Chinese New Year (and the more widely celebrated Lunar New Year) commences on February 8 this year and as always, the celebrations are synonymous with good food and good times. The most popular restaurants in the GTA barely need to advertise, they've been accepting pre-orders for special dishes and emailing out set menus for weeks.
While slipping the host a big fat red pocket might lessen the wait for a table, there are several special menus on offer and reservations are accepted.
Here's where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Toronto this year.
Celebrate CNY at Susur Lee's restaurant at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel where three prix fixe menus featuring dim sum, duck, whole sea bass and more on offer between February 2 and February 21. Opt for a six course menu priced at $88, eight courses for $138, or a 'special' 8 course menu priced at $168 featuring Lobster Yi Mein.
The modern Chinese restaurant on Spadina is running eight specials representing the lucky number between the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day (from February 8 to the 14). Highlights include crispy Sichuan pigs ears, Buddha's Delight soup, steamed whole snapper and Niangao, a New Year's cake with caramel, cinnamon and almond ice cream.
The Taiwanese snack bar in Cabbagetown rings in the Year of the Monkey with a multi-course menu on February 1. Highlights include the Double Happiness Fish Fry (a whole wok-fried lake trout) and the Pot of Gold (a simmering pot of slow-cooked pork shank). Tickets are $65 and must be bought in advance.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with High Tea in the lobby at the Shangri-La. The two week celebration kicks off on February 8 with a traditional Lion Dance, while a menu of dumplings, rice rolls, matcha and red bean cakes, sesame balls and more will be offered until February 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Adults can partake for $44 per guest while children are priced at $25.
The Drake Hotel
The weekly 86'd Monday at The Drake will be a Chinese New Year edition on February 8 at 8 p.m.. The event is free to attend and will feature a competitive cook-off, classic dim sum, fun fortune cookies and free samples of Tsingtao Beer.
Drake One Fifty
Chef Jon Pong's Year of the Monkey Feast takes place on February 8. Celebrate the first night of Chinese New Year with a menu featuring fried rice with salt cod, duck confit, sizzling black bean lobster Chow Mein, roast suckling pig and mango pudding and banana fritters for dessert. Order a la carte or opt for a family style menu priced at $45 per person.
The Bloor Street bar celebrates the Year of the Monkey on Monday, February 8 with an evening of East meets West culinary treats, boozy Bubble tea concoctions and $5 Woodhouse Lager tall cans.
The chain of Hong Kong eateries is offering 30% off its signature special chicken for orders placed before February 6, for pick up on February 7. Those that want to dine-in will find special set menus on offer too.
Dragon Pearl Buffet
The all your can eat buffet restaurant near York Mills and Leslie is a hub of festivities over the Chinese New Year. Look forward to plenty of dishes that represent prosperity including the longevity noodles, the Lion Dance and live performances.
Bring the whole fam' to this restaurant on Steeles near Warden where groups of ten can take advantage of the Happiness Meal, a multitude of courses featuring BBQ suckling pig with jellyfish, stuffed king oyster mushrooms, and sautéed lobster. The meal is priced at $1298 or $798 if you bring cash.
Perfect Chinese Restaurant
The 24-hour restaurant in Scarborough isn't running any special promotions, but you'll still find plenty of celebratory dishes to ring in the Lunar New Year. Look forward to dim sum, suckling pig, and whole fish presentations.
This large family restaurant celebrates the Lunar New Year with a special set menu. Priced at $398, the feast will feed 10 to 12 guests an abundance of seafood dishes including lobster, abolone and more.
The Mandarian and Szechuan specialist near Pacific Mall is sure to be a hot spot for CNY celebrations. The restaurant is famous for its peking roasted duck and also offers set menus for groups of six, eight, or ten ($138 to $268).
This large restaurant chain boasts locations downtown as well as in Scarborough, Markham and North York that have become staple destinations for Chinese New Year celebrations. Not advertised online (they'll email it upon request) are set menus for big groups starting at $288 for a feast of peking duck, lobster and more.
What did I miss? Add more restaurants to the comments.
Photo of Luckee by Jesse Milns.
by Liora Ipsum via blogTO