Chinese New Year is coming up, which means eateries around the UAE will be celebrating the Year of the Rat with delicious feasts. Be it buffet selections, set menus or family-style meals, in fine-dining restaurants or low-key street food-style eateries, there is something for everyone this Spring Festival.
Festivities are kicking off in the next week, ahead of Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 25.
Asia Republic, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Asia Republic’s Chinese New Year spans the continent, with a set menu of siew mai, gyoza, pho laksa, stir-fried noodles and, of course, dim sum. Gather friends and family for the sharing plate menu in the cosy, laid-back eatery.
Friday to Thursday, January 24 to 30; Fridays, 12.30pm-11pm; Saturday to Thursday, 12.30-10pm; from Dh160; Asia Republic, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; www.atlantis.com/dubai
Asian5, various locations, Dubai
Asian street-food restaurant Asian5 is offering its Peking duck for just Dh79 this Chinese New Year at all three of its locations: Downtown Dubai, BurJuman and Dafza. Enjoy the duck with home-made steamed pancakes, spring onions and fresh cucumbers.
Thursday to Thursday, January 23 to 30; 11am-11pm; from Dh79; Asian5, Downtown, BurJuman and DAFZA, Dubai; www.asian5restaurant.com
Beluga, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
Beluga – Dubai’s only caviar dedicated restaurant – is hosting an alternative to a classic Chinese New Year, with a host of lavish dishes. Choose from a menu of delights that include tsarine potato with Russian Oscietra caviar, Angus beef tartare, shiso and yuzu with Beluga caviar and the restaurant’s signature dish, the Golden Cigar with Almas Caviar.
Ongoing, daily; Sunday to Wednesday from 2pm-11pm, Thursday to Friday, 2pm-2am, Saturdays, noon-11pm; Beluga, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai; 04 340 8882; www.mandarinoriental.com
Hakkasan, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Cantonese favourite Hakkasan has crafted a limited-edition set menu featuring plates such as diver scallops with taro mousseline and brown butter black bean sauce, salt crust fortune baked chicken, and a salted caramel ganache dessert. A live DJ performance between 7.30pm and 9.30pm every evening will also compliment the authentic experience.
Friday, January 24 to Saturday, February 8, 6pm-11pm; Chinese New Year menu costs Dh498, including one drink; Hakkasan, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; www.hakkasan.com/dubai
Hong Loong, Sofitel Dubai The Palm, Dubai
Hong Loong is serving up traditional cuisine this Chinese New Year. Visit live cooking stations to try a range of dishes, including Peking duck served with thin mandarin pancakes and sauteed lobster in XO sauce. Enjoy your meal in the dining area, or entertain family and friends in the restaurant’s private banquet room.
Daily until Saturday, January 31; 6.30pm-11.30pm; price TBC; Hong Loong, Sofitel Dubai The Palm, Dubai; 04 455 6677; email@example.com
Kaleidoscope, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Kaleidoscope is celebrating Chinese New Year with a selection of Chinese dishes at the buffet stations. It is also offering food from around the world, with fresh seafood, sushi, pasta and roasts on the lunch menu.
Ongoing, daily until Thursday, January 30; weekdays, 12.30pm-3.30pm, weekends, 12.30pm-4.30pm; Dh200 for adults, Dh100 for children aged 4 to 11; Kaleidoscope, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; www.atlantis.com/dubai
Mekong, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
On Friday and Saturday, January 24 and 25, pan-Asian eatery Mekong is serving a special Spring Festival set menu of prawn, chicken and vegetables dumplings, and main courses including roasted duck and fried kalian, with an exotic Asian fruits plate to finish.
Friday and Saturday, January 24 and 25; 6pm-11.30pm; Dh666 per couple, Dh999 per couple with selected beverages; 04 567 8304; www.anantara.com
Mosaico, Palazzo Versace Dubai
Palazzo Versace Dubai's Mosaico is hosting an opulent high tea to celebrate Chinese New Year. There will be a selection of teas, as well as sweet and savoury delicacies to enjoy. Highlights include gold Ingot chocolates, smoked salmon mille-feuille, and yu sheng raw fish salad, a traditional symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigour.
Thursday to Friday, January 23 to 31; 10.30am-7pm; Dh300 per couple, Dh400 per couple including two glasses of sparkling grape; Mosaico, Palazzo Versace Dubai, Za'abeel, Dubai; www.palazzoversace.ae
Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley with a Chinese-inspired high tea. Enjoy small-bite oriental specialties such as smoked duck with spiced pineapple in a beetroot bun, truffle egg mayo with chive in a squid ink bun, smoked salmon roll with spicy mayo and vegetable spring rolls. Sweet dishes include traditional nian gao mini-tarts, Macau-style egg custard tartlets, orange mandarin drizzle cake and a fortune cookie containing a surprise gift.
