Although Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) is still a couple of weeks away, it’s never too early to start looking for ways to celebrate.
The Year of the Dragon begins on February 10 and there are several restaurants celebrating with a one-off dinner, brunch, set menu or special a la carte dishes.
As festivities kick off, here are some places to usher in the occasion.
The Michelin-starred restaurant will have a limited-edition menu in both their Abu Dhabi and Dubai locations. A collaborative creation – Smoked Eight Treasure Duck – by executive chefs from Hakkasan Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha will be the centrepiece. Other dishes include wishes of prosperity dim sum duo from Hakkasan Riyadh and wild red king prawn with braised dragon Beard Noodles from Hakkasan London.
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi will have their limited-edition menu until February 24, which is priced at Dh488. Meanwhile, Hakkasan Dubai will have a special eight-course menu, priced at Dh788 with dishes, such as a lobster salad with nashi pear, persimmon, dragon fruit and lime dressing and claypot Galician sea bass with spring onion and pepper.
On February 9 and 10, there will be a lion dance performance at both locations starting at 8pm. There will also be a wishing ribbon ritual in which guests can write their wishes for the new year on the ribbons hung throughout the restaurants.
February 9 through 24; 6pm-11.30pm; prices vary; 02 690 7739 (Abu Dhabi) or 04 426 0752 (Dubai); www.hakkasan.com
Guests can enjoy new dishes for the occasion, starting from Dh105, including a yee sang prosperity salad featuring salmon sashimi and yuzu dressing, lobster prawn toast with yuzu mustard aioli, longevity noodles with Boston lobster, as well as a whole steamed sea bass with ginger, scallion and soya. Themed drinks are also available for pairing.
Dishes from the Ling Ling a la carte menu can also be ordered. Children under 10 are welcome for family dining but must depart by 8.30pm.
February 10 through 24; 6pm-1am; prices vary; Atlantis The Royal; 056 997 1642; www.linglingdubai.com
Ring in the Year of the Dragon with Secret Parties at the Naughty Noodles Brunch at Maiden Shanghai, Five Palm Jumeirah. On the menu for guests to enjoy are items, such as boom boom chicken, crispy seafood roll, dim sum, kung pao prawns, wild mushroom with smoked chilli and a selection of desserts.
February 10 and 17; 12.30pm-4pm; packages start at Dh350; Maiden Shanghai, Five Palm Jumeirah; www.secret-parties.com
The Bluewaters Dubai venue is hosting a “dragon feast”. On arrival, Shi guests will take a traditional red envelope, symbolising good luck and prosperity, from the bonsai trees at the entrance.
A dragon-themed welcome drink awaits diners, along with dishes, such as dragon fruit tiger prawn, crispy duck maki roll with volcano sauce, braised lamb pot, Wagyu beef with black vinegar and the chef’s special desert.
February 5 through 11; Dh400 per person, free for children under 6; Bluewaters Dubai; 04 393 9990; www.shirestaurant.com
Welcoming guests with traditional fortune cookies, Sea Fu will present a new dish for the occasion – crispy orange baby chicken bao bun. Guests can also write their wishes for the Lunar New Year and hang them from the olive tree on the terrace. They will also receive a lucky card, containing a complimentary offering of small bites to be enjoyed throughout their visit.
February 9 through 11; 12.30pm-10.30pm; prices vary; Four Seasons Resort Dubai; 04 270 7770; www.seafudubai.com
Trader Vic’s Dubai
A Chinese New Year’s themed brunch will be held at Trader Vic’s, Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah, on February 10. Expect live entertainment, meat stations, sharing plates and more.
February 10; 1pm-4pm; packages start at Dh350; Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah; 04 230 0073; www.hilton.com
A specially curated menu awaits at Shanghai Me’s Dragon Unleashed event with dishes, such as temari dragon rolls, creamy lobster soup, Chinese style salmon sashimi and scallop xiao long bao.
On February 10 at 7.30pm, there will be a celebration featuring a lion dance and calligrapher who will be on hand to write the names of guests on red paper. Diners will also receive a traditional red envelope and have the chance to win prizes.
February 7 through 22; 12pm-4pm and 6pm-midnight; prices vary; DIFC; 04 564 0505, shanghaime-restaurant.com
The restaurant in One&Only Royal Mirage will have a “Taste of Abundance Reunion Dinner”, featuring a customary prosperity toss or raw fish salad meant to symbolise prosperity. The menu features yee-sang (prosperity toss salad), chicken dumplings, dragon roll, Peking duck and Chinese mango pudding.
February 9 through 10; noon-11pm; Dh388 per person excluding beverages; One&Only Royal Mirage; 04 315 2412; www.oneandonlyresorts.com
A sharing-plate menu is on offer for Dubai diners, including crispy lemon grass chicken, Asian-style buttermilk prawn, osmanthus plum-baked Chilean sea bass and cornfed chicken. There will also be a dim sum selection that includes har gow and chicken shumai as well as desserts.
A wish tree will stand at the entrance of Xu as a symbol of good luck, prosperity and positive energy for the coming year. Guests can share their hopes by writing them on wishing cards to adorn the tree.
February 9 through 17; Sunday to Wednesday, 6pm-1am, Thursday to Saturday, 6pm-3am; Kempinski Hotel at Mall of the Emirates; 04 394 6252; www.xudubai.ae
Moli by Shi
Diners who visit the newly opened venue in Dubai Hills Business Park can try out a four-course set menu with dishes, such as dragon fruit tiger prawn and crispy Angus beef eggplant roll; followed by a selection of dim sum featuring lobster dumplings, Angus beef kimchi and prawn har gau. There will also be live entertainment in the form of lion dancers on February 9 and 10 at 7pm.