Chinese New Year

Gong xi fa cai! Chinese New Year treats, food trays to ring in 2023

Steph Arnaldo
Gong xi fa cai! Chinese New Year treats, food trays to ring in 2023
Here's where to get noodles for long life, sticky treats for good luck, and more Chinese delicacies!

MANILA, Philippines – Gong xi fa cai! The Lunar New Year is in a few days, and family celebrations are underway. If you’re looking to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a lavish spread at home or out on the town, here are a few Chinese New Year treats, feasts, and food trays to bring in good luck, fortune, and prosperity for 2023!

China Mommy

Authentic Filipino-Chinese food biz China Mommy offers three traditional Chinese delicacies for the Lunar New Year! One is Mom’s traditional Birthday Misua, a no-fail staple for any special occasion that signifies long life and good fortune. China Mommy’s simple but tasty misua has pork, chicken, squid, shrimps, eggs, and fried shallots, roasted peanuts and spring onions served on the side for some crunch. I would order this again even after Chinese New Year!

For “luck to stick,” something sticky is typically served during Chinese New Year. China Mommy offers Mom’s Kiampung (sticky rice), a Chinese glutinous rice casserole mixed with pork, mustasa, chai poh, and gabi that can be enjoyed on its own. Roasted peanuts, fried shallots, and spring onions are also served on the side for extra flavor!

China Mommy also has Fortune Bags to ring in “good fortune and wealth.” Different meat and veggie fillings like Original, Vegetarian, Truffle Mushroom, and Crabmeat are wrapped in tofu skin then steamed. To place your orders, you can message at 0917 514 8540 or on Instagram. China Mommy also has a stall at The Grid, Power Plant Mall.

The Villamaria Kitchen

Home-based The Villamaria Kitchen is all about the spice, so all Chinese offerings come with a bang! This Chinese New Year, they are offering the Stir Fry Ma La Noodle Platter, which includes chicken fillet for luck, dumplings for wealth, and egg noodles for health and longevity, as well as squid balls, chicken balls, mushroom balls, and lobster balls. Shiitake and enoki mushrooms are added and then stir-fried in a secret spicy Ma La oil and chili flakes.

For something sticky, there’s a comforting Ma La Arroz Caldo, a glutinous hot rice porridge with chicken ma la, chicken balls, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and more of that spicy Ma La oil (you can ask to make it less spicy upon request).

The Chinese New Year must-try is the Lucky Ma La Pata, since pork is a symbol of good wealth and because it’s just delicious! The Ma La Pata is cooked for 5 to 6 hours until fork-tender, juicy, and moist, doused in a sweet-savory sauce that’s best paired with hot rice, noodles, or cuapao.

You can order from The Villamaria Kitchen on Instagram or via SMS at 0917 507 8140.

Leonisa’s Kitchen

What about something pretty and dainty for dessert? Home-based bakery Leonisa’s Kitchen is offering two new limited edition Asian-inspired cream puff flavors for CNY, plus the comeback of a crowd favorite. All flavors are designed with edible Chinese New Year symbols!

There’s the tart-sweet Strawberry Lychee, Choco Peanut Mochi (chewy mochi with dark chocolate cream and peanut butter), and the refreshingly sweet Mango Mochi (fresh mango bits with vanilla cream and sticky mochi). You can order a box of nine limited edition cream puffs from January 14 to 23 via Instagram.

New World Makati Hotel

It’s not Lunar New Year without sticky treats, so get New World Makati Hotel restaurant Jasmine’s handcrafted Nian Gao (Tikoy) in koi fish and classic round shapes! For a gorgeous Chinese New Year-inspired centerpiece, The Shop offers its tangy-sweet Mandarin Cake, featuring vanilla cremeux white chocolate mousse cake filled with an orange jelly mandarin disk and orange segments, finished in a celebratory red shiny glaze.

If a present is what you’re looking for, the Premium Chinese New Year Hamper includes items that can be used for Chinese New Year celebrations like dried scallops, dried black mushrooms, Chinese sausage, Jasmine’s XO chili sauce, sweetened cashew nuts, salted espresso cookies, fortune cookies, and a bottle of wine.

You can visit New World Makati Hotel at the corner of Makati Avenue, Ayala Center in Makati City, or place a reservation on Instagram.

Patisserie Le Choux-Colat

Local bakery Patisserie Le Choux-Colat is ushering in the Year of the Rabbit with a beautiful Passionfruit Dacquoise Cake, which looks like a festive Chinese New Year dessert but interestingly takes inspiration from the classic Pinoy sans rival dessert.

“Elevated with the complexity of the passion fruit and the comforting earthiness of hazelnuts,” the cake features “layers on layers of hazelnut passion vanille, homemade hazelnut praline, passion fruit gelée, vanilla bean white chocolate whip panna cotta, citrus sponge cake, table chocolate cremeux, almond hazelnut dacquoise, hazelnut mousse, and almond croustillant,” topped off with the traditional Chinese symbol.

Patisserie Le Choux-Colat is located at The Podium in Mandaluyong City and at Molito in Alabang. You can also order via Instagram.

Infinity Gourmet Foods

Infinity Gourmet Foods, a local business that celebrates cuisines from around the world, welcomes the New Year with the colorful Yu Sheng Prosperity Toss Salad, a salad that “invites wealth.”

“The Yu Sheng, commonly known as the ‘prosperity salad’ is believed to bring in good fortune and wealth to those who toss it high up,” they wrote. It is made of pickled and raw vegetables, as well as raw fish (sashimi) seasoned generously with sauces and condiments.” All of it should be tossed up together with chopsticks, to the loud cheers of “Lo hei!”

Infinity Gourmet Foods’ Yu Sheng Prosperity Toss Salad is available from Wednesdays to Sundays until January 29 via Instagram.

City of Dreams

The luxury hotel’s restaurants, like Crystal Dragon, are ready to host your lavish CNY gatherings with specialty dishes. An “opulent twist to the traditional yu sheng” is Crystal Dragon’s Prosperity Roasted Duck with jelly fish, crispy vegetables, and plum dressing; and symbolizing surplus is the Steamed Duo Flavor Live Grouper with tofu.

TungLok Signatures offers the Chinese New Year classic Yu Sheng Salad with salmon and other symbolic ingredients for prosperity and abundance, and Red Ginger’s Harmony Coconut dessert as cap-off to a filling meal. City of Dreams, which is also offering special CNY hotel packages for the season, is located at Entertainment City, corner Macapagal Ave, Aseana Avenue in Pasay City. –

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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.