Chinese New Year at the Mandarin Oriental Manila has become a tradition for many. I’ve been once – we were ringing in the year of the sheep. Then days after I gave birth to my first daughter. Too much partying haha. I haven’t been back since. But I remember it clearly – the rituals, dragon dance, fireworks, mini parade. Very festive.
This year that annual celebration will take place on the eve of 22 January at 10pm. To usher in the auspicious Year of the Water Dragon, Master Joseph Chau will again lead the ceremonies and rituals to augur luck in 2012. There will be dragon dances, traditional dotting of the eyes of the lions, and a 10-minute fireworks display. An eight-course Lauriat dinner, the first lucky meal of the year, follows at midnight at the elegantly decorated Ballroom. Tickets are PHP 2,988 net for adults and P1,588 for children.
Other offerings – a Prosperity room package which starts at PHP 6,888++ for an overnight stay for two, and includes international buffet breakfast, a PHP 1,000 dining credit in any of the hotel’s restaurants and a PHP 500 spa voucher. And Tin Hau’s homemade tikoy is also available at Rockwell from January 15 to 22. Is it true that tikoy has to be given to you by a Chinese friend for it to be lucky? Hello, friends. I need all the luck I can get.
If you don’t make it to the grand celebration, there’s always Tin Hau from Jan 23 to 29. In keeping with Chinese custom, the hotel’s master chefs annually lay out menus filled with dishes symbolic of wealth, good fortune, and family unity. With various culinary interpretations and sumptuous ingenuity, the Chinese restaurant’s team headed by Executive Chef Hann Furn Chen has created prosperity menus showcasing dishes that bring luck and harmony.
Poached Hong Kong chicken with spring onion and ginger sauce. A chicken dish is important during Chinese New Year, as eating chicken is considered healthy. The rooster’s crow is a good start to the day; likewise, eating chicken is a good start to the year.
Wok fried shrimp with X.O. sauce. Also considered lucky are dishes that are golden or reddish in color. The cooking method of deep frying symbolizes Gold among the Chinese and serving a golden deep-fried dish, such as Wok fried Shrimp, is representative of abundance in wealth for the coming year.
New Year’s five happiness combination platter: B.B.Q. suckling pig, roasted pork asado with honey sauce, marinated jelly fish Szechuan style, golden fried shrimp mousse and black moss rolls and crispy fried anchovy with spicy plum sauce.
The New Year’s Five Happiness Combination Platter is a barbecue combination of roast duck, chicken, pork and jellyfish. It is a symbol of a bountiful harvest for the coming year. The combination of different ingredients also symbolizes the gathering of friends and relatives for the occasion of Chinese New Year. Noodles, of course, are a staple on the menu as they are representative of a long and harmonious life. In the Chinese language, the words “fish” and “profit” are homophonic to each other—they sound the same, and so eating steamed fish during Chinese New Year means more profit for the coming year.
For more information on Mandarin Oriental, Manila’s Chinese New Year activities, call the hotel on 750 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.