Where to celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in London


Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year — is one of the biggest dates in the Asian cultural calendar. Each new year is represented by one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and, on 22 January, celebrations will usher in the Year of the Rabbit, symbolising longevity, positivity, wittiness, cautiousness and cleverness. Celebrate all the good things this year is predicted to bring with opulent offerings from the capital’s most sophisticated restaurants and bars

The Ivy Asia, Mayfair

In honour of one of Asia’s most exciting celebrations, The Ivy Asia is kicking off 2023 with a culinary Lunar New Year celebration from 16 January to 27 February. As well as offering a list of delicious specials alongside its set menu, the restaurant will also play host to a striking, external golden rabbit installation, which will sit proudly outside the entrance to bring luck, peace, and prosperity to visitors and passers-by. 

The Ivy Asia has partnered with Ki No Bi Gin to create a series of limited-edition cocktails, each inspired by the Year of the Rabbit. Opt for the Good Fortune, a blend of Ki No Bi Gin topped with Lillet Rosé, Cointreau Citrus, raspberries and absinthe, or perhaps the Lucky Rabbit, which features a citric blend of Ki No Bi Gin, cherries and Ivy Champagne.

For those with a sweet tooth, the restaurant has created a limited-edition dessert, the Golden Rabbit, featuring chocolate brownie, honeycomb and raspberry pearls topped with soft-serve ice cream. 

Visit theivyasiamayfair.com 

Chai Wu at Harrods, Knightsbridge

chai wu harrods

Dine in style at Harrods’ contemporary Chinese restaurant, Chai Wu, located on the famous department store’s fifth floor. Shoppers and foodies alike are invited to try the special Lunar New Year selection, available from 16 January to 5 February, with a new menu which spotlights a range of beautifully-presented traditional dishes with a vibrant twist. 

To start, it would be rude not to go for the Year of the Rabbit dumplings — rabbit-shaped gyozas filled with wild mushrooms and black truffle. The Chai Wu team has also released a number of new main dishes, ranging from baked halibut with black beans and pickled tomatoes, to a traditional Lo Hei: a Chinese fortune and prosperity-bringing sesame salad with fresh salmon, topped with gold leaf and shredded vegetables and drizzled with sweet and sour plum sauce. 

Visit chaiwu.co.uk

Mama Chen’s at The Gantry Hotel, Stratford

This Chinese New Year head to The Gantry Hotel in Stratford where pop-up dumpling and noodle bar, Mama Chen’s, has recently launched a three-month residency. From 18 to 22 January, Mama Chen’s will be decorating the ground floor of the hotel with Chinese lanterns while offering customers special giveaways and authentic dishes. 

The concise menu pays homage to Chef Michelle Liu grandmother and features a selection of dim sum, including the traditional Chinese chive and prawn dumplings, prawn and pork wontons with Mama Chen’s chilli oil, and green panda vegetable dumplings. Wonton soups and noodles are also a specialty, with favourites including spicy noodles coated with Mama Chen’s crunchy garlic and numbing Szechuan oil, while sides include a tangy smacked cucumber salad and tofu puffs with shiitake mushroom and garlic sriracha. 

Visit thegantrylondon.com

Bao, King’s Cross and Shoreditch

What better way to start the Lunar New Year than with a bout of good luck? In Taiwan, bao is seen as a lucky food thanks to their wallet-like shape. So, this month head to Bao’s outposts in the capital for a celebratory Taiwanese feast for your fortune fix. 

From 20 January to 5 February, groups of six or more can book the red and gold private dining rooms at the King’s Cross and Shoreditch restaurants for a feast to bring good fortune in 2023. The set menu (£39 per person) begins with house pickles and crispy noodles for the table, before guests are encouraged to tuck into a bevy of fortune-bringing bao. Choose from the classic bao with braised pork and fermented greens, or daikon pickle bao with hot sauce and coriander. Starters of boiled cull yaw dumplings — which symbolise family reunion in Taiwan — soy-glazed aubergine and Taiwanese fried chicken are also included. For the main event, lucky dishes of scarlet cha shao gammon, marinated in honey and five spice, will be accompanied by roasted Delica pumpkin, tofu and garlic chives, and stir-fried Swiss chard with garlic. 

Visit baolondon.com

Park Chinois, Mayfair

Enjoy tradition with a twist thanks to fine dining restaurant Park Chinois’ celebratory menus and dazzling evening entertainment from 19 to 22 January. Diners can immerse themselves in Salon de Chine, set to a backdrop of enthralling Chinese drumming and a silk string quartet, or descend the gilded red staircase to Club Chinois while the iconic Lion Dance will weave itself across both floors of the restaurant. 

