(SPOT.ph) Though some practices have changed—apparently you can give and receive electronic ang pao now—the festive spirit of the Lunar New Year is still the same: The sense of all things loud, red, and vaguely dragon-shaped hangs in the air, as does the promise of excellent food. It’s best to mark the special occasion with a feast, and what else can really guarantee you a feast, other than a hotel?
Let’s be real: we’re never not going to love Chinese food—with the flavors and textures and centuries of familiarity, there’s just no way we’ll lose our fondness for it. So—and just for this one aspect—it’s okay to go along with it, even if the traditions are a little lost on you. Because hey, at least the eating’s good.
Here are the must-try Lunar New Year dining specials you can find in hotels:
Chinese New Year Feast at Seda BGC
Rates start at P1,088/person
Misto hasn’t let us down before, and it seems they don’t intend to start—at least not on January 25. From 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., you’ll find an international lunch buffet with a special spotlight on Chinese dishes, including Peking Duck, Lobster with Dim Sum and all the noodles you could ever want. And at that price point, you’ll start the year off prosperous either way.
Misto is at G/F Seda BGC, 30th Street corner 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. For reservations, call 7945-8888.
Prosperi-Eats at Midas Hotel & Casino
Rates start at P1,800/person
Hitting a buffet is a bit on-the-nose for Chinese New Year, but if a spread like the one at Midas is on the table, we’ll gladly pray that the amount of food is reflective of our luck for the Year of the Metal Rat. On January 25, you can enjoy a real feast of Roasted Duck, Chili Crabs, Butterfly Prawns with Peking Sauce, and Hong Kong Seafood Noodles—for longevity, of course—just to name a few things. Talk about abundance; make sure to mark your calendar!
Midas Hotel & Casino is at 2702 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. For reservations, call 7902-0100.
Wealthy and Fortune Menus at Crowne Plaza
Rates start at P12,888/table of four
At Xin Tian Di, a group of four can go for the Wealthy Menu, which includes the Fortune Yu Sheng, or the Prosperity Toss salad before warming up with Shredded Sea Abalone Soup. To symbolize abundance, there are main courses like Deep Fried Crispy Sea Bass Fillet with Teriyaki Dressing and Xin Tian Di’s famous Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce. But if you’re really looking to party—as in, with a crowd of 10—the Fortune Menu starts at P26,888. Both menus are available until January 31.
Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria is at Ortigas Avenue corner Asian Development Bank Avenue, Ortigas Center, Quezon City. For reservations, call 8633-7222.
Chinese New Year Set Menus at Shangri-La at The Fort
Rates start at P31,888/table of 10
There are three menus available at this Shangri-La, so we’ll take you through it nice and easy: They all start with Norwegian Salmon Yee Sang—another version of the Prosperity Toss—and they all serve at least 10, so you’re going to want to call an aunt or two. With seafood and pork galore—including Crispy Prawn Balls in Osmanthus-Orange Sauce with Seasonal Fruits, because it’s go big or go home around here—you’re sure to find a menu to your liking. Choose from the Spring, Longevity, and Prosperity menus. (Pro tip: If your group loves dim sum, the Masterclass Family Menu might be more up your street.)
Shangri-La at The Fort is at 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. For reservations, call 8820-0800.
Chinese New Year Set Menus at the Manila Hotel
Rates start at P3,888
Red Jade at the Manila Hotel showcases the Lo Hei Salmon salad, which isn’t one you’ll turn your nose up at—the marbling on the salmon looks pretty top-notch. On its own, it’s P1,288, but if you’re opting for the set menu (starts at P3,888) and you’re not much for salad, the tender Braised Boneless Pork Leg with Sea Moss might be the dish you gravitate towards.
The Manila Hotel is at 1 Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila City. For reservations, call 8527-0011.
Year of the Metal Rat Dinner Buffet at Heritage Hotel
Rates start at P1,474/person
The Heritage Hotel likes to go all out, and their approach to dim sum and all that accompanies it is no different. On January 25, you and your family will be in for a luxurious treat without breaking the bank—from the wide selection of dumplings—traditional and niche alike—to Clay Pot Rice and Roast Duck. And again, nothing says “abundance” like a good buffet.
Heritage Hotel is at Roxas Boulevard corner EDSA, Manila City. For reservations, call 8854-8888.
Crystal Dragon’s Set Menus at City of Dreams
Rates start at P3,080/person
Here’s another nod to the Prosperity Toss: Crystal Dragon’s take on Yu Sheng is lush with abalone, chopped peanuts, radish, ginger, and pomelo, and finished with a plum sauce dressing. Choose from two set menus good for four to six people: The seven-course Happiness Menu includes Steamed Dried Oyster Stuffed in Bean Curd Skin, Deep Fried Crab Claws, and Wok-fried Nian Gao, while the eight-course Magnificent Menu includes Steamed Cod Fish Fillet with Black Truffle Sauce and Wok-fried Tiger Prawn with Creamy Butter Lemon Sauce, among others. This is available for lunch and dinner until January 31.
City of Dreams Manila is at Aseana Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque City. For reservations, call 8800-8080.
Majestic Feasts at Hilton Manila
Rates start at P15,888/table of six
Hua Yuan - Brasserie Chinoise consistently serves up Shanghai-style spreads that are as eye-catching as they are mouthwatering, so you can bet your money on them come the Lunar New Year. Menu highlights include the Szechuan-style Poached Chicken, Double-Boiled Black Chicken with Ginseng Soup, and Braised Noodles with Buttered Lobster. This is the one time you might resent the fact you have to bring at least five other people.
Hilton Manila is at 1 Newport Blvd, Pasay. For reservations, call 7239-7788.
Year of the Rat-Inspired Dinner at Crimson Hotel
Rates start at P2,150/person
This is a countdown feast at Café Eight that you can enjoy from the moment you read this (ha!) until January 25 between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s a trip for all the senses, given the colorful dishes and aromatic ingredients—look out for the Shanghai Smoked Fish, Peking Duck, and the Hainanese Chicken—plus the fee covers unlimited juices, sodas, local beers, and wines. And if you still want to live it up on January 26, their Sunday Brunch with Chinese classics and fun activities go for P2,100.
Crimson Hotel is at 2609 Civic Drive, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. For reservations, call 8863-2222.
Ringing in the Year of the Rat at Diamond Hotel
Rates start at P3,180/person
Corniche at Diamond Hotel will not be outdone—from January 23 to 26, Chef Yang Yong will be preparing his best Chinese specialties to mark the New Year, such as a Mixed Seafood Hot Pot, Fish Mao Soup with Wolfberries, and Stir-Fried Crabs with Pepper Sauce, and some Yusheng (Prosperity Salad), of course. With a minimum spend of P5,000 at this buffet, you also get a chance to pick something off of the hotel’s Prosperity Tree and win some premium prizes.
Diamond Hotel is at Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila City. For reservations, call 8528-3000.