It’s the year of the hardworking and dutiful Ox. As many are likely looking to increase their luck and attract positivity after the year that was plagued by one bad news after another, these establishments roll out Chinese New Year treats and activities that usher in the good things we all desperately need.
Auspicious food at SM Mall of Asia Complex
Food plays a huge role in the celebration of Lunar New Year, and MOA Complex offers a guide to help mall-goers dining in or ordering takeaway get the food that are considered auspicious to eat during the occasion.
No Chinese New Year dinner would be complete without fish, a symbol of prosperity. The scales of the fish and the abundance of roe signify wealth and fortune. Paradise Dynasty at S Maison and Mann Hann at MOA’s main mall have delightful fish offerings on their menus.
Duck is another lucky specialty, especially when served whole, signifying a better new year. Mall-goers can enjoy the taste of authentic duck meat roasted to perfection at Hong Kong Little Kitchen at SM by the Bay. Shrimp, on the other hand, symbolize happiness and good fortune. Mei Lin Restaurant at the North Wing of SM Mall of Asia is known for its Fried Spicy Shrimp.
Chinese dumplings and spring rolls are both associated with wealth. Spring rolls are said to resemble gold bars; dumplings, on the other hand, are supposed to look like gold ingots. Tim Ho Wan has a delightful dim sum selection; while Mai Weng Fang’s popular pan fried soup dumpling will give diners a taste of Northern Chinese cuisine with wheat flour ingredients. Both are located at MOA’s main mall.
Noodles mean happiness and longevity for the Chinese, their length symbolizing the life of the person eating them; the longer the noodle, the longer their life will be. Hence, it is advised not to cut the noodles when eating them. Masuki, on the ground level of the North Park Building, prides itself in its original mami made from fresh egg noodles in pork bones soup and topped with chicken and roasted pork slices.
For many, hot pot, which symbolizes the coming together of family and friends, is the centerpiece of Spring Festival dinners. Tian Mansion serves Chinese hot pot soup with fresh seafood at its ground floor outlet in the South Wing of the Entertainment Mall.
Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo’s bijin nabe collagen soup, on the other hand, is considered a “beauty hot pot” that helps in rebuilding dead cells to achieve a youthful, healthy glow. It helps in replenishing the body’s natural collagen supply and is good for bone health. The restaurant is located on the second level of S Maison.
Diners enjoying Chinese favorites with their family at the Lucky Feasts enjoy fortune treats and group dining deals: For a minimum 1,000 spend on dining, they can play the Lucky Spin for a chance to win shopping money; meanwhile those ordering for delivery and pickup will get Ang Pao with a surprise treat for a minimum purchase of P1,000. The dining promos are available until Feb. 12.
Moreover, the Lucky Dining Spot designated dining area lets diners read their astrological forecast by simply scanning a QR code.
SM Mall of Asia is offering discounts in all red merchandise during its Lucky Red Sale, while the Luck and Love Fair at the Central Atrium is open until Feb. 15.
Buffet and fortune
Novotel Manila Araneta City’s buffet restaurant Food Exchange Manila, meanwhile, offers a P2,021 nett buffet for two persons on Feb. 11-12.
The spread features all-time Chinese favorites like dim sum, roasted specialties, noodles, and desserts, among others. Lunch buffet starts at 12:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., while dinner buffet is open from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
In addition to an auspicious feast, the hotel also offers the Prosperity Box (P2,500) filled with an assortment of luscious treats including glutinous rice cakes, egg tarts, lo mai chi, ampaw crispies, mooncake, dice hopia, chili sauce, and scallops XO sauce in a jar.
Lucky rituals and activities
Lucky Chinatown in Binondo, Manila is taking its festivities virtually via livestream on its Facebook page today at 11:00 p.m. Traditional lucky rituals and attractions following safety protocols like Prosperity Tree, Eight Laughing Buddhas, and more are also open to guests.
Other Megaworld Lifestyle Malls in the metro have also prepared activities to usher in the Year of the Metal Ox.
Eastwood City has a traditional Dragon and Lion Dance on Feb. 12, Uptown Bonifacio on Friday will host a virtual talk on charms and crystals, Venice Grand Canal has a Fate and Fortune exhibit at the mall atrium, Forbes Town likewise has an exhibit where guests can scan a QR code and know their fortune for the coming year, and Newport Mall at Resorts World Manila has an ongoing Luck and Love Fair until Feb. 21 as well a Dragon and Lion Dance on Feb. 15.