Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016 Dining/Celebration Ideas

Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is a 15-day festival in China. In the Philippines, Filipino-Chinese families usually celebrate it with sumptuous dinner on New Year's Day with all the traditional food for good fortune and luck, and children get their Lucky Red Envelopes or Ang Pow.

A way to wish someone a Happy New Year in Chinese is Gong Xi Fa Cai in Mandarin OR Gong Hey Fat Choy (or Kung Hei Fat Choi) in Cantonese. Considering that majority of the Chinese Filipinos here in the Philippines speak the Hokkien dialect, (Hokkien is the dialect spoken in Fujian Province where most of the Chinese-Filipinos come from), it was said  (source: ABS-CBN) that it's more proper to say the greeting in Hokkien, which is pronounced and spelled as "Kiong Hee Huat Tsai."

All greetings refer to the same set of 4 Chinese characters, reading right to left: 

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Kung Hei Fat Choi or Kiong Hee Huat Tsi

Gong Xi, Kung Hei or Kiong Hee - mean good wishes or congratulations 
Fa Cai, Fat Choi or Huat Tsi - to become rich, acquire wealth

So together it means "best and prosperous wishes" for the coming year.

And no Chinese New Year family celebration would be complete without a bountiful feast and sumptuous New Year's meal. This meal is a very big deal! It is like Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner. Besides a gathering with loved ones, the New Year's meal has come to symbolize the hope for a prosperous and abundant new year.

That said, here are some Chinese New Year Dining Ideas to welcome the Year of the Fire Monkey!

Celebrate 10 Secrets to Happiness at Hotel Sofitel's Spiral available on February 1-10, 2016! Spiral’s Chinese Culinary Artisan, Chef Michael Tai, brings the 10 secrets to happiness in a culinary interpretation of prosperity, longevity, friends, faith and fortune. Please register HERE to make an online reservation or inquiry.

This 2016, luck may just be in your favor. Oakwood's Nostalgia Dining Lounge is bringing back its Triple-8 Lucky Chinoy Buffet for lunch! Make room for auspicious appetizers, prosperity noodles and dimsum as well as fortune desserts that will shower you with bounty all the way to the year of the fire monkey! For inquiries or reservations, please call Oakwood Premier Hotel at (632) 637-7888 local 8604 or email

Buffet Rate: P1,390 net
Available on February 8-12, 2016 from 12pm - 3pm
The Nostalgia Dining Lounge is located on the 6th floor Oakwood Premier Hotel Ortigas

The Manila Waterfront Pavilion Hotel will celebrate its annual Lunar New Year festivities welcoming the Year of the Fire Monkey with astounding flair, to usher in an abundance of success, good fortune, and a lavish buffet spread of oriental goodness at P1,200 net. Chinese New Year celebration starts with the sumptuous offering on Feb 8 at 6pm,  with Lion and Dragon dance plus coin shower for prosperity. ‪For inquiries, please call 5261212 extension 2345.

Dine like an emperor and indulge in the exceptional Chinese cuisine of Shang Palace Makati Shangri-la Hotel.  For inquiries and reservations, please call Shangri-la Hotel Makati at 814-2580 or email 

Chinese New Year Set Menu (Shang Palace)
February 7 and 8, 2016
Prices start at P2,588++

Chinese New Year Lunch Buffet (Isabela Ballroom) 
February 8, 2016
Buffet Rate:  P1,688++ per person

New World Hotel Makati brings all the fun to Jasmine as you celebrate Chinese New Year with them. On top of our auspicious set menus, be treated to a ceremonial Yu Sheng salad made from lucky ingredients for bowls full of fortune. Jasmine has definitely so much more to offer! Book a table now HERE or call (632) 811-6888.

From February 8 to 14, 2016, head on to the Manila Hotel's Mabuhay Palace and marvel at the walls adorned with hand-crafted panels made of jade and precious stones which narrate the tale of the philosopher, Confucius.  The restaurant will present mouthwatering dishes with their special Chinese New Year Set Menu offers. Bring the whole family and dine for four (Set Menu A) for only P2,288 net or dine for two for P2,880 net (Set Menu B).   For inquiries and reservations, please call Manila Hotel at 527-0011 local 1261.

Welcome the auspicious Year of the Monkey with a grand feast and a vibrant celebration at Holiday Inn & Suites Makati! Gather your loved ones and celebrate on February 8 with a traditional Prosperity Toss at Flavors, highlighted by the ceremonial Dragon & Lion Dance. To book a table and for more information, please call Holiday Inn Makati at  +632 909-0888 or email

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with family and friends and enjoy the Phoenix Court's Chinese Set Menu. Price starts at P12,800 (plus 10% SC) for 6-8 persons. Try spotting your favorites: Steamed Lapu-Lapu Teochew Style, Deep Fried White Prawn with Salt and Pepper, Fried Rice Chicken and Duck with Salted Egg and Chilled Mango Sago Cream from Feb 5 to March 28, 2016! Phoenix Court is located at Bellevue Hotel in Alabang.  Please call (632) 771-8181 for inquiries and reservations.

Lung Hin Marco Polo Ortigas
Celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Fire Monkey with delicious, prosperous and auspicious spreads at Lung Hin and Cucina Restaurants in Marco Polo Ortigas.  Indulge in decadent servings of Peking Duck, BBQ Platter and Suckling Pig with Cucina’s prosperous buffet spread on February 8, 2016 for P2,200 per person (lunch buffet) and P2,700 (dinner buffet). Inclusive of tax and service charge.

Usher in the prosperous Lunar New Year of the Monkey at Lung Hin with two available 10-course set menus representing good fortune and good health on February 6 to 8, 2016 at P2,500++ and P3,500++ per diner for a minimum of 10 persons. Please call (+632) 720-7720 for reservations and inquiries.

There is a Chinese New Year tradition called 'Lo Hei Yu Sheng (Fortune Toss)' - a culinary symbol for abundance and prosperity at Jade Garden Restaurant. Each ingredient represents an auspicious wish. With chopsticks, diners mix and toss the colorful ingredients into the air to wish everyone growth and fortune with abundant wealth for the year ahead.  Jade Garden is located at 2nd level Glorietta 2. Please call 843-1361, 955-1808 for inquiries and reservations.

A Feast of Lucky Meal at Peking Garden welcomes the Year of the Fire Monkey! Enjoy a sumptuous set menu with Chinese lucky dishes to share and enjoy!  Peking Garden is located at 4/L Greenbelt 5 Phase 2, Ayala Center, Makati City.  Please call (6322) 729-0567 / 729-0719 for reservations and inquiries.

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

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