RED FIRE MONKEY - 6th Feb 2016

Post date: 23-Jan-2016 00:20:26

6th Feb 2016

This Chinese New Year is the year of the Red Fire Monkey. Monkeys are tricky animals so you'll have to be smart to get ahead this year!

When I was a child I used to read Monkey God comics that I found lying around in my grandmother's house. I couldn't read Chinese, so I would sit around and look at the pictures, imagining the story. I probably wasn't far off. He had a cloud that he rode around on (in the movies it looked more like pink cotton candy - but the comic books were not in colour!) and a fat monk friend who was a wicked fighter with his staff. The women (usually goddesses) were impossibly beautiful and had these kind of long dangly sleeves that would be impossible to cook in.

At Chinese New Year the entire family would descend on my grandmother's house and all the women, none of whom seemed to possess sleeves like that, would be yelling at each other in the kitchen, in a most ungoddess-like manner. Woks would be banging and all manner of food would appear, dish by dish. We had 2 large dining tables, but with all the family it still required a couple of sittings to get everyone fed. When you'd eaten your fill you stood up and let someone else take your place. It was sort of pot luck which dishes appeared whilst you were available to eat them.

You get to keep your seat all evening through at our signature Chinese New Year supper which will include the traditional Chinese New Year dumplings, both sweet and savoury, and a great long list of other dishes that will keep appearing as usual. Join us !

Our banquet menu will be:

Chinese pickles and Preserved Cucumbers in XO sauce - I remember these from the start of banquets when I was a child

Jiaozi/Guo Tie or Potsticker dumplings - These handmade pork and vegetable dumplings signify family reunion. In northern China families traditionally spend New Year's Eve together preparing the dumplings, which are eaten at midnight. Crescent-shaped Jiaozi are a symbol of wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese money (silver ingots).

"Ah Sweet as Honey" - a lamb dish from the Imperial Court of the Qing Dynasty, favourite dish of the Empress Dowager Cixi

Oyster Omelette - this is a Fujianese speciality - yes it has real oysters in it - a really special dish!

Xinjiang Cumin Chicken - an unusual dish from Xinjiang province, in the far west of China, where there are Indian influences to their cooking.

Stir Fried Cucumbers- a dish that’s very popular, but little known outside China

“Delicious” Tofu – this is one of my favourite vegetarian dishes, cooked with chilli bean sauce and spring onions

Spring Onion noodles with Cha Siu - noodles signify longevity - it's important not to cut them! Our cha siu is legendary....

Chinese Aubergines – you’ll probably never have had aubergines like this before, but they are exceptional

Steamed whole Cantonese Seabass The word for fish, "Yu," sounds like the words both for wish and abundance, and serving a fish at the end of the meal symbolizes a wish for abundance in the coming year

Tang Yuen these round sweet dumplings are symbolic of family unity and harmony. Tang stands for reunion and yuen means round or complete.

Cost will be £45 of which £35 will go direct to MSF. Please mail us with bookings on