Chinese New Year at Hakkasan – Celebrating the Red Fire Monkey:
The first day of the Chinese calendar is Monday 8th February. The Year of the Red Fire Monkey. From what I’ve been reading, 2016 should be fun – in the year of the monkey, anything can happen. And, the Fire Monkey in particular is the most active and aggressive of the monkeys so, 2016 should be a year of accomplishment, fast paced and motivating. The monkey is a smart, naughty animal and as 2016 is also a fire year it is a period when everything should move forward very quickly. I love Chinese New Year celebrations and traditions. And, of course, I love the food. The Hakkasan group operate two of the finest Chinese restaurants in London and this year, there’s a special, limited edition menu created by Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee which includes an exclusive cocktail and dessert.
Hakkasan restaurants around the world are also continuing their tradition of honouring the Lam Tsuen Chinese wishing tree. The original wishing trees are two beautiful banyan trees located in a residential area of Tai Po, Hong Kong. Historically, people from all over Hong Kong visited during Chinese New Year to make a wish by throwing joss paper into the trees. More recently the local authority, keen to preserve the ancient trees, have set up wooden racks for joss papers to be hung. If you visit a Hakkasan restaurant during the new year period, you’ll be invited to write your wish on a gold ribbon and hang it from a tree in the restaurant. It’s a charming tradition that I haven’t come across before.
Meanwhile the Chinese New Year Menu at Hakkasan showcases dishes to bring joy, luck and prosperity in 2016. Double boiled fresh Ginseng and chicken soup, diced Wagyu beef and pine nut golden cup and a Dim sum platter to start. A choice of main dishes inluding Wok-fry lobster in spicy truffle sauce and grilled Chilean seabass in honey. To round things off there’s a dessert and cocktail inspired by the Year of the Monkey. The gold halo desssert is a banana and peanut cake and a five spice infuse cream. The 9 Hou cocktail comprises nine components to represent the monkey’s 9th position on the zodiac.
Finally, following the custom for friends and family to gift red envelopes containing money to bring luck and wealth for the New Year, Hakkasan is giving all guests who dine from the Chinese New Year Menu a specially designed Year of the Monkey coin as a gift of good fortune.
I’d advise booking early for what promises to be a splendid New Year feast. The special New Year menu is priced at £88.88 per person and is available from 22nd January to 22nd February 2016. Learn more from the video or visit the Hakkasan website to book!