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6 Dubai restaurants to celebrate Chinese New Year

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It’s Chinese New Year time, when we wave goodbye to the Year of the Monkey and welcome the Year of the Rooster. It is also known as the Spring Festival, so think lanterns and parades and dragons and fireworks and clattering cymbals… all that good, noisy stuff. Traditionally, it falls on the first new moon between January 21 and February 20, and this year that translates to Saturday, January 28.

In Dubai, you can enter the spirit of the season inside a number of restaurants, where you can sit down to special festive menus and entertainment. Here is our pick of the bunch.

Gaucho
Although Argentinian, Gaucho has already started marking Chinese New Year with a special range of mixed beverages, each rolled out over 12 days to mark the 12 months of the Chinese Zodiac. Having started on January 19 and continuing through to January 31, the mixologists are getting creative. Know what sign you were born under? Head down to see what concoction they’ve devised in its honour.
Where: Gate Village 5, DIFC
When: January 19-31
Price: AED38 (mocktails), AED78 (house mixes)
Contact: +9714 422 7898

Zheng He’s
This might be many people’s first thought when it comes to first-rate Chinese food in Dubai. The Mina A’Salam venue is serving a special three-course set menu for Chinese New
Year, with highlights including roasted Chinese spiced chicken with fried garlic and sizzling wagyu steak in a black pepper sauce. There’ll also be traditional dancers and a chance to try calligraphy. Although this is a one-night-only event, anyone dining between January 29 and February 2 can sample the fun.
Where: Jumeirah Mina A’Salam
When: Saturday, January 28
Price: AED350 (house beverages)
Contact: +9714 432 3232

 

Mekong
You probably have every right to expect a pretty authentic dining experience in a restaurant named after a river that begins in China and flows down through the South-East Asian peninsula, taking in Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand – especially when it is located in a hotel brand that originated in the latter. Mekong doesn’t seem to want to disappoint and is offering a set menu featuring a number of dishes from across the region, but with a particular emphasis on the Cantonese style. The starters include the likes of Beijing duck with aromatic pancakes, marinated prawns with mustard and fruit salsa and handmade dim sum, while the mains feature chicken with spicy sweet vinegar sauce, beef tenderloin with chilli black bean sauce and pan-seared sea bass fillet with ginger spring sauce. The rickshaw-style seating will only add to the experience.
Where: Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
When: January 28, 6pm-11.30pm
Price: AED245 (food only)
Contact: +9714 567 8314

Royal China
This award-winning Chinese restaurant in DIFC is going all out for the occasion, with diners being greeted with a welcome mocktail in the colours of the red rooster whose arrival we’re celebrating. The subsequent menu will include a baked golden bun with sesame, braised sea cucumber with mushrooms, roasted and poached chicken with garlic, and sticky rice dumplings in a red bean pastry soup. The meal will conclude with an osmanthus flower pudding, served with – what else? – Chinese tea. Expect loads of lanterns and a red-coloured gift on departure. Sounds like a more than decent way to start the year.
Where: Precinct Building 4, DIFC
When: January 27 to February 2
Price: Á la carte pricing
Contact: +9714 354 5543

Na3na3
The Middle-Eastern restaurant in the Address Dubai Mall is dropping the “Middle” part on Saturday, January 28. Diners will be invited to try an authentic tea ceremony before they get the chance to tuck into a Chinese-themed buffet with live dim sum stations and a section dedicated to a succulent Peking duck. Served from 7pm onwards.
Where: The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown
When: Saturday, January 28, from 7pm
Price: AED195 (soft drinks), AED395 (premium beverages)
Contact: +9714 438 8888

Hakkasan
All eleven Hakkasans around the world are coordinating their offering for Chinese New Year. There will be a limited edition menu, starting with a traditional “prosperity salad” tossed at the table and featuring roasted chicken, jellyfish and mooli. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, this will be followed by the signature hakka steamed dim sum platter before mains of steamed Dover sole with pumpkin, shiitake mushroom in soya fish sauce, wok-fried tiger prawn with lemongrass and chilli, braised abalone snails with fat choy, and braised Chinese vegetables in bean curd skin. The menu ends with the golden feather, a dessert of ginger panna cotta, mandarin and caramelised white chocolate.
Most intriguing of all, though, is that diners can partake in the Chinese wishing tree tradition by writing their wishes on gold and red ribbons and tying them to Hakkasan’s lattice partition screens.
Where: Jumeirah Emirates Towers, DIFC
When: Until February 11
Price: AED488
Contact: hakkasan.com/reservations

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