Juggling consulting work at Lotus Blue and other freelance consulting gigs, I almost neglected my own family’s reunion dinner for Chinese New Year. But since we were entering the Chinese zodiac’s dragon year it would have been improper not to have a grand celebration to welcome it. Among the flurry of my activities I staged a sumptuous Dragon Chinese New Year banquet for a small group of family and friends.
Symbolism is important in the Chinese culture. They believe the dragon year is an auspicious one for having a baby, especially a son. In fact the Chinese population is expected to increase by 10 percent during the year. Among my extended family I’ve already received notice from three young couples that they are expecting babies during the year. Perhaps these are just coincidences but I’m tempted to think a high degree of planning was at play.
Symbolism in food is just as prevalent in Chinese culinary culture. The Chinese name for lobster is dragon prawn (龍蝦) and it is very popular to name a lobster dish with a poetic flourish. For the first hot course of the banquet I created a lobster and chicken dish with crisp garlic garnish and called it “Dragon Accompanying Phoenix in Welcoming the New Year” (龍鳳喜迎春).
So here is our Chinese New Year banquet in pictures. Best wishes to all for a prosperous and healthy New Year.
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Absolutely spectacular. A very auspicious start to the New Year!
Each dish a work of art.
Kian – I really do not know how you do it! Great, inventive menu and photos.
Gorgeous yet again! Kian, will you post a recipe with jellyfish some time? My boyfriend and I love it, and eat it all the time at restaurants, but we can’t figure out how to make it at home. We get the jellyfish in the pouches, but when we take out the jellyfish it always smells like preservative.
Sure Ana. I’ll keep this in mind for future post. I love jellyfish as well. Many of my guests often comment that I rarely not serve jellyfish at my meals. They want me to do other appetizers instead. Oh well.
Kian, as usual, a visual feast. When you get a chance, I’d love to hear more about which other of the dishes presented carry symbolic connotations.
I’m a Singaporean living in London and missed celebrating Lunar New Year with my folks in Singapore this year. Right now, I’m eating cereal in milk for supper … the cereal was great until I saw THIS! Wow! How did you do this? Each dish is superb and must have taken you ages to prepare AND cook. How does one cook a spread like this and still be able to spend time at the table with the diners? By the way, I love your blog … I think you’re utterly talented!
What a gorgeous way to start the year off. Incredible!
Wow…. what a nice feast to start the New Year.