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Eat your way to prosperity

According to local feng shui experts, the Year of the Fire Rooster will be a fiery and intense one. Tensions abound and cash flow may be tight. But there is innovation, creativity, and even romance with the “peach blossom luck.”

If you believe in feng shui – or maybe not, but one can never be too cautious – there are several ways to enhance one’s luck and usher in good fortune just as there are means to bar negative sectors from dampening your 2017.

Or you can take the happier route and eat your way to prosperity and abundance.

At Crystal Dragon, a signature restaurant of the luxury integrated resort City of Dreams Manila, there are two set menus as well as a la carte dishes that are full of symbolisms and auspicious wishes to ring in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Wok-fried king prawns

“Every Chinese New Year, you will see the same traditional food. So this year, we decided to introduce three new dishes – all equally symbolic of good fortune,” says Crystal Dragon’s Assistant Manager Alan Goh.

There’s the shredded roasted duck with fresh fruit salad dressing, a “neater” alternative to the messy but delicious salmon fish yusheng – a traditional salad that is tossed in the air using chopsticks while wishing lo hei (Mandarin for scoop it up), with the belief that the height of the toss reflects the height of one’s growth in wealth. I was pleasantly surprised that the fruit salad had pomelos, with its sweet, tangy flavor providing good contrast to the shredded duck. It has elements similar to that of a yusheng, such as crispy wonton pillows that not only give the salad texture and crunch but symbolize gold as well. 

An explosion of flavors: shredded roasted duck on a bed of fruit salad

Another new dish is the roasted chicken roll filled with foie gras and wild mushrooms. It looked like a mini-version of the Cebu lechon belly roll, with the chicken skin perfectly crisped. There was, however, only a hint of the foie gras and wild mushrooms, and not as much filling as I would have wanted. 

And lastly, there’s the three-flavor Chinese New Year nian gao (tikoy) platter – tikoy covered in dried shredded coconut; water chestnut cake wrapped in deep-fried rice net; and red bean tikoy wrapped in pandan roll and topped with crushed cashew nuts. 

For those who would prefer a set meal, Crystal Dragon’s Chinese New Year Happiness Menu is priced at P3,680++ per person, while the Chinese New Year Treasures Menu is at P6,680++, both for a minimum of four persons. These will be available until Feb. 11.

Chinese New Year will not be complete without tikoy, served three ways at Crystal Dragon.

The Happiness Menu starts with salmon fish yusheng, followed by seafood and shredded abalone soup, Hong Kong-style steamed cod with baby cabbage, wok-fried king prawns with reduced soy sauce; Shanghai-style rice cake with seafood, and chilled mango pudding with vanilla ice cream and tikoy platter for dessert.

The Abundance Menu serves the salmon fish yusheng as well, along with seafood with baby abalone soup; steamed sea grouper with shredded ginger; roasted chicken roll with foie gras, stewed pork belly with see cucumber; rice cake with seafood; and the tikoy sweetener.

After having your fill at Crystal Dragon, participate in fun activities lined up by City of Dreams Manila to mark the Chinese New Year. From Jan.27 to 29, there will be classes on Chinese calligraphy, fortunetelling and caricature art as well as performances by Chinese opera singers, cultural dancers and Wushu martial artists. A “God of Fortune” will be roaming the main gaming area on the ground floor and the upper ground level to hand out ang baos containing gift certificates, discount coupons and chocolates to lucky guests.

Pomelos give a sweet, tangy contrast to the oven-baked cod fish fillet.

One’s good fortune may very well be shaped by hard work and a dose of luck. But it never hurts to observe auspicious traditions, and eating your way to health and wealth is always a good choice.

For feedback, send comments to [email protected]

Topics: Feng shui , Year of the Fire Rooster , Crystal Dragon , Alan Goh , Tikoy , Shredded roasted duck , Chinese New Year , City of Dreams Manila , Salmon fish yusheng , Wok-fried king prawns
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