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Dogs are always the cheerful and loyal type of creatures, and that’s why they are known to be a man’s best friend. These characteristics of dogs are also meaningful in the Chinese culture. The year of the dog is about the concept of He Jia Le which means felicity and intense happiness in families and other relationships.

This Chinese New Year, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila welcomes the year of the dog with a traditional Dragon Dance and breath-taking performances from featured Chinese acrobats, while you enjoy different luxurious and delicate dishes that were served to the great emperors in the past. Spiral’s resident Chinese Chef, Chef Michael Tai explains that each of these intricate dishes were then prepared for different reasons and meanings.

Drunken Pork Knuckle

A signature dish in traditional Cantonese cuisine, this slow braised pork knuckle with pink peppercorn is said to have originated from the ancient Ming Dynasty. It was customarily served to new mothers in Guangzhou to restore their strength and health and was prepared to celebrate the birth of a child.

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Steamed Fish Roll Stuffed with Minced Mutton

In China, fish symbolizes prosperity while rolls represent wealth. Mutton, which refers to sheep flesh, symbolizes luck in Chinese culture as the sheep is considered a very lucky animal and plays a role in several myths and tales. The written character for “sheep” is often used for “luck” thus the association of sheep to good fortune.

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Braised Sea Cucumber with Beef Tendon

Eating a dish with sea cucumber is extremely lucky for a new family and presents several health benefits. Sea cucumber is pronounced “haishen” in Chinese, which sounds like “sheng,” the Chinese word for “give birth.” This symbolizes that a family may be blessed with a newborn during the year.

Dragon Phoenix Platter

The Dragon Phoenix Platter is composed of salted egg yolk crab, fried eel with spicy sauce, black pepper crocodile, prawn with cereal butter and Singapore-style fried chicken wing. “Dragon and phoenix” usually refer to a powerful match between strong entities. It is a great symbol for marriage or twins that are a boy and a girl. “Phoenix” usually suggests poultry or more commonly, chicken. “Dragon” could be fish, snake, a reptile, or even a good cut of pork, though fish is the most common.

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Salt and Pepper Sea Mantis

The mantis shrimp is one of staple dishes served during Chinese New Year. In Cantonese cuisine, the mantis shrimp is known as “pissing shrimp” because of their tendency to shoot a jet of water when picked up. After cooking, their flesh are akin to that of a lobster; their shells are become quite hard and require some pressure to crack.

Kung Pao Fried Legs

Kung Pao Fried Legs is a popular dish served during Chinese New Year that originated from the Sichuan region in South-Western China.

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Long Life Noodles

Long Life Noodles (also known as Yi Mein) symbolize longevity and is frequently found on the banquet table of Chinese celebrations. Noodles generally signify long life, however the festive Yi Mein noodles are traditionally served during New Year with its unique texture and taste. Noodles also represent prosperity and good luck.

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Treasure Fried Rice

This quintessential Chinese comfort food is served with lotus leaf. Fried rice is believed to have been invented sometime during the Sui dynasty in the Chinese city of Yangzhou with its ingredients signifying treasures.

Egg Tart

The egg tart reportedly originated from 1920s Guangzhou when Chinese chefs were inspired by fruit tarts, replacing the fruit with egg custards in the middle. With tough competitions between department stores, the chefs invented new dim sum or dessert weekly as part of restaurant attractions with the egg tarts making their first appearance. Egg tarts are also widely popular in Hong Kong and Macau.

The flavours of these colorful dishes are truly divine which you’re family and friends will surely enjoy. But if you are looking for a more intimate setting, you can also pleasure in claypot dishes at Spiral’s Le Bar. On the 15th and 16th of February, there will also be a signature barbecue buffet that features elevated grilled specialties and Chinese Cuisine favorites with live musical entertainments, a fire dance showcase and a festive fireworks display on the night of the 15th.

Here’s a list of the rates for each outlet:

Spiral

• February 15 – 16, 2018: Php2,850 nett per person for lunch and Php3,450 nett per person for dinner
• February 17, 2018: Php3,600 nett per person for lunch and Php3,900 nett per person for dinner
• February 18, 2018: Php4,650 nett per person for lunch and Php3,500 nett per person for dinner

Sunset Bar

• February 16, 2018 – March 2, 2018. Rate is set at Php799 nett per person.

Le Bar

• February 15 – 16, 2018 – Php3,500 nett per person inclusive of unlimited local beer, iced tea, special cocktails and wines.

For inquiries and reservations, please call F&B Reservations at +63 (02) 832 6988 or email H6308-FB12@sofitel.com

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Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 120 addresses, in almost 40 countries (more than 30,000 rooms). Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today’s more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, London, New York, Shanghai or Beijing, or nestled away in a country landscape in Morocco, Egypt, French Polynesia or Thailand, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French “art de vivre”.

-Mars Guisala (The Foodie Station Correspondent)