Food

This Chinese New Year, Spiral is Serving Up a Banquet Fit for an Emperor

Celebrate the Year of the Dog by feasting like a king.
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Sofitel’s Spiral has always been known for pulling out all the stops when it comes to their sumptuous buffets. Their Chinese New Year menu is no different: it includes delicacies from all over China, some of which have traditionally been served to the Emperor.

Take, for example, the Dezhou Braised Chicken, which is stuffed with mushrooms and various spices. It was created in Shandong province, during the reign of Emperor Guangzu of the Qing Dynasty. And no Chinese feast would be complete without the Beijing Style Peking Duck Wrap, which enjoyed by the Mongol emperor of the Imperial Yuan Dynasty.


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“The Year of the Dog is all about the Chinese concept of He Jia Huan Le, which means felicity and intense happiness in the family, bringing about positive relationships,” says resident Chinese Chef Michael Tai. “I have prepared a grand feast for families to share as they welcome prosperity, happiness, and good fortune into their lives.”

Each dish symbolizes some form of good fortune, be it prosperity or good health. During the ancient Ming Dynasty, the Drunken Pork Knuckle was often given to new mothers in order to restore their strength. Couple who are still hoping to conceive should try the Braised Sea Cucumber with Beef Tendon, which is supposedly “extremely lucky” for new families. This is because “haishen”—the Chinese word for sea cucumber—sounds like “sheng,” which means “to give birth.”


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Drunken Pork Knuckle

If you’re hoping for a more prosperous year, try the Braised Abalone with Goose Web, which symbolizes wealth and abundance. The Steamed Fish Roll with Minced Mutton combines three auspicious ingredients in one dish. After all, the Chinese character for sheep is often used as a lucky charm. Fish and rolls also represent prosperity and wealth.


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Salt and Pepper Sea Mantis

The menu includes quite a few unusual and exotic dishes, too. If you love lobster, try the Cantonese Salt and Pepper Sea Mantis. Aside from salted egg yolk crab, fried eel with spicy sauce, prawns with cereal butter, and fried chicken wings, the Dragon and Phoenix Platter also includes black pepper crocodile. In place of the actual mythical creatures, the chicken stands for a phoenix, while the prawns, eel, crab, and crocodile all symbolize the dragon.


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Dragon and Phoenix Platter

The frog legs or Kung Pao Fried Legs are popular in the Sichuan region. The Double Boiled Bird’s Nest with Rock Sugar soup is concocted using “premium sweetened saliva” of Indonesian wild edible-nest swiftlets. If the idea of ingesting bird saliva puts you off, just think that it’s considered the “Caviar of the East.” End your meal with some Sha Qui Ma, a Chinese crispy rice cake which is rarely found in the Philippines.


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Sha Qui Ma

The festivities don’t stop there—Spiral’s celebration includes a traditional Dragon Dance and performances by Chinese acrobats. Frankly, we can’t think of any better way to welcome the Year of the Dog. 


Spiral’s Chinese New Year buffet will be available from February 15 to 18. For reservations, call +632 832 6988 or e-mail [email protected].

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Angelica Gutierrez
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