Wednesday to Saturday, January 15 to 31; 12.30pm-6pm; Dh178 per person; Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; waldorfastoria3.hilton.com
Saffron, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Atlantis, The Palm’s all-day eatery Saffron will lay on a special Chinese-themed dinner with no fewer than 220 dishes to choose from. Like a culinary tour of the expansive country, expect a Peking duck station and a selection of steamed buns from northern China, Sichuan hot pots from central China and seafood dishes inspired by the eastern provinces, rice noodles from the south and spicy Sichuan dishes from the west. There will also be a vast dim sum selection, a raw bar and oysters. Diners can expect daily lion dances from January 24 to 26 from 7pm until 8pm, and a fireworks display on Friday, January 24 at 8pm.
Friday to Thursday, January 24 to 30; 6pm-11pm; Dh265 for adults, Dh132.50 for children aged 4 to 11; Saffron, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; www.atlantis.com/dubai
Shake Shack, various locations, across the UAE
For Chinese New Year, Shake Shack is adding a selection of new dishes to its menus. Try the Szechuan Burger, a cheeseburger topped with chili garlic pickled cucumber, crispy onions, lettuce and Szechuan mayo; the Szechuan Chick'n; crispy chicken breast tossed in chilli oil, topped with chilli garlic pickled cucumber, shredded lettuce and Szechuan mayo; or the Szechuan Cheese Fries, topped with Shack cheese sauce, veal bacon, scallions, chlili oil and Szechuan sesame seasoning.
Available from Thursday, January 16; various times; a la carte prices; facebook.com/shakeshackme
The Asian Village, Al Habtoor City, Dubai
Escape Dubai and step into Chinatown at Habtoor Palace Garden’s Asian Village from Thursday to Friday, January 23 to 25. Expect market stalls to sample mouthwatering street food, including Chinese classics such as satay, spring rolls and dumplings. There will also be a Chinese arts and crafts section, and a daily Chinese Lion dance performance. Each day has a special entertaining element including an Asian music ensemble, Cosplay contest and ballet performance. Entrance is completely free.
Thursday to Friday, January 23 to 25; 5pm-10pm; free; The Asian Village, Habtoor Palace Gardens, Al Habtoor City, Dubai; www.habtoorhospitality.com
Trader Vic’s, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Dubai
Trader Vic’s JBR is celebrating Chinese New Year with Chinese delicacies and entertainment, including a Lion Dance performance on Thursday, January 23 at 7pm. The menu is made up of yee sang, a salad with shredded vegetable, and crispy wonton soaked in hoisin dressing (Dh55); chicken dumpling (Dh45) and pumpkin shiitake rolls (Dh45), with nian gao, a glutinous rice cake with coconut caramel sauce and crispy peanut (Dh40) for dessert.
Thursday to Saturday, January 23 to 25; 4pm-3am; a la carte prices; Trader Vic’s, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 318 2530; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.hilton.com/dubai
Zhen Wei, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a six course set menu at Zhen Wei, a contemporary pan-Asian restaurant at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai. Expect Chinese lanterns and fortune cookies.
Saturday, January 25 to Monday, February 17; Dh350 per person; Zhen Wei, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai; www.atlantis.com/dubai
Dai Pai Dong, Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Chic eatery Dai Pai Dong is the place to go for a luxe Chinese New Year dining experience this January. On Friday, January 24, attend the Year of the Hog farewell dinner, with a hot-pot evening brunch from 6pm until 11pm for Dh388, or Dh488 with house beverages. On New Year itself, Saturday, January 25, the Rosewood Abu Dhabi eatery is welcoming the Year of the Rat with an All-Day Prosperity Feast. Dine for any four hours of your choice from noon until 11pm. Menu options include trolleys that will pass through the venue, serving fresh salads, dim sum varieties and an array of desserts, including the traditional Chinese New Year’s cake, and mains of wok-fried sea bass, prawns and Wagyu beef striploin. From Sunday, January 26 until Monday, February 10, there will be a special family-style set menu on offer. The set menu starts with the customary prosperity toss salad and dim sum, followed by home-style soups and barbecue specialties, braised abalone with mushrooms and wok-fried Wagyu beef with black pepper, to name just a few dishes.
Friday, January 24 to Monday, February 10; various times; Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 813 5550; www.rosewoodhotels.com
Hakkasan, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi’s Hakkasan is serving a three-course set menu, designed by Chef Andrew Yeo. The menu comprises of a selection of dishes, including golden treasure pockets with abalone and wild mushrooms; wok-fried Scottish scallop with taro mousseline and brown butter black bean sauce and the Lucky Jie dessert, a salted caramel ganache with mandarin, chilli and cocoa.
Friday, January 24 to Saturday, February 8, 6pm-11pm; Dh498; Hakkasan, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; www.hakkasan.com/abu-dhabi
Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
From Friday, January 24 until Saturday, February 8, celebrate the Year of the Rat at Shang Palace. The eatery will serve an authentic Cantonese dinner consisting of eight courses from 7pm until 11pm. The meal stars with a selection of hot and hot starters, followed by squirrel-shaped sea bass and deep-fried crispy garlic-flavoured lamb, and a classic dessert. Plus, two Mahjong tables will also be set up at Shang Palace for families and friends to enjoy the traditional Chinese.
Friday, January 24 to Saturday, February 8; 7pm-11pm; Dh288; Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi; 02 509 8888; www.shangri-la.com/abudhabi