Chinese New York looks SO Delicious: Where to Eat in NYC
We wish every day was Chinese New Year! With the upcoming festivities coming up (Thursday, 02/19), we wanted to find the BEST places to enjoy tasty dishes, events and promotions in NYC. Already craving some of these right now!
Hakkasan will be offering a fantastic prix-fixe: 8 courses for $138.88 (all of those 8’s are for good luck, which is what they stand for in Chinese culture). They will be honoring the Chinese “Wishing Tree” tradition where the Hakkasan team will collect wish ribbons from diners and hang them on the decorative lattice work throughout the restaurant. Additionally, all guests who dine from the holiday menu will receive a red envelope (to signify good luck) with a gift of a complimentary cocktail to be redeemed at a future visit. Finally, guests who dine on February 19th will be treated to a traditional ‘Lion Dance’ performance. Hakkasan’s special Chinese New Year events and promotions will be available February 8th – March 1st. ( 311 W 43rd St: (212) 776-1818; hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-new-york/)
To celebrate Chinese New Year this year, chef and owner and first-generation Chinese-American Thomas Chen will serve up a variety of off-menu specials at Tuome, the East Village newcomer that recently received a glowing 2-star review from The New York Times, on February 19th. Using the refined contemporary technique he has mastered at Tuome, his version of these “good luck” dishes will include
Whole Branzino for two, served with root vegetables and fermented black bean sauce and two bowls of fried wild rice, $46
Uni-topped pork shu mai with dashi uni sauce $19
Lobster spring roll with lovage dip, $18
For Chinese New Year, Hakkasan will be offering a fantastic prix-fixe: 8 courses for $138.88 (all of those 8’s are for good luck, which is what they stand for in Chinese culture). They will be honoring the Chinese “Wishing Tree” tradition where the Hakkasan team will collect wish ribbons from diners and hang them on the decorative lattice work throughout the restaurant. Additionally, all guests who dine from the holiday menu will receive a red envelope (to signify good luck) with a gift of a complimentary cocktail to be redeemed at a future visit. Finally, guests who dine on February 19th will be treated to a traditional ‘Lion Dance’ performance. Hakkasan’s special Chinese New Year events and promotions will be available February 8th – March 1st. (536 East 5th Street: 646-833-7811; www.tuomenyc.com)
Drawing inspiration from her Chinese and Malaysian upbringing, Anita will host her annual Chinese New Year celebration at her intimate Greenwich Village restaurant Annisa, highlighting dishes from her childhood that represent good luck, health, happiness and fortune for the new year. Annisa’s Chinese New Year Dinner for the Year of the Goat will take place on 02/18 and 02/19 with a lucky six course tasting menu available for $108 per person:
Fresh Silken Tofu w/ Sea Urchin, Crab & Quali Egg Yolk (golden urchin represents money, and eggs are symbolic of new beginnings)
Seared Foie Gras w/ Soup Dumplings & Jicama
Shrimp & Pork Spring Roll (spring rolls signify wealth due to their resemblance to gold bars)
Braised Catfish w/ Mustard Greens
Slow Cooked Goat w/ Radish & Longevity Noodles (one long noodle promotes long life)
Osmanthus Posset w/ Pomelo & Wolfberry (dessert)
Full menu, with more information about the meaning behind each dish, is attached here for you. Reservations are required (please specify your reservation is for Chinese New Year) and can be made by calling the restaurant or through OpenTable. (13 Barrow St; 212-741-6699; www.annisarestaurant.com)
Pasar Malam is the recently opened restaurant in Williamsburg meaning “night market” in Malaysian from chef and owner Salil Mehta.The 28-year old chef and owner, earned a Michelin star and now Bib Gourmand for southeast Asian cuisine at Laut in Union Square where he’s still owner, and this past summer he opened Pasar Malam to focus just on Malaysian specialties. Using authentic ingredients like ginger flowers, fresh pandan leaves and belacan shrimp paste, as well as techniques for a full house-made roti menu and more, Salil offers a menu of Malaysian street food and traditional Malaysian specialties. To honor Chinese New Year (which is also celebrated in Malaysia due to the major Chinese influences in the culture), Salil will be offering some fun twists on the traditional dishes of the holiday as off-menu specials all month long:
Yu Sheng or Chinese New Year Salad: Yu Sheng is a homophone for ‘increase in abundance’, so Salil is serving up this salad for the holiday as it symbolizes prosperity when ushering in the new year. A colorful mixture of fried red, green and yellow taro surround a salad of pomelo, candied melon, candied persimmon, candied orange rind, candied plums, raisins, daikon, pickled cucumber, picked shallot, lettuce and noodle crisps. The salad is served with small dishes of applesauce, sake and shallot oil, which are poured table side and then topped with a sashimi of salmon. A special red & gold packet of five-spice powder and sesame seeds is also served alongside, which is carefully sprinkled on top table side. Guests are then encouraged to use their special red chopsticks to mix the salad together as a sign of unity in the new year — the act of mixing it together is ‘lo hei’, and hei means ‘to rise’, symbolizing prosperity — the higher you toss the salad, the greater your prosperity for the year. ($18.88 for 2-4 people, $28.88 for 4-6 people — 8 is a good luck # in Chinese)
“Kway” Fish: Yu, or fish, in Chinese sounds like the word for abundance so a whole fish typically makes an appearance on the Chinese New Year table. For a fun alternative, Salil makes a colorful dessert made from rice flour, coconut milk, salt and sugar and colored/flavored with layers of pandan, salted coconut and rose and formed into the shape of a Coi Fish — cleverly re-named a “Kway” fish since that is the word for rice flour in Malaysian.
Mahjong: Taking inspiration from the popular Chinese solitaire game, Salil has created a dessert bringing to life the tiles from the Mahjong towers. Made from rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, salt and pandan, these mini dessert bites are ornately decorated with symbols from the game.
The Chinese New Year Salad can be ordered a la carte, but the “Kway” Fish and Mahjong desserts must be ordered 48 hours in advance either by calling the restaurant, or tweeting at @pasarmalamny using the hashtag #makanclub. (208 Grand Street; 718-487-4576; www.pasarmalamny.com)