HOW TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR 2023
It’s Chinese New Year on 22nd January and 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. The speedy and agile little creature often represents the moon in Chinese culture, and people born in the year of the rabbit are said to be kind with a lot of confidence and strength behind their quiet personalities. Hopefully we can expect Chinatown’s Chinese New Year celebrations to be back in full force after being scaled back last year due to Covid. Otherwise, a bunch of restaurants are getting in on the action, so here’s how can you ring in the Lunar New Year in London.
Both Hakkasan locations are being decked out with new year decorations, including wishing trees where guests can hang their wishes. There’ll be a special cocktail on the menu, the Tùzi Tail made with Hennessy X.O Cognac, carrot, lemongrass and white chocolate foam, to mark the occasion. And a one-off menu will feature the likes of Lo Hei ‘Prosperity Toss’ octopus salad with yuzu plum sauce & chilli garlic vinegar; the Happiness dim sum trio, featuring the seafood dumpling, scallop & prawn shumai and a rabbit carrot puff filled with rabbit ragu; cherrywood smoked roasted duck with carrot & kumquat chutney; and stir-fried wagyu beef with nian gao, shimeji mushroom & golden squash.
Tues 10th January – Tues 7th February 2023
Mayfair & Hanway Place
The Year of the Rabbit has come to Yauatcha City and Yauatcha Soho and you can get in on the action with a limited-edition set menu. It kicks off with the Golden Treasure dim sum platter, featuring blue swimmer crab dumpling, prawn and chicken shui mai and the iconic venison puff. There’ll also be floral scallop cheung fun decorated with edible flowers; salt and pepper lobster tail with traditional mooli cake; sanpei rabbit with sweet basil, spring onion and chilli; and stir-fried Angus strip loin beef with soy kumquat sauce. For dessert, there’ll be sweet sesame bunny petit gateaus with fragrant yuzu, black sesame and mandarin flavours and rabbit-illustrated raspberry and Szechuan pepper macarons, as well as Yauatcha’s delicate sweet pineapple pastries which will be adorned with bunnies. And to drink, grab a Bunny Sour, comprising of Bombay Premier Cru Gin, carrot, rosemary and apple.
Tues 10th January – Tues 7th February 2023
Yauatcha City and Soho
Executive pastry chef Cherish Finden has created a special Year of the Rabbit Afternoon Tea as part of Pan Pacific’s Lunar New celebrations. It will be served in a birdcage and feature the likes of mandarin and white chocolate mousses with orange marmalade; crispy wontons with aromatic duck and tofu; and lobster buns and kaya toast. Choose from a pot of The Rare Tea Company tea or The Orchid Lounge’s Bespoke Blend – a mix of Loose Leaf Indian & Malawian Black Tea, Chinese Oolong Tea and Indian Rose Petals. Or, have a glass of English sparkling wine instead.
Until Mon 27th March 2023
80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB
MiMi Mei Fair
For its Chinese New Year celebration, MiMi Mei Fair is putting on a menu full of auspicious dishes traditionally eaten during the holidays, ‘basket of wealth’ dim sum; seared oysters with chingkiang vinegar and caviar; vegetable truffle soong, with butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms and chive shoots wrapped in lettuce cups; roasted chicken sprinkled with crispy garlic; and braised noodles, enoki mushrooms and dried scallop. And for dessert, there will be a traditional sticky rice cake finished with a serving of chocolate ice cream.
Fri 13th January – Sun 5th February 2023
55 Curzon Street, London, W1J 8PG
Poon’s x Carousel
Poon’s is popping up with another Steamboat feast, this time held in Carousel’s White Room. For two nights, you can ring in the Year of the Rabbit around a Chinese hot pot, poaching the likes of fresh seafood, marinated meats, Chinese vegetables and silken tofu with a selection of Poon’s legendary homemade sauces including the WO sauce and chilli vinegar. And for dessert, enjoy some traditional nian gao – a sticky rice cake that represents prosperity, literally translating to ‘tall year’. Tickets for the dinner are £55 a head and can be purchased here.
