Chinese New Year 2019: Family Reunion Dinner Ideas!



Dinner with family is one common thing that we do in the new year. For all our Chinese friends, we have some CNY dinner ideas if you’re not up to celebrate it with the crowd in Chinatown.






Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila welcomes the Year of the Earth Pig with a sumptuous feast masterfully prepared by Spiral’s newest culinary artisan, Chinese Chef Yui So Chan. Take part in a culinary journey inspiring abundance and wealth featuring twelve delectable dishes showcasing authentic Chinese cuisine. As this year promises prosperity, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila presents a gastronomic offer available from 4th to 8th of February 2019.




Braised Abalone with Mushroom

Abalone is believed to bring good fortune and wealth. Its Chinese translation also signifies assurance and surplus hence partaking of this dish leads to an abundance of wealth.

Traditional Hong Kong Steamed Fish

The Chinese believe that eating the whole fish with the head and tail intact symbolizes a year’s beginning all the way to its end. The Chinese translation for fish also sounds similar to their word for “abundance.”


Ho Se with Spinach and Sea Moss

Braised dried oysters with sea moss is believed to bring positivity in business and entrepreneurs. Black moss translates to “strike rich.”


Half Shell Scallop in X.O. sauce

Eating sautéed scallop in X.O. sauce is believed to be a a symbol of fertility, life, as well as new opportunities. X.O. sauce is packed with luxurious ingredients and aroma making it one of the sauces of the rich.


Traditional Pork Dumplings with Spicy Vinegar Sauce

As one of the foundation of Chinese delicacies, traditional dumplings are known to bring in togetherness. It has been a belief that the dish urges unity and harmony in families. They are a symbolism of intact relationships and unbreakable bond.


Buddha Soup

The buddha soup is famous for its auspicious ingredients. Its translation in Chinese means “house filled with silver and gold” thus the dish brings out good wealth and fulfilment. Mushrooms and bamboo shoots are believed to bring longevity while ginseng is popular for healing.


Cereal Butter Prawn

Prawns are one of the important festive Chinese seafood dishes. In Chinese, the word “prawn” is a symbol of liveliness and cheerfulness. Cereal butter prawns incorporate modern flavors to tradition.




Creamy Butter Crab

Crabs are believed to be a sign of higher achievements and greater possibilities. As the New Year comes, it symbolizes that every year is an opportunity to grow.


Long Life Noodles in 8 Treasure Sauce

Eating noodles is believed to bring long life. This belief has been practiced in most Chinese occasions particularly birthdays, New Year’s and anniversaries. It represents happiness and good health for one’s life.


Steamed Chocolate Pig Buns

As the Year of the Pig draws near, pig-shaped buns have added color into this festivity. With its bright color and exquisite details, these dimsums are used to pray for favorable weather for abundance.


Cua Pao filled with Glazed Pork Belly

Cua Pao has been part of China’s rich history and cuisine. It is traditionally eaten during breakfast as welcome to a new day and a brighter future.


Pork Floss Bun

Pork Floss is a dried meat product with a light and fluffy texture that is usually used for toppings. It is believed that adding pork floss to bread, congee, rice and tofu adds flavor and color to these basic dishes which impacts a positive outlook in one’s daily life.


Celebrate Chinese New Year with family, friends and loved ones at Spiral available at the following rates:

• February 4, 2019: Php2,850 nett per person for lunch and Php3,888 nett per person for dinner

• February 5, 2019: Php3,588 nett per person for lunch and Php3,888 nett per person for dinner

• February 6-7, 2019: Php2,850 nett per person for lunch and Php3,600 nett per person for dinner

• February 8, 2019: Php2,850 nett per person for lunch and Php3,450 nett per person for dinner


For more information on Recipes for Prosperity:Sofitel Celebrates The Year Of The Earth Pig, please call +63 2 832 6988 or email




