Maybe you've already passed the Valentine's test but now you have to impress your future in-laws with your cultural expertise on Thursday 19th February 2015. Do you know your Peking duck from your aromatic duck? Here we highlight some of the best London restaurant offerings for Chinese New Year.
Sounding very colonial is the Chinese Cricket Club restaurant in Blackfriars. Here the staff are dressed in cricket whites and service is prompt and effortless like the good old days. The two set menus are lamb-focused, but there's great variety with auspicious sounding Chinese classics like lobster with rice cakes, Sichuan sea bass and crispy aromatic duck. There is also the traditional giving out of red envelopes in which you will get discount vouchers for future meals.
If it's tradition you are after, why not check out traditional lion dancing at the Royal China Group restaurants. These will take place on select dates from the 20th - 28th February depending on the branch. They will also be giving out red envelopes with some lucky guests receiving free meals up to the value of £100.
Buddha Bar in Knightsbridge has created special set sharing menu for Chinese New Year which includes BBQ five spiced chicken and steamed monkfish. There will also be traditional entertainment provided as well as lots of other surprises.
Hutong restaurant in The Shard not only provides authentic Northern Chinese cuisine, it's matched with stunning views of London. The restaurant will also have various festivities throughout the month to celebrate. Their double happiness menu is cleverly priced at £88.80 (eight being a very lucky number in Chinese culture). They have even come up with special Baiju cocktails (Baiju being a popular white spirit brewed in China).
Min Jiang is another restaurant to consider with their renowned head chef Han preparing a fabulous 9-course feast. If your party is large enough, I'd recommend adding on an extra course of Min Jiang's legendary wood-fired Beijing duck. You might just give up on aromatic duck after trying this.
If you are into your pop-up restaurants, then you might consider a visit to Harvey Nichols, where world famous chef Ching-He Huang has curated a special "Yin Yang" Chinese New Year Menu for the world famous department store. Ching-He has appeared on numerous cooking shows and the author of five bestselling cookbooks.
For something distinct, why not try a Chinese New Year afternoon tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, which is also based at the Shard. In the beautiful surroundings of the TING Lounge, you will be offered Champagne along with delectable dishes like vanilla infused rice pudding with a rose, raspberry and lychee fruit compote. It really doesn't get more refined than that.
Celebrating special occasions isn't always about throwing money at it. Restaurants like Cha Cha Moon offer fun sharing platters which you can enjoy with your friends without leaving you feeling fleeced. Ewe won't end up being lambs to the slaughter if you check out our handy top 10 Chinese buffet guide.
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