Lunar New Year Menus To Try in London
by Ellie Smith
Celebrated by billions of people around the world, Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations among East and Southeast Asian communities. It marks the beginning of the new year according to the lunisolar calendar – and unlike in the Gregorian calendar, festivities run across multiple days, kicking off this year on 22 January, marking the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit. One of the best – and tastiest – ways to get involved with the celebrations from London is by trying one of the many great Lunar New Year menus and specials on offer. Here we highlight some of the best restaurants to visit in the capital for Chinese New Year 2023.
Lunar New Year Menus To Try in London
Located on the fifth floor of Harrods, Chai Wu is the perfect pit stop after an afternoon of shopping. Sister venue to The Sushi Bar and Chaisan concessions (both also in Harrods), it serves Pan-Asian cuisine, and is getting involved with Lunar New Year festivities with some special dishes. Guests can enjoy starters like rabbit-shaped dumplings filled with mushrooms and black truffle ahead of mains including baked halibut, grilled scallop with XO sauce, and a traditional Lo Hei salad, topped with gold leaf. To finish, there’s a Chinese New Year parfait made with white sesame seed and mango.
16 January – 5 February 2023, chaiwu.co.uk
Din Tai Fung
Cult Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung, famed for its award-winning soup dumplings, is offering special menus across its three London branches. There’s a tasting menu on offer for groups of six to 10 diners, featuring fan favourites like the xiao long bao and salted egg yolk custard lava buns. Alternatively, guests can try one or two of the limited-edition dishes, which include prawn and egg rice with XO sauce, a classic steamed black cod number, and a vegan take on crab cakes.
Until 5 February 2023, dintaifung-uk.com
Internationally renowned Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan always goes big on its Chinese New Year offering; for 2023 it’s offering a special menu across both its London branches. Dishes will pay tribute to the prosperity and luck associated with the Rabbit, kicking off with the Prosperity Toss Salad, also known as yusheng, a raw fish salad which is considered a symbol of abundance. Also on the menu is nian gao, a cake often eaten around this time of year which is considered good luck; alongside poon choi, a dish reserved for special occasions which traditionally takes three days of preparation and cooking. The restaurant is also bringing back its Wishing Tree, where guests can hang their wishes for the years ahead.
10 January – 7 February 2023, hakkasan.com
Yauatcha, the famed dim sum teahouse, is embellishing both its Soho and City outposts with bespoke rabbit installations, alongside a limited edition menu. Kick things off with the special Bunny Sour cocktail, made with Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, before getting stuck into dishes like the Golden Treasure dim sum platter. As legend goes, the more dumplings eaten during Lunar New Year, the more money you can make that year, which is definitely an excuse to feast away on the floral scallop cheung fun. For dessert, there’s a sweet sesame bunny petit gateau, made with yuzu, black sesame and mandarin flavours.
£78pp, 10 January – 7 February 2023, yauatcha.com
An eight-course feast awaits at Daddy Bao, a popular Taiwanese restaurant in Tooting. Diners can expect flavoursome dishes like mushroom broth with longevity noodles, grilled scallop with umami butter, and fragrant fish bao – with vegan and vegetarian alternatives also available. Symbolism runs throughout the menu: fish, for instance, is considered to be a good omen for having plenty in the upcoming year, while longevity noodles are said to bring happiness and a long life.
£50pp, 23 and 24 January 2023, resy.com
Pan Pacific London
Sleek City hotel Pan Pacific London is the first European outpost from the Singaporean hotel group, merging the traditions, flavours and hospitality of the East with traditional British design. It’s marking the Lunar New Year with two culinary offerings: a special afternoon tea in The Orchid Lounge, and a feasting menu at Straits Kitchen. The former, created by talented pastry chef Cherish Finden, is running in partnership with Diptyque, inspired by the brand’s Orange Tree and Orange blossom scent – as oranges symbolise luck and happiness in Chinese culture. Served in a pretty birdcage, the experience will feature seasonal patisserie alongside savoury dishes, to be enjoyed alongside teas from The Rare Tea Company. Over in Straits Kitchen, meanwhile, a four-course sharing dinner is on offer, featuring dishes like braised abalone (believed to usher in good fortune), steamed seabass with XO sauce, and native lobster with stir-fried longevity noodles.
