Lunar New year dishes

Spice Temple rings in Lunar New Year

恭喜發財 Gong Xi Fa Cai
Happy Chinese New Year

 

If ever a New Year needs good luck, it’s 2022 and Spice Temple is embracing the Chinese custom of hustling in fortuitous times with feasts of auspicious dishes planned for the coming Lunar New Year celebrations.

Executive Chef of regional Chinese restaurants Spice Temple Sydney and Melbourne Andy Evans, and Melbourne Head Chef Joshua Kerr have curated Chinese banquet menus to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. The Lunar New Year banquets are available from Tuesday, 1 February to Sunday, 13 February for lunch and dinner sittings at Spice Temple in Sydney and from Wednesday, 2 February to Sunday, 13 February at Spice Temple Melbourne.

The special banquet menus have food symbolism at the fore: purse-shaped pipis that represent fortune, fish that symbolises life and abundance, eggs that signify fertility, and red ingredients that stand for prosperity and happiness in traditional Chinese culture.

Chef Andy explains that the symbolism of traditional Chinese New Year foods is embraced, and lucky foods consumed, during the annual celebrations as individuals send off the old year and seek good fortune for the coming year.

“The Lunar New Year is the most sacred festival in Chinese culture and family and friends traditionally come together to feast on foods that are symbolic of all they wish to achieve in the year ahead, while foods that are considered taboo are avoided,” he explains. 

“Our Chinese banquet menus have been designed with good luck in mind, and we like to think they will help bestow prosperity, happiness, peace, love and other aspects of good fortune on our guests in line with their Lunar New Year beliefs and rituals.” 

At Spice Temple Melbourne, Josh Kerr has included a dish called Buddha’s Delight or Lo Han Jai, which is a quintessential Buddhist vegetarian dish that is a highlight of Chinese New Year menus. 

“Slow-cooked, incorporating a beautiful selection of vegetables and robust in flavours, it is traditionally eaten on the first day of the Chinese New Year to welcome luck and prosperity,” he said.

“Another symbolic Chinese New Year dish is our Tang Yuan, or sweet rice dumplings, the pronunciation of which is very similar to the Chinese phrase meaning togetherness and the gathering of families.”

The regional Chinese banquet menus cost $139 per person, including a Tiger cocktail on arrival. An optional wine pairing is available for $85 per person

 

Spice Temple Sydney

运气 Luck
Pickled cucumbers with mint and garlic
Baby tomatoes with strange flavour dressing
Roasted cashews with basil

繁荣 Prosperity
Raw tuna ‘Yu Sheng’
Tea eggs with superior soy

財富 Wealth
Pork and garlic chive spring rolls

幸运 Fortune
Pipis with pork and Shaoxing wine
寿 Longevity
Steamed Murray Cod with King Brown mushrooms and curry leaves
和谐 Peace
Wu Xi new year pork ribs

幸福 Happiness 
Roast duck with pancakes and tamarind
丰产 Fertility
Stir fried cauliflower with salted duck egg
Love
Treacle tart with jasmine chantilly cream

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Spice Temple Melbourne

幸运 Fortune 
Pickled lotus root 
Sichuan-style pickled cucumber and shiitake

繁荣 Prosperity  
Yu Sheng – raw Yellow Fin tuna, daikon, hot and sour dressing, spiced orange oil

幸福 Happiness  
Drunken abalone, Huadiao wine, Chinese wolfberry
寿 Longevity  
Stir-fried egg noodles with scallop and XO

金钱 Money 
Grilled Spencer Gulf prawns, roasted chilli and coriander dressing
 Love 
Roast pork, Chinese mustard, pickles

財富 Wealth 
Glazed duck breast, steamed bread pockets, hoisin, leek and cucumber
 Rejuvenation  
Buddha’s Delight – braised baby vegetables and tofu
 Love  
Tang Yuan – sweet rice dumplings
和谐 Peace

Osmanthus flower jelly

Dishes may vary due to produce availability.