Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Begin the Year of the Ox the right way by sharing a meal to welcome the new lunar year together – be it at home our out and about. We’ve gathered some celebratory suggestions from Chinese New Year restaurants around town, plus a few spots to go to see festive decorations and more. (As always, be sure to check the most up-to-date details on restrictions and openings.)
The best foodie match for the Year of the Ox is, of course, some world-beating beef, and Hotel ICON has it in spades at The Market. The award-winning team there is going beyond traditional festive dishes for CNY and importing a load of flavourful Australian M8 wagyu beef instead. As such, the hotel’s ‘Beef-ed up Wagyu Brunch’ is making its grand comeback.
Among the many highlights will be Wagyu Beef Slices Shabu-Shabu, with the beef slices with their evenly distributed marbling quickly stirred into a soup broth. The Grilled Peppered Wagyu Beef Submarine Sandwich is definitely another checklist dish; thick-cut grilled beef teams with crispy bread and a unique pepper aroma to give a perfectly balanced flavour profile. Meanwhile, all your favourite signature dishes from The Market, such as Singaporean Laksa and Chilled Lobster, will also still be available.
Keep an eye out for other CNY specials and surprises at Hotel ICON’s Above & Beyond Cantonese Restaurant, too.
When: 6, 12, 13, 14, 20, 28 February, and 28 March 2021
Time: 11.45am to 3pm
Price: Adults from HK$760, children (3-11) from HK$530
Bookings: 3400 1388 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toss Up Some Luck!
Ho Lee Fook is ushering in new beginnings for 2021 with its signature Yee Sang Platter. This colourful Singaporean dish is made with a sweet and sour yuzu and plum dressing drizzled on top of Hamachi sashimi and a confetti of green daikon, beetroot, carrot, cucumber, green shallots, coriander, sesame seeds, peanuts and crispy wonton skins.
The signature dish can be ordered for all at-home celebrations and family dinners; or, if you dine-in at the funky Chinese kitchen, Chef Jow will serve up a version just for two. Don’t forget: the higher you toss, the better your luck!
The Yee Sang Platter is available from 12 to 15 February, in two sizes – enough for six people (HK$588) or a portion that’s perfect for two (HK$258). Orders must be placed by 10 February.
Find out more about Chinese New Year Traditions in Hong Kong.
Grabbing the Ox by the Horns
They love a cow pun at the W Hong Kong, which is why the hotel is offering some “udder-ly” splendid festive offers for CNY to get you in the “mooood” for the Year of the Ox! In particular, there will be plenty of auspicious eats and drinks to enjoy, including at Woobar, Kitchen and Sing Yin Cantonese Dining.
Until 28 February, you can savour Woobar’s “Ox-traodinary Bites” afternoon tea set; it features an eclectic East-meets-West combination of items, including a signature W Abalone Tart and a Bird’s Nest Raspberry Cheesecake, all served on delicate bamboo steamers – not only good for the taste buds, but great visuals for the ‘gram too! Meanwhile, Kitchen offers a CNY-themed buffet for lunch and dinner until 28 February, including plenty of auspicious offerings, along with a vibrant Lo Hei salad for sending blessings. The restaurant has a CNY Sunday brunch, too, with fresh oysters, seafood, live fois gras, egg-cooking stations and more. Over at Sing Yin, there are 10 new festive dishes that have been crafted by Chef Johnny Chan especially for the occasion.
There’s also a special “Pump Up the Eats XOXO edition Staycation” available for a limited time from 11 to 15 February, with all kinds of goodies include a CNY in-room dinner for two.
For reservations, call 3717 2992 or email email@example.com.
Chefs Chris and Arron at American barbecue and smokehouse Smoke & Barrel have whipped up some awesome meaty creations for CNY. Their special Chinese New Year “Poon Choi” set includes layers of smoked 12-hour brisket, Japanese pork belly, Texas baby back ribs, homemade sausage and smoked chicken, along with tasty veg morsels such as marinated shitake mushroom, braised mustard greens and more. It’s HK$688 per person (minimum two people) and is available from 12 to 15 February.
Alternatively, opt for the restaurant’s smoked and roasted goose, with a blend of secret spices, glazed with sorghum molasses and Hong Kong honey. A whole goose is HK$988 and has to be pre-ordered 48 hours in advance.
To find out more or to book, call 2866 2120 or visit smokeandbarrelhk.com.
Whisky with Treats
We reckon whisky pairs with just about anything, so when we heard about online store Timeless & Tasty launching a whisky-themed Chinese New Year Gift Set on its online store, we nodded our heads sagely. The set includes five popular traditional snacks paired with four whiskies and a rum, to bring you a fresh and invigorating taste for the Year of the Ox. The CNY sets are carefully curated by Hil, the founder of Whiskies & More, and are packaged in an elegant gift box.