Salmon Head and Pork Knuckles

Canton Road, at Shangri-La at the Fort Manila, invites guests to paint the town red and gather some lunar luck for the Year of the Earth Pig as the restaurant features a sumptuous spread featuring regional Chinese specialties prepared by Executive Chinese Chef Wang Wei Qing.
Bring in good fortune to your family and feast like the gods with Pun Choi, a signature dish headlining this year’s special menu offerings. Also known as “basin food,” Pun Choi is a classic made of different treasures meticulously layered into a bowl.
The preparation of the dish is guided by the philosophy of harmony, where the variety of ingredients and its layering are designed to complement each other. Carrying this culinary point of view, Chef Wang’s Pun Choi is comprised of a healthy mix of shrimp, flower mushroom, chicken, roasted duck, sea moss fish ball, dry oyster, abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, lettuce and broccoli in oyster sauce – a melange of Chinese culinary favourites.
Pun Choi carries a unique historical and cultural symbolism – it was collectively prepared in walled villages, and offered to gods and ancestors during festivals. The dish represents cooperation as a way to attract luck – a perfect complement to the new lunar year ahead.
Starring alongside the Pun Choi is the traditional Norwegian salmon Yee Sang, a raw fish salad popularly known for its preparation ritual. Also called “Prosperity Toss,” ingredients of the famous dish are tossed in the air using a pair of chopsticks. The tossing ritual signifies luck and happiness – the higher the toss, the more chances of one’s wishes coming true.
Also taking centre stage is Canton Road’s suckling pig, stuffed with fragrant glutinous rice. A staple dish with a rich history associated with royal banquets, the suckling pig has long been considered as an auspicious treat that symbolizes completeness and prosperity.
The Happiness menu is priced at Php 29,888 nett, Php 32,888 nett for the Abundance menu and Php 38,888 nett for the Wealth menu. These special menus are for a table of 10 persons and are inclusive of a non-alcoholic beverage package.
Guests who prefer private celebrations have a choice of dining in any of eight private dining rooms, the biggest of which can seat up to 28 guests at a time. Each dining room is named after an iconic street in Hong Kong: Kowloon, Peking, Nathan, Mody, Salisbury, Admiralty, Austin, and Granville. All rooms are equipped with private pantries.
For inquiries and reservations, please call (632) 820 0888 or email






Blissful Blessings, the Nian Gao Collection for the Year of the Earth Pig at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.

Celebrate auspicious beginnings as Marco Polo Ortigas Manila ushers abundance with the coming of the Earth Pig. Welcome a flow of luck, fortune, and happiness starting this festive season.
A true tradition through symbolic delicacies that bring abundance. Indulge in auspicious and staple glutinous rice cakes for that stroke of luck. Choose between its two forms: the gold bar, which is available boxes of one and two pieces and in brown sugar flavour; or the traditional round variant, which is available in orange and brown sugar flavours. These nian gao are available starting at Php 798.
Feast over festive dishes that bring abundance and the promise of all good things to come with two special authentic Cantonese set menus by Chinese Executive Chef Terry Lai at Lung Hin. Suckling Pig Cold Cuts Combination, Steamed Live Garoupa with Minced Garlic in Supreme Soy Sauce, and Braised Abalone with Fish Maw in Oyster Sauce (10 heads) are some of the dishes crafted for a fine celebration. Classic Salmon Yu Sheng Prosperity Toss is also available in the special a la carte menu to bring in more luck.
There are also scheduled events to welcome the Year of the Earth Pig at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. Witness and receive good luck with the presence of Feng Shui Master Chau Kam Shing with the ceremonial blessing ritual, followed by the dragon and lions to dance their way to bring prosperity on 5 February 2018, at 11AM, at the hotel’s Ground Level.
For more information, call (02) 720-7720 or e-mail





