The significance of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the most celebrated public holiday in China, its popularity can be seen across the globe during its fifteen days of festivities. But what is Chinese New Year and how do we celebrate it?
Chinese New Year is about the coming together of family and friends, and celebrating the new lunar year. Eating, gifting and decorating are a big part of the festivities, and Yauatcha City and Yauatcha Soho are well and truly joining in on the fun.
The Year of the Rabbit at Yauatcha
The new lunar year is the Year of the Rabbit. Our talented culinary team has created a new, exclusive Chinese New Year menu with innovative flavours and ingredients relating to the Chinese zodiac. We have pineapple pastries and a dim sum masterclass to gift to loved ones, and we are hosting traditional lion dances within our decorated restaurants. Families and friends: we’re ready for you.
This year’s decadent menu hosts dishes designed to be shared amongst the table, featuring ingredients believed to bring good fortune and wealth in the new year. First up is a dim sum platter starring new and iconic Yauatcha dumplings alongside a floral scallop Cheung fun. We then have salt and pepper lobster tail, Sanpei rabbit and Angus striploin beef for the main course dishes. Our sides include XO Hong Kong King soy noodle and asparagus with garlic. For dessert, our patisserie team has created the new sweet sesame bunny petit gateau with fragrant yuzu and mandarin. The Year of the Rabbit menu is priced at £78 per guest and all dishes are on our a la carte menu until the 7th of February. We also have raspberry and Szechuan pepper macarons which are available to enjoy in the restaurants and from our patisserie counters to take away.
In keeping with the Year of the Rabbit, Yauatcha’s talented bar team member, Daniele Guarini, heads up the creative process behind this year’s new cocktail, the Bunny Sour. Made in collaboration with Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, the cocktail mixes this premium gin with apple, rosemary and a rabbit’s favourite snack, carrot. The Chinese symbol for rabbit represents elegance and patience which is synonymous with the colour pink and so Daniele creates a pretty, pink cocktail with refreshing, aromatic citrus notes. The Bunny Sour balances the rich and vibrant flavours in our Year of the Rabbit menu, making it the perfect beverage to complement the feast.
Gifting at Chinese New Year
Alongside our food and drink offering, we have two great gifts fit for the Chinese New Year occasion. The first is our traditional, sweet pineapple pastries. A symbol of bringing sweet life into the new year, pineapple pastries are synonymous with Chinese New Year, like mince pies are to Christmas. Made with caramelised pineapple jam encased in a buttery, crumbly pastry, our pineapple pastries are available for nationwide delivery until 7th February. Head to this website to purchase. Pop over to our patisserie counters for a takeaway box to enjoy the pastries at home or, of course, enjoy with us when dining at either of our restaurants.
The second of our festive gifts is the Chinese New Year dim sum masterclass. Guided by the expert chefs at Yauatcha City, students will learn the art of rolling, filling and folding six of Yauatcha’s steamed, fried and baked dim sum. The day begins with traditional Chinese tea, followed by the dim sum demonstration and creation. In celebration of Chinese New Year, the dim sum creations will be served for lunch alongside our new floral Cheung fun and signature crispy duck salad with the Bunny Sour cocktail. For dessert, we will serve our sweet sesame bunny petit gateau and a glass of champagne to toast the occasion. Our Chinese New Year masterclass takes place on Saturday 21st January, tickets are available here.
Traditional lion dances
Dining together and gifting for one another are just two of the ways we are celebrating Chinese New Year; another is with traditional lion dances. Thought to bring good luck and chase away evil spirits in the coming lunar year, the dance mimics the movements of a lion to music. Beating drums, clashing cymbals and booming gongs follow the lion as he dances to the beat. It’s incredibly fun, especially loud, and one to catch during the festivities.
Decorating for Chinese New Year
Another important aspect of Chinese New Year is decoration: houses, restaurants and streets are decorated with colourful lanterns and streamers throughout the period. Our Senior Graphic Designer, Wing Sum, showcases his creative skill with beautiful bespoke rabbit illustrations which embellish each restaurant outside and in. Using pink, symbolising good fortune, the design features a rabbit silhouette holding a lantern with rabbit ears to bring luck, joy and good health in the forthcoming year. At Soho, the design transforms the window façade on Broadwick Street, and inside the restaurant, the rabbit decorates the bar. Custom-made pink lanterns with bunny features hang from the ceiling, while at City the rabbit illustration decorates the interior staircase and patisserie counter, with a pink lantern display upon entering the restaurant.
As you can most probably tell, we thoroughly enjoy taking part in celebrating Chinese New Year. Our team are passionate about China’s most honoured holiday and look forward to every year. We can’t wait to celebrate with you and welcome in the Year of the Rabbit, a year we’re hoping will bring as much good luck and fortune as possible.