Weds 19th & Thurs 20th January 2023
Carousel,19-23 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1RL
Rasa Sayang is helping Londoners bring longevity, peace and prosperity to the new year with their traditional Yu Sheng salad. Typically eaten throughout Singapore and Malaysia around this time of year, the salad is made with shredded carrots, radish, pickled ginger, fried yam sticks, pomelo, jellyfish, coriander, freshly sliced raw salmon, crispy wonton skin, peanuts, sesame, five spice powder and a fruit-based sauce – with each ingredient symbolising a special significance. Try it for yourself at Rasa Sayang or order it to take away and eat at your own celebrations.
Sat 14th January – Sun 5th February 2023
5 Macclesfield Street, Chinatown London W1D 6AY
Tooting’s favourite Taiwanese spot is celebrating Chinese New Year with a Daddy Bao twist. For two nights only they’ll be serving up an eight-course feast starting with mushroom broth & a crispy longevity noodle cracker, followed by pork jiaozi with dipping sauce; grilled scallop with umami butter & crispy seaweed; fragrant fish bao; eight treasure duck and, to finish, egg tart with mandarine & white rabbit caramel. If you’re veggie or vegan, there’ll be plenty of alternatives for you too. Tickets are priced at £50 per person and can be booked via Resy.
Mon 23rd & Tues 24th January 2023
113 Mitcham Road, Tooting, London SW17 9PE
Dinner Ladies’ Supper Club
Female-run supper club team Dinner Ladies are back with two celebratory feasts for Chinese New Year hosted at Spring Studios in Kentish Town. On both nights, diners are invited to come together around the long banquet table to share five veggie courses, including bowls of wonton soup with homemade DL ‘spice up your life’ Sichuan chilli oil, a play on China’s famous thousand-year egg, and tofu toast.
Wed 25th & Thurs 26th January 2023
Spring House, 10 Spring Pl, London NW5 3BH
Bun House has put together a trio of treats, plus a bonus dessert, for the occasion. The ‘Lunar Bunny’ bun will be decorated with bunny ears and a fluffy white tail, filled with Cantonese White Rabbit Candy Creams. Then, the Bun of Fortune (‘Faat Choi’) will be filled with black sesame and the Bun of Luck (‘Dai Gut’) with dark chocolate and mandarin. You’ll also get a traditional Cantonese Nin Gou in a steamer basket, a rice cake that’s made with brown sugar and coconut and is typically eaten during the Lunar New Year to bring good luck.
Tues 17th – Tues 24th January 2023
26 – 27 Lisle Street, London, WC2H 7BA
You can celebrate Chinese New Year at BAO this year with a Taiwanese feast in one of their private dining rooms. At either the Shoreditch or King’s Cross sites, you can enjoy the exclusive menu that starts with snacks to share before guests are encouraged to “eat BAO for good luck”. That’ll be followed by starters of boiled cull yaw dumplings, soy-glazed aubergine, and Taiwanese fried chicken and a main dish of scarlet cha shao gammon with Delica pumpkin, tofu and garlic chives, and stir-fried Swiss chard with garlic. Of course, they wouldn’t let the occasion pass without some limited edition buns either, so you’ll get some sweet red bean rabbit-shaped buns which you can also pick up to take away from the King’s Cross location on 20th January.
Fri 20th January – Sun 5th February 2023
BAO Shoreditch & King’s Cross
Rice Guys’ ever-popular Cantonese roast duck is back on the menu for Chinese New Year. The marinated dry-aged duck will be delivered straight to your door and comes ready to be cooked – all you need to do at home is air dry and roast the duck in the oven for just under an hour – plus, you’ll get some soy dipping sauce and chilli oil.
Order by Thurs 12th for delivery on Thurs 19th January 2023
Shanghai Supper Club
The Shanghai Supper Club is putting on a special Chinese New Year edition, with the feast set to go down at The Royal Oak Marylebone. The ten-course menu will include the likes of drunken chicken, soy braised Iberico Pork, sheng jian bao, eight treasure duck, rice cake, pork & Chinese cabbage and eight treasure rice with red bean paste.
Tues 24th January 2023
The Royal Oak, 74-76 York Street, London W1H 1Q