The yummy match-ups include a soft and smooth turnip cake made with diced meats, mushrooms and dried shrimp, paired with a Cask Islay Bourbon special edition whisky. The rich smoke of the whisky is the perfect balance with the umami flavours of the turnip cake.
The Chinese New Year Gift Set is priced at $280 and is available now at the Timeless & Tasty online store.
For Lobster Lovers
Red Lobster is celebrating CNY with a week-long Good Luck CNY menu (HK$888), available from 10 to 17 February. While the centrepiece is a whole Steamed Live Maine Lobster (in lucky red, of course!), there are also lots of auspicious items to be enjoyed, including shrimp and crab linguine, salted egg yolk shrimp, golden calamari, pumpkin soup and more. And since this is the start of the Year of the Ox, you’ll also get some high-quality beef in the form of grilled USDA ribeye steak. Then, finish the meal off with a Nutella Puff!
Available for takeaway, or for dine in at 8 Cleveland Street, Causeway Bay. To make a reservation, call 2261 2996 or visit Chope. Follow @relobsterhk on Instagram and Facebook for more.
Traditional/modern Cantonese siu mei restaurant Chop Chop has launched a hearty looking seasonal winter clay-pot rice dish with a CNY twist (HK$328). This classical cold-weather delicacy for Hongkongers has been reinterpreted in Poon Choi style; it includes a host of auspicious ingredients, from eggs and abalone, to scallop-stuffed courgettes and more. The rice featured in the dish is a variety farmed in one particular area of northeast China, where the long winters allow for just one harvest a year.
Available from 1 to 25 February for dining in at Chop Chop at Fortress Hill, or for takeaway or delivery via the website, or Deliveroo, Openrice or Foodpanda.
It’s VNY too!
Celebrate Têt at Saigonese grillhouse Le Garçon Saigon and feast upon a brand new dish from Chef Theign, crafted in celebration of the Vietnamese New Year. “Lo Hei” Goi Ca ($288) is a fish salad that combines Vietnamese and Chinese elements to bring some fun to the table for Têt. The dish consists of red snapper sashimi, cucumber, papaya, red cabbage, Chinese celery, pomelo, shallots, Vietnamese pickles, candied walnuts, lotus root chips, ginger nuoc mam and is suitable for two to four people.
Available 12 to 14 February in-house from 12 to 6pm at Le Garcon Saigon.
What else to see and do this Chinese New Year
This year, Mira Place on Nathan Road is featuring an environmentally friendly CNY display, with its “Windmills of Luck” installation, which runs until 25 February. A vibrant “village” of more than 200 paper windmills can be viewed, including the 6-metre-tall “Fortune Windmill Tower”. Not only that, but there’s a huge range of New Year shopping and dining promotions, with up to 70% off. You’ll find massive savings on everything from cashmere shawls and men’s and women’s jeans, to eats and drinks. Plus, the kids will enjoy the surprise giveaways of mini windmills made from FSC-certified materials on specified dates.
For more information, visit www.miraplace.com.hk or Facebook and Instagram @miraplacehk.
Butterflies & Frogs
To welcome a new year that’s bound to be full of hope but also challenges, Lee Tung Avenue, the largest outdoor pedestrian street in Hong Kong, has a range of interesting, innovative and colourful presentations. These include the world’s first AI butterfly light and shadow art installation, first seen at Christmas, but now adapted to reflect festive CNY music and lighting. Also taking part in celebrations along the pedestrian street at different times are budding young local artists, a soap recycling charity, performance artist Kwok Man Ho (“Frog King”) and more.
Where: Central Plaza, Lee Tung Avenue, Wan Chai
When: Various days and times from now to 2 May
Pretty Florals & Virtual Lions
IFC Mall is helping to ring in a blissful Lunar New Year with its “Beautiful: Blossom of Fortune” floral installation, which runs to 21 February. With a focus on elegant peach blossoms and classy peonies, the event will feature the work of floral designer Ellie Kam (MDFD); Ellie has more than 20 years of experience in floral art and design, and has studied under world-famous masters in the Netherlands and Germany.
There’ll be a lion dance, too – but not like you know it! IFC is offering a “Lion Dance Troupe” Instagram photo filter, where you just scan a QR code available inside the floral installation to see a lion dance troupe perform on your mobile screen! Expect plenty of the usual chaos – drums, cymbals and firecrackers – and take a few selfies to mark the occasion.
Finally, from 2pm to 4pm on 7 February, visitors to the floral installation can watch calligrapher Karen Tong in action, and receive New Year “Fai Chun” (lucky messages written on red paper) that she creates.
Where: 10:30am to 10pm daily
When: Podium Level 1 (next to Club Monaco at Shop 1039)
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