Chinese New Year

LIST: Celebrate Chinese New Year with these festive activities, feasts, and more

Steph Arnaldo

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LIST: Celebrate Chinese New Year with these festive activities, feasts, and more
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Ring in the Year of the Dragon with these symbolic treats and dishes.

MANILA, Philippines – Still don’t have any solid plans for Chinese New Year yet? Whether you want to usher in the Year of the Dragon at a public event, fancy hotel, restaurant, or at home, here are a few celebration ideas for you and your loved ones for the upcoming long weekend!

Staycations, buffets, and auspicious feasts

Several CNY activities will be prepared by Pasay City hotel Lanson Place Mall of Asia, including a traditional lion and dragon dance on Saturday, February 10, followed by a ceremonial Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss at its CYAN Modern Kitchen. The symbolic ritual will be headed by Executive Chef Kristine Oro, who will then lead guests to a Prosperity Feast at the hotel’s main restaurant.

CYAN’s Chinese New year lunch and dinner buffet comes at P2,888 per person, and serves a variety of modern interpretations of traditional international favorites from different cuisines. If you plan to stay over for the weekend, Lanson Place also has a Lunar Escape Room Package (P9,888+) for two, inclusive of breakfast buffet and a lunch or dinner buffet at CYAN.

New World Makati Hotel’s Jasmine restaurant is offering special set menus for four persons, plus a box of nian gao (tikoy).

Set Menu I includes the Braised Abalone Mushroom in Crabmeat Broth for longevity, Wok-fried Prawns in Black Pepper Sauce, Steamed Fish Fillet in Superior Sauce, Braised Chinese Black Mushrooms, Sea Moss & Kailan, and Steamed Rice with Preserved Sausage in Lotus Leaf. Desserts include Hot Cream Red Bean Soup and Lotus Seeds and Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Milk Chocolate.

Set Menu II includes Braised Assorted Seafood in Fish Maw Broth, Pan-fried Tiger Prawns in Spicy Bean Sauce, Steamed Live Garoupa in Superior Soy Sauce, Braised Dried Oyster with Sea Moss in Premium Oyster Sauce, Misua in “Fujian” Style, Double Boiled White Fungus with Lotus Seeds and Steamed Piggy Buns with Milky Egg Cream. There’s also an All You Can Eat Dim Sum Menu for Chinese New Year!

City of Dreams Manila’s two Asian restaurants – Crystal Dragon and Red Ginger – are also in on the festivities! Crystal Dragon is offering the quintessential Chinese New Year “abundance” staple of Abalone Yu Sheng until February 12, consisting of sliced abalone, colorful julienned papaya, pomelo, carrots, radish, onion leeks, chopped peanuts, and deep-fried flour crisps drizzled with oil and sweet plum dressing, with each component signifying either prosperity, harmony, youthfulness, good luck, and more blessings.

Red Ginger offers a Southeast Asian spin to the yu sheng salad until February 18: the Prosperity Prawn and Pomelo Salad, featuring sustainable prawns, local pomelo, hydroponic-grown lettuce, and Vietnamese Nước chấm dressing. There’s also the deep-fried Whole Tilapia with calamansi, ginger and steamed bok choy, Crispy Orange Chicken with toasted sesame seeds, and Nian Gao of custard-filled glutinous rice cake and fish-shaped tikoy.

Here for a fun time

Counting down to Chinese New Year? Lucky Chinatown in Binondo, Manila is hosting a “night of revelry and celebration” on Friday, February 9 at 6 pm, with live performances by Maki, Orange & Lemons, Arthur Miguel, SB19’s FELIP, and a grand fireworks display at midnight.

Araneta City’s malls – Gateway, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza – are holding various festive activities too from February 9 until the weekend, like a Luck and Love Chinese Horoscope Exhibit, a free Chinese painting Brushstrokes of Prosperity Workshop and Exhibit, Tarot Card Reading by feng shui experts, a Saxophone Music by Cindy Datu performance, a Dragon and Lion Dance, and an adorable Pawsion Show where pets can strut the runway in oriental couture and outfits.

Celebrating with Chinese chow

If your heart just wants fast food, Chowking has a new Family Lauriat that’s fit for delivery, which is a huge box of Chowking favorites good for 4-6 people, like Chinese-Style Fried Chicken, Pancit Canton, Siomai, Buchi, Chicharap, and Egg Fried Rice. The new Peanut Buchi is also a must-try, which features a nutty, sweet filling inside Chowking’s signature sticky sesame buchi.

Din Tai Fung is also ringing in the Lunar New year celebration with special dishes available in all DTF branches from February 8 to 29, such as the Oyster Misua Soup, Fried Pumpkin in Salted Egg, Szechuan Pepper Soft Shell Crab, Spareribs in Chili Garlic, and Almond Pudding with Red Bean.

Authentic Chinese fine-dining restaurant The Empress Dining Palace is adding four new dishes to its classic Cantonese menu for CNY, like the Empress Treasure Pot (P10,800++), an assortment of 18 Chinese favorites like Peking duck, abalone, sea cucumber, prawn, white chicken and pork knuckles.

There is also the Yusheng” or the Empress Prosperity Toss Salad, a symbol of abundance of raw fish, mixed with vegetables, sauces, and condiments; The Empress Radish Cake (P1,280) of good fortune; and the staple Empress Glutinous Rice Cake (P588). You can also have an all-you-can dimsum weekend breakfast from 7 to 10 am!

If you’re a regular subscriber to weekly diet meal plans, Daily’s is offering a cute addition to their weekly meals in the form of fortune cookies! Subscribers to the 5-day calorie-counted meal plan will get two free fortune cookies for the week, and those who get the 3-day meal plan will get one fortune cookie. The fortune cookies act as entries to Daily’s special raffle prizes, which include a Fitbit Charge 5, free meal plans, and even an overnight stay at Hotel Okura Manila. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.