Home to some of the biggest celebrations outside of Asia, London is abuzz with Chinese culture and frivolity to bring in the Chinese New Year of the Rooster. Here’s our pick of where to celebrate…
Words Helen Brown
Celebrate the Chinese New Year in the relaxed and welcoming surrounds of Chi Kitchen. MasterChef winner Ping Combes has created an exclusive menu combining a delicious variety of traditional Chinese New Year ingredients. Highlights of the menu include ‘Prosperity Toss’ salad, a dish of raw salmon served, shredded vegetables and flavourful sauces that is traditionally known to bring good luck to those who eat it during Chinese New Year, and an exquisite Fried Sea Bass served with the Chinese culinary staple, Yellow Bean Sauce. Chi Kitchen’s ‘Chinese New Year’ menu will be available alongside Chi Kitchen’s A La Carte menu, 27th January – 3rd February, for lunch and dinner.
Museum of London Family Festival
Situated next to the original Chinatown, The Museum of London Docklands is celebrating the year of the rooster with a day filled with family fun. Visitors can immerse themselves in London’s longstanding Chinese culture by listening to classic Chinese folktales, taking part in a traditional dragon dance and creating their own zodiac mobile. The day promises to be action packed with something for all the family. Saturday 18th January, 11am-4pm. museumoflondon.org.uk
Chinese New Year Parade
get involved with the biggest celebrations outside of Asia at London’s Chinese New Year Parade. This year’s theme, “China: Today & Yesterday”, will celebrate and embrace Chinese cultures past and present. Position yourself in Charing Cross at 10am to see this colourful assemblage of hand-crafted floats and the UK’s largest gathering of Chinese lion and dragon dance performers set off, before it snakes its way north of Trafalgar Square to Shaftesbury Avenue.
visitlondon.comSunday 29th January, 10am from Charing Cross
This year Michelin Star Cantonese restaurant, Hakkasan, are bringing in the Chinese New Year with a limited edition menu, exclusive cocktails and desserts. During this auspicious time, guests are invited to share their hopes for the coming year by writing wishes on beautiful red and gold ribbons, before hanging them on Hakkasan’s iconic lattice cages. The ribbons feature a bespoke rooster design by London illustrator Kam Tang and the exclusive menu will be available to guests from 13th January to 11th February. hakkasan.com
HKK are celebrating the art of imperial dining for the New Year with an interpretation of the ancient and extravagant emperor’s feasts. A typical Chinese imperial feast lasted several days and consisted of hundreds of dishes using the most exotic and luxurious ingredients. The Emperor’s Feast at HKK simulates this gastronomic extravagance with an elaborate eight course banquet, showcasing the customs and traditions that took place at these ceremonies. This sublime banquet was created by Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee and features authentic Chinese ingredients such as sea cucumber, abalone and yu fungus. The feast ends with HKK’s reinterpretation the time-honoured Century egg; a delicious dessert flavoured with hazelnut, sesame and coffee. hkklondon.com
This January sees Michelin-starred dim sum teahouse, Yauatcha, celebrate the illustrious colour red for Chinese New Year with a plethora of additions to its already divine menu. A range of 10 new petits gateaux has been created, each decorated a vibrant shade of red and featuring a range of flavours from the signature Raspberry delice and Chocolate pebble; to the new Blackberry tart and Coconut Lime. Wash them down with Yauatcha’s bespoke Red Moutai cocktail – also red – concocted using the Chinese spirit baijiu, vodka, pineapple and elderflower. For those in need of extra prosperity, a red dim sum dish is also available. Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee has created it from Truffle crabmeat dumplings encased in a bright red shell to bring good fortune and wealth to guests for the forthcoming year. Available until 11th February Yauatcha.com
Magical Lantern Festival
For the second year in a row, London has been selected as the only city outside of the Far East to host the Magical Lantern Festival, a spectacular fusion of art, heritage and culture in celebration of the Chinese New Year. With an all-new show, Chiswick House and Gardens will once again be transformed into a fairytale world of light sculptures and Chinese art. The restored 18th Century gardens will see its 65 acres packed with over 50 illuminated, brand new installations in a dazzling extravaganza of lights, music theatre, culture and art.