As luxury restaurants and hotels across the world offer promotions for Chinese New Year to welcome an influx of global Chinese travelers, global Cantonese chain Hakkasan is going all out once again this year for the holiday at its 11 location worldwide. Its restaurants in locations including New York, the UAE, London, Shanghai, and more are featuring special Chinese New Year menus heavy on traditional holiday foods such as Mandarin oranges, as well as traditional activities such as a lion dance and wishing tree.
Running from January 13 to February 11 worldwide, the holiday menu starts off with a special-edition cocktail called the “Waltzing Collins,” a take on the Tom Collins that features Chinese spirit baijiu instead of gin. Named after the “waltz”-like mating dance that a male rooster users to attract a female, the mix of baijiu, sake, Prosecco, lemon, grenadine, cucumber, and the auspicious Mandarin orange is decorated with a photogenic golden rooster and dried orange slice. The most impressive part of the drink is the fact that the baijiu isn’t completely masked, but its flavor actually complements the sweet ingredients quite well with a gin-like quality. The attempt to blend baijiu in a cocktail successfully is no small feat, as many bartenders across the world have tried—and failed.
The food menu features traditional holiday dishes with rare and auspicious ingredients, starting off with the colorful “Fortune Tale” salad, a take on the “Prosperity Toss” or yusheng (魚生) that is a traditional Chinese New Year dish in Singapore and Malaysia. Featuring roasted chicken, jellyfish, mooli, and vegetables, the dish is tossed with sauce at the table for guests. It's followed by a platter of Hakkasan’s legendary dim sum, which includes har gau, scallop shumai, chive dumplings, and black pepper duck dumplings. A vegetarian option, meanwhile, offers dim sum with delicacies such as morel mushrooms and goji berries.
The main courses differ slightly across the locations globally—London’s location features a menu heavy on luxury ingredients, including fish maw and chicken soup, fried prawn with peppercorn, steamed turbot with saffron and supreme soup, sautéed duck breast in spicy bean sauce, and a three-mushroom dish with abalone sauce. The New York location mixes it up a bit—the wok-fried tiger prawn is made with lemongrass and chili, while other dishes include braised Chinese vegetables in bean curd skin, steamed Dover Sole with pumpkin, shiitake mushrooms, and ham, and braised abalone with fat choy and dried oyster.
The “Golden Feather” dessert continues with both the rooster theme and the incorporation of auspicious mandarin oranges, featuring a caramelized white chocolate “egg” resting in an edible nest. Cracking it open reveals a ginger panna cotta and Mandarin orange filling resembling an egg yolk. Roosters may not lay eggs, but that certainly didn’t make the creative dessert’s blend of orange and white chocolate any less delicious with its decadent take on a citrusy flavor.
The restaurant is also letting guests participate in special activities for the holiday. It’s continuing its tradition of encouraging guests to write their wishes for the year on slips of decorative red and gold ribbons and hang them in the restaurant, taking inspiration from the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees in Hong Kong. This year’s ribbons were designed by London illustrator Kam Tang, featuring a specially designed gold rooster emblem. For the most climactic activity, guests on January 28 will be treated to its annual lion dance, which will take place at restaurants worldwide.