Auspicious Dishes For the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year celebrations are filled with rituals and traditions to usher in prosperity and good luck. Notable of these are the auspicious dishes that families and friends partake, with each having specific meanings interesting to know before preparing or dining in a sumptuous fortune’s feast.
Nian Gao or tikoy
Widely popular in the region is the glutinous rice cake known as Nian gao, commonly referred as tikoy. Although it literally means “sticky cake,” it also denotes “higher year” making it to be considered as a good luck to share with families and friends in the hopes of a more prosperous year to come. Hotels around the metro offer this delicacy in a variety of flavours like coconut and yam, radish, taro, water chestnut, and pumpkin, and comes in different shapes like the traditional round and the double koi fish.
Lung Hin’s festive Chinese rice cakes are available at 1,188 pesos net per box.
Marriott Manila’s double prosperity fish are elegantly packed in red oriental boxes sealed witrh a golden symbol for good fortune, at 988 pesos net.
These timeless and luscious Chinese New Year favourites are available at Summer Palace, starting at 788 pesos net.
The traditional treats tikoy and tarts are best to have as gifts for families, friends, and business partners. These are available at Makati Shangri-La’s hotel lobby from February 2 to 22.
Ye Sheng salad
It is also a tradition to toss the raw fish salad called as Ye Sheng (also known as Yee Sang) consisting over 20 ingredients. The tradition is said to bring wealth and good luck with the belief that the higher the toss, the greater the possibility to usher in more blessings. Included in this lucky dish are ingredients like shredded radish (for eternal youth), carrots (good luck), pomelo or lime (safe voyage), and mixed with a variety of sauce and condiments, such as the peanut crumbs (gold and silver), sesame seeds (flourishing business). Plum sauce (sweet life), deep-fried flour crisps (gold-filled floor), and oil (numerous sources of wealth).
The Chef Wong Kam On of Jasmine invites diners to its “Lucky Lunch” priced at 2,888 pesos.
Special Yee Sang salad menu available at the Shang Palace starting February 2.
Lung Hin’s 11-course Chinese New Year set menu includes the Prosperity Salad and other delightful dishes. Price starts at 2,500++ pesos per person for a minimum of 10 persons.
Besides the rice cakes for gifts and raw fish salad for prosperity toss, Chinese New Year is also a time for sumptuous traditional staples like the Suckling Pig, Double Boiled Chicken with Fish Maw in Almond Essence, Wok fried Lobster with Chili sauce, Steamed Eel with pickle chili in Soy sauce, and a lot more. So dig into this New Year’s feasts but remember that many of the dishes would be served whole as it is bad luck to eat sliced and cut dishes. Do not miss to have chicken, eggs, fish, and noodles on your plates as these represent happiness, wealth, prosperity, and long life.
Choose any of the three special menus prepared by the executive Chinese chef Tony Sum at the Summer Palace from February 9 to March 5, prices starting at 24,800 pesos net.
On February 18, dine in at the Shang Palace and savour for lunch the Chinese New Year Festive Dim Sum Plus for 1,388 pesos net per person.
Have a dish prepared according to your Chinese Zodiac sign at Spiral on February 19 at 2,850++ pesos.
See more dining options for the Chinese New Year celebrations here.