Spectacle and performance are both things we appreciate at Vada Magazine. Chinese New Year always has both of these, and for food lovers is an opportunity to explore Chinese cuisine. This year, the Year of the Dog is connected with fairness, morality and honour, and this year in particular with spiritual wealth over material wealth.
Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London this year, has chosen to collaborate with Emmy-nominated TV Chef and food author, Ching He Huang to create a Chinese New Year Menu for 2018’s Year of the Dog. The innovative Chinese dishes created by Ching and the hotel’s Executive Sous Chef, Daniel McGarey, will be available in TĪNG Lounge on level 35 of the hotel for one month, as of 16th February.
Ching’s creative food ethos is to use fresh, organic and ethically sourced ingredients to create modern dishes with Chinese heritage, fusing tradition with innovation. The new menu bridges cultural understanding in a contemporary and entertaining way, appealing to both the East and the West. We at Vada were able to sample this menu, below is a selection of what’s on offer.
A Cup of Prosperity – Three-cup Chicken with Pineapple ‘Shard’ £18
Chinese heritage and meaning: Chicken is traditionally served on a Chinese New Year menu. ‘Ji’ in Mandarin, the homonym for great fortune and profit, is expertly paired with pineapple, another symbol of wealth. The perfect dish to bring wealth and prosperity.
Vada’s thoughts: Never mind a single Cup of Prosperity, this moreish bowl can be eaten several times over – if you’re dining as a group don’t expect to share this one.
A Handful of Laughter and Happiness – Spicy Honey Garlic Prawns £13
Chinese heritage and meaning: Prawns are a symbol for laughter and happiness to the Chinese. ‘Har’ in Mandarin also means laughter; therefore prawns are a must for Chinese New Year.
Vada’s thoughts: The effort-to-reward ratio was not enough for us to go back for more. We advise these only for hardcore crustacean fans
A Sea of Wealth – Clams in Shrimpy Hot Black Bean Sauce £12
Chinese heritage and meaning: Clams resemble ‘coins’ in Chinese culture and also symbolise wealth. This dish marries Japanese Littleneck clams with ginger, chillies, pieces of shrimp and fermented salted black beans in an enriching sauce.
Vada’s thoughts: Little bowls of pleasure. For those wanting to try something unfamiliar yet comforting, this is the dish to try.
A Sprinkle of Wealth – Golden Tofu £11
Vada’s thoughts: This tasty vegetarian dish, deep fried to be crunchy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. Served with edible gold leaf adds a touch of luxury, and the piquant dipping sauce for a splash of spice.
A Bowl of Longevity – Zhajiang Noodles £16
Chinese heritage and meaning: Golden yellow noodles are a symbol of long life and promote good health. To ensure extra longevity, do not cut the noodles! This Beijing classic is made with fresh hand-pulled noodles, ‘Zhajiang mein’ (mixed sauce noodle). It features pork, one of the most popular meats in China, and delicately balances rich flavours to create a dish fresh for the Spring.
Vada’s thoughts: A must-choose bowl, and remember slurping may be OK but cutting the noodles is not.
In addition to the food menu, there are two specially designed cocktails:
- Silk Road (£16) complex, sophisticated and balanced – made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Lapsang Souchong, Noilly Prat dry, coconut water
- Lucky Dog (£16) for those wanting a different kind of sweet citrus hit – made with Rice wine, Grey Goose vodka, yuzu juice, sugar syrup, Ratafia liqueur
TĪNG Lounge located on level 35 of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU.
For more information and to book, visit ting-shangri-la.com.