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Here’s where to eat poon choi, Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year speciality

The Lunar New Year is synonymous with plentiful thoughts of food. Hongkongers celebrate the most important day on the Chinese calendar with many symbolic ‘lucky foods’. One dish that is guaranteed to make an appearance during the celebrations in Hong Kong is the poon choi or the Chinese casserole.

‘Poon choi’ is a literal translation of its Cantonese namesake, meaning ‘a basin filled to the brim with exotic food’. Eight main ingredients, including turnip, mushroom, seafood, pork and chicken, layer the poon choi. Poon choi by nature, is communal. Friends and family gather during the occasion to share the auspicious dish.

Its genesis stems from Hong Kong’s coastal New Territories, some built in the 1500s. Folklore holds that villagers invented the dish to feed the emperor’s army. Interestingly, early residents of the New Territories started serving the poon choi on birthdays and festivals. Now, the dish has moved into the grandest of all grand celebrations, the Lunar New Year. After Hong Kong reverted from British rule, the residents embraced poon choi as a proud culinary emblem of precolonial identity. The dish showcased the expensive dried seafood and roasted meats during holidays.

The traditional dish has come a long way, and Michelin-starred restaurants in the city even offer exclusive versions. From five-star hotels to local favourites, these Hong Kong restaurants are offering the best versions of poon choi this Lunar New Year.

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Best restaurants in Hong Kong to try poon choi

1 /5

Jiangsu Club

Jiangsu Club is calling their poon choi ‘prosperity pot’, ideal for six to eight people. The exquisite prosperity pot is prepared with a premium golden chicken broth base and 16 premium ingredients in the sumptuous pot. Priced at HK$2,280, all orders also come with an extra portion of homemade golden chicken broth for customers to add when dining. You can reheat the festive treat over any stove or induction cooker.

 

 

Address
Alliance Building, 133 號 2 樓, 130-136 Connaught Rd Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Phone
6230 8973

2 /5

Duddell’s

Located in the heart of Central, on Duddell’s Street, the Michellin-starred Duddell’s serves authentic Cantonese cuisine amid gorgeous decor. Duddell’s is back with their annual Chinese New Year Poon Choi offerings – Premium Chinese New Year Poon Choi and Deluxe Chinese New Year Poon Choi. Feast with family and friends over hearty Chinese Poon Choi, available to order for takeaway. Also, try the limited-edition Chinese New Year puddings and dim sum specials.

 

Address
Duddell Street, 1 Duddell St, Central, Hong Kong
Phone
2525 9191

3 /5

China Tang

China Tang is offering three delicious Chinese casseroles this Lunar New Year: Prosperity Poon Choi ($2,888), Spicy Poon Choi ($2,888) and the Premium “Buddha Jumped Over the Wall” Poon Choi($9,888). The Prosperity Poon Choi is layered with over 20 ingredients, including Australian abalone, premium fish maw and shark fin. In addition, the premium pot contains exotic ingredients, such as dried abalone from South Africa.

 

Address
Shop 411-413, 4/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Phone
2522 2148

4 /5

Tsui Hang Village

To savour an authentic Cantonese poon, visit Tsui Hang Village for their takeaway treasure pots. This Michelin-recommended restaurant’s CNY menu features the Boston Lobster & Abalone Premium Treasure Pot ($1,980) and the Traditional Stuffed Carp Fish Treasure Pot ($1,380). The chef is tastefully crafting the latter with homemade pan-fried stuffed carp fish, Japanese convoy, sun-dried oysters, and more. 

Note: Place your order at least three days in advance.

 

 

 

Address
Central, Hong Kong, New World Tower I 
Phone
2524 2012

5 /5

Harbour Kitchen 

Harbour Kitchen in the HKCEC brings the authentic poon choi to the forefront for the Year of the Rabbit. Their classic Superior Poon Choi ($1,288) is perfect for a family of six. Chilean abalone, shrimp, roasted duck poached chicken, and crispy fish skin make for the superior produce in the bowl. Make sure you place the order for the pot three working days in advance, available between January 13 and January 21.

 

 

Address
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Phone
 2582 7241
Here’s where to eat poon choi, Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year speciality

Tania Tarafdar

Tania and yoga are in an eternal relationship. You can see her breaking into yoga asanas in the snow-capped Alps and the Mediterranean Sea coastline. Her friends swear by her food and travel recommendations.


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