Bite into Prosperity

February 08, 2021

Peking duck straight from the oven at Nan Bei, Rosewood Bangkok

(Main picture) The bar at Rosewood Bangkok’s Nan Bei. (Above) Peking Duck at Nan Bei.

No hesitations in
recommending Big Mango’s most stunning Chinese restaurant, Nan Bei, at the Rosewood Bangkok as our top choice for a Chinese New Year food fest.

Nan Bei, with its youthful take, reinvented the Chinese fine dining scene: overnight, it became cool to ‘do Chinese’ with friends. Chinese dinner plans were no longer just the preserve of multigenerational family groups wielding chopsticks over long, and at times tiresome, weekend family dinners. The chefs here, though, plate seriously authentic food; their Peking duck is the best we have ever had. What Nan Bei did right was take the boring and stuffy out of Chinese dining.The ambience and interiors are so far removed from what you would normally expect – white tablecloths and the colour red are missing in action. Instead the colour palette moves from cerulean to emerald tying in dark wood, black marble and leather. Adding the bar was a genius move, as was the creative bar food.

For the Year of the Ox, Executive Chef Matthew Geng has lined two menu sets for dine-in lunch and dinner as well takeaways. For bigger groups, Nan Bei offers the Prosperity Set, suitable for eight to 10 people with signature dishes like Hokkaido scallop with scallion oil, Peking duck, spotted grouper with light soy sauce, fish maw with abalone sauce, tiger prawns with jumbo green asparagus and salted egg, and abalone rice with truffle and abalone sauce.

The Longevity Set, for four to six people, features authentic heirloom recipes such as honey-glazed barbecue kurobuta pork, braised abalone with goose web, wagyu tenderloin with black pepper sauce, and squirrel fish.Nan Bei’sOn The Move option offers both the sets for those who want to dine at home. A minimum two-hour advance order is required. Make that call, you won’t regret it.

If you want to take the dim sum route for your Luna New year celebration meal then Dynasty at Centara Grand at Centralworld it has to be. They have a premium, all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet on February 12 and 13.

(Below) Dim sum buffet at Dynasty at Centara Grand at CentralWorld Bangkok.

Dim Sum Buffet at Dynasty, Centara Grand, Bangkok

Hong Kong

With the government extending the social distancing restrictions in Hong Kong, the Year of the Ox will most likely be an at-home celebration: restaurants must shut dine-in services by 6pm. The good news is you can always lunch and gourmet takeaways are a phone call away.

Chinese Master Chef Kwong Wai Kwong andExecutive Chef Wong Chi Fai at T’ang Court (The Langam, Hong Kong)have a menu full of Cantonese delights featuring braised Alaskan crab meat and bamboo fungus rolls filled with bird’s nest in pumpkin soup with crab roe topped, Yunnan ham, sautéed scallops with asparagus, yellow fungus in taro nest and more. The chefs have also created speciality dim sum selections including steamed semi-dried oyster with shrimp paste, black mushroom and Yunnan ham. Their abalone poon choi is a great way to celebrate at home– served in a traditional clay-pot, the poon choi (for 4-6) is filled with auspicious ingredients including whole ten-head abalone, fish maw, dried oyster, conpoy, beche-de-mer, black mushroom, fresh prawns, goose webs and marinated chicken. Takeaway option available.

Hutong has a special 10-dish lunch feast focused around yellowfin tuna, Hokkaido scallops, Hutong’s signature crispy de-boned lamb ribs, and black truffle chicken served with Yunnan ham fried rice. Sommelier Ao Yun offers an excellent wine pairing with it.For an at-home experience, Hutong has a special seafood poon choi (for 4-6) in spicy and sour broth.Meanwhile Dynasty at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel is offering the opulent Dynasty Chinese New Year Gourmet Set with whole abalone, sea cucumber, dried oyster, prawn, poached chicken, roasted goose, pig’s trotters, chicken feet, Chinese mushrooms, fresh bean curd stick, sea moss, turnip and lotus root, until 28 February for takeaway only.

Vegans are covered by contemporary Korean vegetarian restaurant Soil to Soul in Tsim Sha Tsui. It is welcoming the Year of the Ox with a ‘temple food’ twist the festive ‘Poon Choi’ (big bowl feast): Korean Soy Bean and Korean Sweet & Spicy; both styled for family gatherings of 6 to 8 and available for takeaway. Especially auspicious are Blessed Tofu Skin Pockets Stuffed with Sweet Potato Noodle & Napa Cabbage, referencing prosperity as they resemble old-fashioned coin purses. Elongated Zucchini Noodles are a metaphor for happiness and longevity, while the Cantonese name for Korean Rice Cake, ‘leen goh’,’ offers the promise of reaching greater heights’.

Need to make that last-minute gesture? Send a Chinese New Year Chocolate Box from Simon Rogan at Home. Each Chinese New Year Fortune Box contains 32 pieces of the handcrafted chocolate truffles, filled with four types of original ganache centres by Roganic’s talented pastry chefs: winter truffle, woodruff from Cartmel, pecan praline, and miso caramel with hazelnut.You could also order their three-course meal kit specially created for the Year of the Ox.

(Below) In Hong Kong: Chinese New Year options from Dynasty, vegan takes from Soil To Soul and Simon Rogan choclates and meal kit

Hong Kong Chinese New Year options from Dynasty, Soil To Soul and Simon Rogan

Go avant-garde this Lunar new year at 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung, at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel.The chef has a six-course Lunar New Year Set Dinner planned:razor clams and Tasmanian abalone for starters, followed by guinea fowl topped with foie gras foam, wagyu beef cheeks in pink peppercorn jus and Atlantic cod. Round it off with Chrysanthemum Mousse. They even have a more classic Chinese menu for the nit-pickers. The bartenders from The Bar at 15 Stamford have a special potion to complete the festivities – Huan Ying, a mix of white rum, Mandarin orange, pomegranate and lime syrup.

Or go the classic route with the Chinese garden inspired one Michelin starred Summer Pavilion at The Ritz Carlton. In store is a delightful Treasury Menu featuring double-boiled sea whelk soup with fish maw, sautéed Japanese wagyu beef with black truffle, Inaniwa noodles, Hokkaido king scallops and more.

(Below) Chef Alvin Leung works his Chinese New year magic at 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel.

Chef Alvin Leung and his 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung, in Singapore

The Front Row Team

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