Where to celebrate the Year of the Pig in Melbourne

Photo: Dishes from Spice Temple's Chinese New Year menu

The Lunar New Year takes place on 5 February 2019, ushering in the Year of the Pig. Whether you celebrate with family according to tradition or you’re just enthusiastic about Chinese culture, there are plenty of places to honour the passing of another year – with excellent food in hand, of course. Here are our suggestions for where to see in the Year of the Pig.

Supernormal

Three new, especially lucky, dishes are hitting the Supernormal menu for the Year of the Pig. Whole mud crab, a symbol of prosperity, paired with a numbing Sichuan spice mix; whole white-cut chicken to represent families coming together and Xiamen-style spring rolls for good fortune are on offer for next week only. Developed by head development chef Ben Pollard, who spent three years working and travelling around China, the Chinese New Year specials will sit alongside the usual bao, dumplings and noodles that Supernormal offers.

Available at lunch and dinner, 5-10 February 2019. Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, (03) 9650 8688, supernormal.net.au


Items from The Windsor's Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea

The Windsor

Sure, you might associate Hotel Windsor with afternoon tea. But for two weeks in February, the tiered towers at this upmarket hotel will get a Sino spin, thanks to Sunda chef Khanh Nguyen. Nguyen has created a special menu to celebrate the Year of the Pig, including ribbon (or finger) sandwiches filled with five spice pork, salmon and pickled ginger, and egg paired with soy and coriander. Meanwhile, head pastry chef Jérémie Parmentier has created a dessert of matcha sponge, pineapple compote, strawberry confit and vanilla ganache and dubbed it koi, for its resemblance to the lucky Chinese fish. Oh, and did we mention there’ll be prawn toast?

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea, $75 Monday-Friday (includes glass of sparkling), $99 Saturday-Sunday (includes glass of sparkling). 5-19 February 2019. Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring St, Melbourne, thehotelwindsor.com.au, (03) 9633 6000.


The Koi dessert at The Windsor

Spice Temple

It’s all about eating for good luck at Neil Perry’s regional Chinese restaurant, where a nine-course banquet full of auspicious ingredients will be on offer throughout the Lunar New Year period. From tea eggs, a symbol of wealth, to mung bean noodles, which signify longevity (the longer the noodle, the better!), the dishes from Andy Evans and Neisha Woo are guaranteed to get your year off to a cracking start. Less symbolic but equally tempting are the roast pork belly with black fungi and pickled greens, and the mapo-style braised duck.

Nine-course banquet $99, matched wines additional $55. Available at lunch and dinner, 1-10 February 2019. Spice Temple, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, spicetemple.com.au, (03) 8679 1888.

Chinatown

Hit up your favourite Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant in one of the city’s many Chinese hubs, from Box Hill to the city, Foostcray to Richmond and beyond. The atmosphere in these areas is bound to be electric throughout early February, with community celebrations and family festivities plus plenty of restaurants to visit that specialise in particular regional cuisines. You can’t go wrong. Gong xi fa cai!

By Emma Breheny

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