Diptyque afternoon tea from 4 January – 27 March 2023, Straits Kitchen Feasting Menu 21 and 22 January 2023, panpacific.com
MiMi Mei Fair
Samyukta Nair’s Chinese restaurant MiMi Mei Fair is renowned for its beautiful interiors – but it’s going to be even more snap-worthy this month thanks to an installation from florist Lucy Vail. Guests will dine beneath a tree which sees golden lunaria woven between green branches – a nod to the Chinese tradition of gifting money on special occasions. Vintage gilded cafes will hang from the branches, filled with hong baos (red envelopes) containing wishes and gifts. Amid this picturesque setting, you’ll be treated to a traditional Chinese New Year feast, kicking off with a ‘Basket of Wealth’, three styles of dim sum, followed by a crispy Norfolk pork main, and a traditional sticky rice cake served with chocolate ice cream.
13 January – 5 February 2023, mimimeifair.com
Dinner Ladies Chinese New Year Supper Club
Dinner Ladies, the female-run team known for its supper clubs, is back with a special Lunar New Year event. Taking place across two evenings at Spring Studios, Kentish Town, the dinners will focus on founders Lily and Emily’s favourite vegetarian dishes, inspired by their time living together in China. Think warming wonton soup, a play on China’s famous thousand year egg, and tofu toast – a big hit from last year’s event. The dinner will take place along one long banquet table, creating a fun, convivial atmosphere.
£55pp, 25 and 26 January 2023, dinnerladiesltd.com
The Tent (at the end the Universe)
John Javier’s unique Fitzrovia small plates joint The Tent (at the end the Universe) is kicking off a new series of food and music-themed Sunday parties with a week-long Lunar New Year takeover. This will mark a return to Javier’s trademark cuisine, as he rose to fame with his playful take on Chinese cuisine at Sydney restaurant MASTER. Diners can expect some of the chef’s signature dishes served in an all-you-can-eat format, like pork and prawn siu mai, roasted bone marrow and XO sauce with deep fried bao buns, and Chongqing chicken wings. Alongside this, there will be entertainment from live musicians and DJs including Alex Turnbull and Harri Pepper.
22 January 2023, sevenrooms.com
Found on the 33rd floor of The Shard, with panoramic views of the city, Hutong is certainly fit for hosting a special occasion. Head there this Lunar New Year for a five-course menu curated by chef Fei Wang, featuring the traditional Lo Hei Salad (which translates as ‘tossing up good fortune) alongside Sichuan tiger prawns and roasted peking duck with homemade sauce. There will also be traditional Chinese festivities throughout the weekend, including a Chinese calligrapher, plus special Year of the Rabbit cocktails available in the venue’s Shanghai Bar.
£138pp, 21 and 22 January 2023, hutong.co.uk
One of the big culinary openings of 2022 was Tattu, the first London outpost from the Chinese restaurant group, housed on the sixth floor of the Outernet building next to Tottenham Court Road station. It’s worth a visit for the pretty interiors alone, but there’s also an excellent menu of contemporary, sharing-style dishes – with a limited-edition offering available for Chinese New Year. Guests can enjoy four courses inspired by modern Chinese cuisine, like yellowtail sashimi with lotus root, kiwi and chilli salsa; honey roasted Chilean seabass; and caramel soy aged beef.
£125pp, 21 January – 5 February 2023, tattu.co.uk
You can always guarantee a lavish night at Mayfair’s Park Chinois, but the Chinese restaurant ramps things up even more for Lunar New Year. Executive chef Che Liang Lee has put together a luxurious menu of seven specials, including grilled wild sea bass with guanciale and plum sauce; Cantonese roasted duck; and the showstopper: whole roasted suckling pig stuffed with sticky rice, shrimp, mushroom and more. Dessert is a Bunny Custard Bao served with yuzu wine, and drinks-wise there are three bespoke Hennessy X.O cocktails on offer alongside a Year of the Rabbit wine list. All this is to be enjoyed alongside immersive entertainment, including Chinese drumming and a silk string quartet.
Menu available from 19 – 29 January 2023, entertainment from 19 – 22 January 2023, parkchinois.com
You might also like...