107 & 108, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2801 6882