It’s not Lunar New Year without red pockets, greetings and a table full of delicious dishes. Here are our top picks when it comes to edible Lunar New Year offerings—including dine-in and take out options in Vancouver—to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Tiger. —Louisa Chan
Located on W. Broadway, A.Bento presents a modern spin on traditional Taiwanese food. With years of experience in some of Vancouver’s top kitchens, the team celebrates innovation while honouring conventional Taiwanese techniques, resulting in a uniquely local interpretation of the cuisine. A.Bento’s Tiger Gift Box C ($128) comes with four vacuum-sealed dishes designed for re-heating at home: lamb stew, lotus leaves wrap sesame chicken sticky rice, spicy bean paste braised fish and braised pork knuckle. The sticky rice cooked with crispy ginger and goji berries are our absolute favourite!
Famous for its tide-to-table concept, Fanny Bay Oysters has a few special offerings for Lunar New Year. The dine-in only Angry Crab ($88) comes with one-and-a-half Dungenesses tossed in chef Tommy’s own blend of spicy of goodness with ginger and chilies—a secret recipe created by the chef after he studied different Asian styles of cooking crab—will be on offer from February 1 to 10. Complete your meal with Tiger Bomb Cocktail ($15), an Aviation gin-based drink that incorporates a ginger syrup and Chinese five-spice. If you prefer to stay cosy at home, pre-order and pick up a Hot Pot Seafood Pack ($88.88)! The pack features manila clams, geoduck, oyster meat, scallops, prawns and a spot prawn soup base all ready to be cooked at home. Remember to make a “zousui” after finishing all your seafood: mix a bowl of short-grain rice in the leftover soup base and let it simmer until you get that porridge-like consistency.
Potluck Hawker Eatery is serving up an eight-course feast-to-go this Lunar New Year. Available for two days (January 31 and February 1), the Year of the Tiger Feast ($200) features a variety of Malaysian, Singaporean and Chinese dishes such as Potluck Prosperity Toss, Hot & Sour Coconut Mushroom Soup, Nonya Chap Chye, Salted Egg Yolk Prawns with Golden Cereal and Kuih Lapis. It’s a great way to enjoy and learn about the variety of Southeast Asian dishes that you may not be familiar with. It is currently available for pre-order via Tock or on the restaurant’s website.
Sun Sui Wah, the long-standing household favourite on Main Street, is featuring something very special on its Lunar New Year take-home menu this year. The Lao Fan dinner set ($118) created by chef Man comes with an exquisite seafood soup—ingredients such as abalone, fresh canner lobster and oysters separately packaged to mix into the soup—a side of the famous cold chicken, a side of braised vegetables and a cold appetizer dish. Similar to hot pot, the soup is meant to be reheated, followed by the addition of the ingredients starting with the white rice. Once items are all mixed in and served, garnish with the deep-fried rice for extra crunch and texture. Lao Fan, meaning “scoop out rice”, is a way to wish everyone in the family a prosperous Year of the Tiger.