A Golden Rat, Fancy Chicken, and Mango Koi for a New Year Celebration
The year of the Golden Rat begins on Saturday, January 25. According to Chinese lore, the Jade Emperor declared he would decide which animals would be zodiac signs based on the finishers of a race. The clever rat was the smallest of the lot, but he was the most strategic too. He asked the sturdy ox if he could hitch a ride across a river, and once across, scurried across the finish line before the ox could lumber over. That’s why the rat is the first among the 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac.
We celebrated Chinese New Year early with an 8 Treasure roast chicken by Dedet dela Fuente, more popularly known as the Lechon Diva of Pepita’s Kitchen. The boneless, golden brown chicken was bursting with Chinese sausage, chestnuts, salted egg yolks, mushrooms, cashews, dates, glutinous rice, and Chinese ham. What a flavorful delight.
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Nian Gao, known to Filipinos as tikoy, is a sweet long associated with the New Year. Traditionally made of glutinous rice flour, the delicacy has lately been ratcheted up several notches. Makati Shangri-La’s nian gao comes in the shape of swimming koi, redolent of mango.
The Year of the Dashing Golden Rat celebration takes place at the New World Makati Hotel, led by Patrick Lim Fernandez of the Yin and Yang Shop of Harmony. Lim combines his business and finance background with traditional Feng Shui to give analytically sound readings. The countdown starts at 10 p.m. with dim sum and cocktails. At midnight, fireworks and the Lion and Dragon dance start off the New Year dinner.
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Wear Asian-inspired jewelry with your red finery to ring in the New Year. Natori introduces its first fine jewelry collection, with bamboo designs encrusted with semi-precious gemstones featured in its East-meets-West concept.
Photos of jewelry courtesy of Natori