Spice Temple rings in Lunar New Year with feasts of auspicious dishes 

If ever a New Year needed good luck, it’s 2022 and Spice Temple is embracing the Chinese custom of hustling in fortuitous times with feasts of auspicious dishes planned for the coming Lunar New Year celebrations.

Executive Chef of regional Chinese restaurants Spice Temple Sydney and Melbourne, Andy Evans, and Melbourne Head Chef Joshua Kerr have curated Chinese banquet menus to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. The Lunar New Year banquets are available from Tuesday, 1 February to Sunday, 13 February for lunch and dinner sittings at Spice Temple in Sydney and from Wednesday, 2 February to Sunday, 13 February at Spice Temple Melbourne.

The special banquet menus have food symbolism at the fore: purse-shaped pipis that represent fortune, fish that symbolises life and abundance, eggs that signify fertility, and red ingredients that stand for prosperity and happiness in traditional Chinese culture.

Chef Andy explains that the symbolism of traditional Chinese New Year foods is embraced, and lucky foods consumed, during the annual celebrations as individuals send off the old year and seek good fortune for the coming year.

“The Lunar New Year is the most sacred festival in Chinese culture, and family and friends traditionally come together to feast on foods that are symbolic of all they wish to achieve in the year ahead, while foods that are considered taboo are avoided,” he explains.

“Our Chinese banquet menus have been designed with good luck in mind, and we like to think they will help bestow prosperity, happiness, peace, love and other aspects of good fortune on our guests in line with their Lunar New Year beliefs and rituals.”

At Spice Temple Melbourne, Josh Kerr has included a dish called Buddha’s Delight or Lo Han Jai, which is a quintessential Buddhist vegetarian dish that is a highlight of Chinese New Year menus.

“Slow-cooked, incorporating a beautiful selection of vegetables and robust in flavours, it is traditionally eaten on the first day of the Chinese New Year to welcome luck and prosperity,” he said.

“Another symbolic Chinese New Year dish is our Tang Yuan, or sweet rice dumplings, the pronunciation of which is very similar to the Chinese phrase meaning togetherness and the gathering of families.”

The regional Chinese banquet menus cost $139 per person, including a Tiger cocktail on arrival. An optional wine pairing is available for $85 per person.

Spice Temple
Bookings: spicetemple.com.au

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