01.A.Shredded Roasted Duck with Fresh Fruit Salad in Dressing

City of Dreams Manila ushers in the bountiful Year of the Earth Pig with menu specialties from Crystal Dragon and Red Ginger restaurant; and auspicious line up of activities in front oaf Café Society at The Shops at the Boulevard.
Crystal Dragon
From January 25 to February 19, Crystal Dragon is offering specialty menus available for lunch at 12 PM to 3 PM and dinner from 6 PM to 11 PM.
The premium Chinese restaurant highlights symbolic and premium renditions of the traditional “Yu Sheng” salad with a fruity twist: the Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng with Fruit Salad available in medium (Php 1,350++) and large (Php 2,700++) servings; and the Shredded Roasted Duck with Fresh Fruit Salad with dressing in medium (Php 1,280++) and large (Php 2,380++). The medium serving is good for four to five persons; while the large is good for eight to ten persons.
“Yu Sheng” salad or “Lo Hei” is said to have been originated from a Cantonese phrase which means “tossing up good fortune.” A traditional Chinese New Year ceremony from Singapore, Malaysia and China, “Yu Sheng” customarily uses raw fish to symbolize abundance. Crystal Dragon’s Yu Sheng salad with abalone symbolizes good fortune and the one with duck signifies fertility, mixed with brightly-colored fruits that denote wealth, youth, happiness and long life. To bring in good luck, a ceremonial prosperity toss is usually held, where everyone gathers before the table, use their chopsticks to mix the ingredients, and toss it as say “Lo Hei!” as well as their well wishes.
Crystal Dragon also showcases Poon Choi menu which consists of Stewed Abalone Poon Choi Cantonese Style at Php 6,500++, and Stewed Tiger Prawn Poon Choi Cantonese Style                    at Php 3,500++. “Poon Choi” in Cantonese is known as “basin dish,” and was historically served to emperors in ancient China. It signifies prosperity and affluence, and is composed of a generous assortment of premium ingredients.
As part of the Chinese New Year celebration, Crystal Dragon also offers special a la carte menu composed of: Slow-cooked Supreme Fish Maw with Abalone and Minced Pork (Php 2,800++); Oven-baked Marinated Cod Fish Fillet with Fragrant Golden Garlic (Php 2,280++); Braised Stuffed Black Mushroom with Sea Cucumber in Supreme Oyster Sauce (Php 1,680++); Wok-fried King Prawn with Honey and Black Pepper Sauce (Php 480 per piece++); Wok-fried Vermicelli with Assorted Seafood and Chinese Pork Sausage (Php 880++); and Steamed Trio Combination Nian Gao (Php 480++).
An excellent way to cap the meal, the must-try Nian Gao or locally known as “Tikoy,” is a sticky and sweet delicacy made from glutinous rice flour; and is known to signify unity and togetherness.
For a complete Chinese New Year dining experience of symbolic dishes with loved ones and friends, Crystal Dragon features two set menus good for a minimum of five persons. The six-course Happiness Set Menu priced at Php 3,880++ per person includes specialties such as Braised Sea Treasure Broth with Fish Maw and Wok-fried Fragrant Wild Rice with Sweet Corn and Assorted Nuts.
A more premium choice, the seven-course Magnificent Set Menu for Php 6,880++ per person includes exceptional dishes such as the Oven-baked Marinated Cod Fish Fillet with Fragrant Golden Garlic, and Poached Hand-pulled Noodles with Spicy Minced Pork and Mushroom.
Both menus are served with variations of the Yu Sheng salad and Poon Choi dishes, as well as Sauteed Celery with Lotus Root and Preserved Meat, and Steamed Trio Combination Nian Gao. The Shredded Roasted Duck Yu Sheng and the Stewed Tiger Prawn Poon Choi are offered for the Happiness Set Menu; while the Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng and the Stewed Abalone Poon Choi are served for the Magnificent Set Menu.
For inquiries, call 800-8080 or e-mail or visit







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Celebrate with the whole family at Shang Palace and experience authentic Cantonese dining. For lunch on February 4, there will be a regular Dim Sum Plus priced at PHP 988++.  For lunch on February 5, there will be a Festive Dim Sum Plus feast priced at PHP1,888++.  For dinner on both days, a special Chinese New Year set menu is prepared to celebrate this season.  The Gold menu is priced at PHP2,888++, the Jade menu is priced at PHP3,888++ and the Diamond menu is priced at PHP6,688++.
For more information, please call restaurant reservations at (63 2) 814 2580 or send an email to Guests may download the e-brochure at  They can also follow Makati Shangri-La, Manila on Facebook and Instagram @MakatiShangriLa for exclusive hotel and dining offers and updates or visit









Happy New Year! As we welcome the first quarter of 2019, we have more flavorful offerings for sharing at our Food and Beverage outlets.

Welcome Chinese New Year with festive menus at our authentic Shanghainese restaurant, Hua Ting – Brasserie Chinoise or “toss” your way to good luck and prosperity with the traditional Yusheng at Kusina. And for Valentine’s, impress your loved one with our indulgent Degustation dinner at our expansive resort-style lagoon poolside, which makes for a picture-perfect setting for a romantic celebration.


To book a table and inquiries, please call +63 2 239 77 88 loc. 7375 or email mnlph_f&



Live an Awesome Life,

ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure:  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Anything else, you would like me to add? 🙂

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