Celebrating Chinese New Year with a big family gathering in a restaurant is totally not recommended this year.
But restaurants are offering the next best thing: poon choi or festive meals in pots for takeaway or delivery to enjoy at home.
Sexy Crab at K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui, which typically serves crabmeat and roe in a rich broth with noodles, has been the talk of the town since its opening in November.
For the Lunar New Year, the chef has put his own twist on the traditional dish, launching the golden hairy crab (HK$2,588) and Japanese Hokkaido hairy crab poon choi (HK$3,888).
Both are topped with roe and meat handpicked from 12 hairy crabs – to ensure they are not overcooked – along with fish maw and lobster paste. Each big bowl contains 15 ingredients, including pork knuckles, Hokkaido scallops, goose webs, tiger prawns and pork belly, as well as other favorites, such as farm chicken, roasted duck and shiitake mushrooms.
The more luxurious Japanese Hokkaido hairy crab poon choi includes one whole Hokkaido hairy crab. Another 40 grams of crab roe can be added for an extra HK$108.
Available for free delivery until February 20, orders should be placed at least five working days in advance.
Vegetarians have not been forgotten. Soil to Soul, the temple food-inspired Korean restaurant, also at K11 Musea, is welcoming the Year of the Ox with healthy, light versions of poon choi (HK$1,988).
“Poon choi represents unity, which is much needed after the year we had in 2020,” said executive chef Gu Jin Kwang. “With our uniquely vegetarian poon choi, we wish Hong Kong a great new year of good health and fortune.”
Available with two sauces – Korean soybean or Korean sweet and spicy – the feast showcases the restaurant’s specialties, such as blessed tofu skin pockets stuffed with sweet potato noodles and napa cabbage, zucchini noodles, rice cakes, radish dumplings and fresh seasonal ingredients that include various mushrooms and vegetables.
Available for takeaway pick-up until February 28, orders should be placed at least five days in advance.
Hotpot is always an option for gatherings. If you have already planned for a hotpot feast, three poon choi options (from HK$988) are available at the trendy Drunken Pot for self-pickup or delivery this year, available until February 28.
Presented in festive red pots and featuring dried oysters, deep-fried prawns, wagyu beef balls and other classics, the Fortune Pot of abalone and fish maw offers an authentic festive experience, while the spicy Treasure Pot is visually and tastefully exciting. The Prosperity Golden Pot contains over 20 ingredients, wishing everyone prosperity, as its name suggests. Each order comes with free fish cracklings.
The restaurant is also launching an alternative warm and nourishing lamb stew (HK$488) to celebrate the occasion.
(This article was published at The Standard on January 29, 2021: Weekend Glitz: Prosperity in a pot)