The Chinese Year of the Dragon is especially auspicious this year because it is a leap year. In Chinese astrology, the dragon is the major symbol of good fortune so believers hope that the dragon will bring good luck to both people and businesses.
Here in Hong Kong, the decorations are out, anticipation is in the air, and like homes and restaurants all over Hong Kong, SkyCity Marriott’s Man Ho Restaurant has prepared special culinary treats to add to their already extensive menu. Located on Lantau Island next to the Hong Kong International Airport, SkyCity Marriott is more than your average airport hotel. It is a destination with great culinary experiences awaiting the traveler looking for something out of the ordinary.
That’s especially true during the Chinese New Year celebration. For this celebration, the chefs prepare an amazing menu to tantalize the palate of the most discriminating diner with special dishes to welcome the Year of the Dragon in the most auspicious manner.
Located on the mezzanine level with a sweeping view of the South China Sea, the Man Ho offers authentic dishes from the Pearl River Delta with a weekday all-you-can-eat Dim Sum Luncheon. From their wide selection of dim sum, we recommend trying their Pork and Shrimp Dumpling, Vegetarian Dumpling with Mushrooms, and their Taro Root Dumpling – all delicious.
Seahorses and Giant Lobster Dumplings
New to the menu is their unique Seahorse Soup made with seahorse and the larger sea dragon (which seems appropriate considering it is the Year of the Dragon). The soup has a very light broth, but, be forewarned, the cute little seahorse floating in the soup can be a bit unnerving. It is a Chinese delicacy believed to be good for one’s health.
The best Chinese food appeals to all the senses. The Man Ho’s Kurabuta BBQ pork loin, marinated and glazed with honey does just that. The sliced pork is presented on either side of small hot black stones and au jus is poured over them creating a sizzling sound and a wonderful misty aroma. Needless to say, it tastes as good as it looks and smells.
One of the specialties created by the Marriott’s Executive Chinese Chef Ricky Wu and his staff is the Man Ho’s King of Dumplings. The dumpling is as big as your fist– five times the size of the normal prawn dumpling with ten times the flavor. The giant dumpling contains the succulent, aromatic, tender and juicy meat of one whole lobster bathed in the chef’s secret recipe. The Lobster King Dumpling is presented on an exquisite plate with lacey silver filigree on a matching silver charger. The dish is garnished with touch of gold leaf creating an absolutely beautiful presentation that’s delectably delicious.
Pudding and Cake: Pièces de Résistance
The pièces de résistance created by the Marriott’s chefs for the Year of the Dragon are the Chinese New Year Coconut Pudding and Taro and Turnip Cake. The Coconut Pudding, a modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese New Year Pudding, is coconut pudding formed into the shape of a dragon. It’s placed atop a rice pudding base so that the dragon appears to be riding on a raging sea. The Coconut Pudding, made of glutinous rice flour, sugar, wheat flour, coconut milk, vegetable oil, dark soy sauce, watermelon seed, and edible gold decorative coloring, is silky and sweetly luscious.
Chef Wu made a similar creative adaptation to a local favorite, Turnip Cake, by modeling a Taro Chinese Dragon that appears to be emerging from the turnip sea. According to Chef Wu, the taro and turnip compliment each other with the light sweetness of the creamy taro adding just the right touch to the savory turnip to which dried pieces of sausage and prawns have been added. In both the dragon pudding and dragon cake, the tricky part says Chef Wu is creating the dragons so that they are firm and stable enough to ride on the “sea” of pudding.
Our Year of the Dragon Chinese New Year meal at the Marriot’s Man Ho Restaurant won’t be one we soon forget. Lucky us.
The For more information about the Marriott Man Ho Restaurant check www.skycitymarriott.com.
— by Sandra Scott, RFT Contributor