It’s the Year of the Rat, and we’ve rounded up the best places to celebrate Chinese New Year in London
By Natasha Patel
Hakkasan will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a limited edition signature menu designed to reflect good health and fortune for the year ahead. Each dish contains a colourful representation of different elements of the Chinese lunar calendar, with highlights including the golden treasure pockets with abalone and wild mushrooms decorated with gold leaf, presented as a money bag to reflect wealth.
Available at the Mayfair and Hanway Place restaurant, hakkasan.com
With almost twenty years of experience under their belt, the brains behind Yauatcha have pulled out all of the stops for this year’s celebrations. Before entering the upmarket eatery, guests will see the illustrated window designs inspired by the age-old zodiac legend ‘The Great Race’. Highlights for the Year of the Rat menu include crispy rice and silver cod served with pickled golden beets and mango chilli sauce as well as a bespoke cocktail made with Tanqueray No. Ten, Vermouth del Professore Classico, champagne, lychee and a white peony tea infusion.
Available at the Soho and Broadgate Circle City branch, yauatcha.com
Between 22 January-2 February, Park Chinois will transform into an oriental dream complete with a host of entertainment fit for royalty. Celebrations include lion dancers, Chinese drumming and a bespoke menu including tiger prawns in a Fenjiu wine sauce and a celebratory gold leaf rice cake. They Mayfair eatery will also be hosting a brunch on 25 January for £58 per person.
17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA, parkchiniois.com
Din Tai Fung, Covent Garden
Popular Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung has two limited edition dishes on offer for Chinese New year, available for a whole month from 11 January. In addition to the usual tempting menu, guests can order classic steamed black cod and XO Sauce prawn-fried rice.
5 Henrietta St, WC2E 8PT; dintaifung-uk.com
Featuring a dazzling lion dancer parading through the restaurant and a calligrapher to create personal mementos for guests to take away, Hutong at The Shard is a must-visit for those wishing to celebrate Chinese New Year with a spectacular view. There’s a bespoke menu featuring classics including lobster with ginger and green onion bao as well as wasabi okra and tiger prawns with spiced salt and black pepper. The menu is £95 per person with diners receiving a red pocket containing a surprise and one lucky table receiving a fully complimentary meal for the night.
Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY, hutong.co.uk
Mei Ume at Four Seasons
Mei Ume has teamed up with paper florist Karen Hsu to adorn their restaurant in origami lanterns, peonies and chrysanthemums. To ensure the taste is as good as the look, head chef Tony Truong has conjured up a bespoke menu to celebrate the Year of the Rat including a traditional Cantonese salad of raw fish including salmon and yellowtail on a bed of dressed crispy daikon radish, pickled spring onions, seaweed and ginger.
Mei Ume, Four Seasons Hotel London,10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ, meiume.com
Red Farm, Covent Garden
New York dim sum chef Joe Ng has curated a special Chinese New Year menu for Red Farm with plates including shrimp and spinach dumplings with seared scallop and caviar, available from 25 January. For the chance to win prizes from a glass of bubbles to a dinner on the house, guests can roll the lucky dice, open a red envelope and see what’s inside.
9 Russell St, WC2B 5HZ; redfarmldn.com
Lucky & Joy
With a focus on vegetarian and vegan offerings, Lucky & Joy have created a special seven-course meal to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is set to have stomachs growling in anticipation. For £33 per person, diners can feast upon a selection of ‘lucky’ ingredients including toasted seeds with cumin for fertility, turnip cake with shiitake for good fortune and sesame noodles with chilli oil for longevity.
95 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP, luckyandjoy.co.uk
Bun House, the purveyors of homestyle Catonese dishes and steamed buns, have created a Year of the Rat afternoon tea consisting of an assortment of sweet and savoury bites, including a selection of popular yum cha favourites, and some oozing sweet custard bao buns, with their iconic stamp fashioned into a rat for the occasion. These will be accompanied by a pot of tea and a set of Bellini’s, fashioned with salted peach Baijiu, peach Purée, and prosecco; an expression of balanced Asian flavours. It is available for three days from 25-27 January.
26-27 Lisle St, WC2H 7BA, bun.house
The Ivy Asia
Famed for their bold lime green interiors and soft silk cushions, The Ivy Asia in St Paul’s have cooked up a storm for Chinese New Year. 25 January will see the restaurant will play host to a series of performances from dancers and DJs plus mouth-watering, bespoke drinks menu inspired by the five Chinese elements of Fire, Earth, Water, Metal and Wood. Executive Chef Simon Gregory and Head Chef Deepak Kotian have created a selection of appetising and exciting new dishes, including truffle kung pao chicken served with chilli, garlic and toasted cashew and water lily bulb, and steamed sea bass with shaoxing, chilli, ginger and sesame. For those with a sweet tooth, there is a giant golden fortune cookie with Valrhona Guanaja dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream and chocolate pearls for the finishing extravaganza.
20 New Change, EC4M 9A, theivyasia.com
Created by Nobu’s former head chef, Jon de Villa, Yuu Kitchen has dubbed their Chinese New Year menu the ‘luckiest in London’. Guests will experience 12 lucky points of symbolism in just one meal, from receiving a gold egg to represent wealth and togetherness of family to a lucky eight-dish feast. The menu contains edamame to represent purity and cleanliness, spicy tuna tostada for surplus and wealth and crispy tofu bao for wealth and happiness. The menu will be available from 24-26 January.
31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BN, yuukitchen.com
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