Executive Chef Che Liang Lee has created a sumptuous menu of seven specials which showcases the flavours, creative flourishes, and unique influences from his travels across the world. To start, enjoy Park Chinois’ take on the traditional prosperity-toss Lo Hei salad,

 with Hiramasha fish and double-boiled fish maw, dried scallop and bamboo soup. This year sees the return of the show-stopping whole roasted suckling pig stuffed with sticky rice, dried shrimp, shallot and red dates, which is available to pre-order 48 hours in advance, bringing a true sense of decadence to the celebrations. 

Visit parkchinois.com

Hutong at The Shard, London Bridge

Held exclusively on 21 and 22 January, award-winning restaurant Hutong will be serving northern Chinese cuisine against a backdrop of impressive views from level 33 of The Shard. Sifu (meaning master in traditional Chinese culture) Fei Wang has designed a delicious five-course Year of the Rabbit menu (£138 per person) the main event of which is the traditional Lo Hei salad, alongside Sichuan tiger prawns and roasted Peking duck served with homemade sauce.

Lo Hei translates to ‘tossing up good fortune’ and it’s believed that the higher the salad is tossed, the better your prospects and fortune in the year ahead. There will be traditional Chinese festivities throughout the weekend too, including a Chinese calligrapher on 21 January and the famous Lion Dance throughout the evening on 22 January.

From the Shanghai Bar, don’t miss Hutong’s limited edition Year of the Rabbit cocktail menu available from 12 to 31 January. Highlights include HePing, a unique cocktail crafted with three different blends of wine infused with fresh cherries, Tanqueray gin, basil cordial and lychee liqueur. This fruity elixir will be served at every Hutong bar around the world as a global Chinese New Year special in London, New York, Miami, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Visit hutong.co.uk

MiMi Mei Fair, Mayfair

The Chinese restaurant from Samyukta Nair has collaborated with renowned florist Lucy Vail to transform MiMi Mei Fair into a floral paradise in time for Lunar New Year. From 13 January to 5 February, dine under a canopy of golden lunaria woven between green branches — a nod to the Chinese tradition of gifting money on special occasions. Hanging from the branches will be vintage gilded cages filled with Hong Baos and red envelopes, containing wishes and gifts of money to represent a prosperous year ahead. 

Beneath the intricate branches, families can enjoy a traditional Chinese New Year feast (£128 per person) starting with a Basket of Wealth: three styles of dim sum filled with steamed sea bass, garlic chives and chicken and cabbage. There will also be seared oysters with chingkiang vinegar and caviar, and vegetable truffle soong with butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms and chive shoots wrapped in lettuce cups. Then select from Fortune crispy Norfolk pork with pineapple and pomelo or roasted chicken sprinkled with crispy garlic before finishing with a traditional sticky rice cake. 

Visit mimimeifair.com

Hakkasan, Fitzrovia and Mayfair


Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurants Hakkasan Hanway Place, Fitzrovia, and Mayfair have designed celebratory events to pay tribute to the prosperity and luck associated with the rabbit in Chinese astrology. 

From 10 January to 7 February, the Chinese New Year feast menu (£128 per person) will start with the Lo Hei ‘Prosperity Toss’ octopus salad with yuzu plum sauce and chilli garlic vinegar and the Happiness dim sum trio, ideal for sharing, featuring a seafood dumpling, scallop and prawn shumai and a rabbit carrot puff — a playful take on the classic fried dim sum with a rabbit ragu filling encased in a fried pastry shaped as a carrot. For the main wok dishes, guests will enjoy cherrywood smoked roasted duck with carrot and kumquat chutney and stir-fried wagyu beef with nian gao, shimeji mushroom and golden squash. As per tradition of serving fish to encourage prosperity, guests can also indulge in the luxurious dish of steamed John Dory with brown butter black bean sauce, enoki mushroom and okra. 

Visit hakkasan.com

Yauatcha, Soho and The City


Yauatcha has fully embraced the Year of the Rabbit, redesigning both the interior and exterior of its London restaurants to keep in theme with the Lunar New Year celebrations. Using pink, which holds the same meaning of good fortune as traditional red, bespoke illustrations featuring a rabbit silhouette holding a lantern with rabbit ears will bring luck, joy and good health in the forthcoming year. 

First on the menu, running from 10 January to 7 February, is the Golden Treasure dim sum platter, featuring blue swimmer crab dumplings, prawn and chicken shui mai and a venison puff. Legend suggests the more dumplings eaten during Spring Festival, the more money you can make in the new year, so to encourage good fortune the menu presents floral scallop cheung fun decorated with edible flowers representing good luck and fresh beginnings. Celebratory main dishes include salt and pepper lobster tail with traditional mooli cake, and sanpei rabbit with sweet basil, spring onion and chilli. 

What’s more, a special edition of Yauatcha City’s dim sum masterclasses (£158 per person), which launched last year, will take place on 21 January. Led by Global Executive Chef Andrew Yeo, the masterclass will follow with a lunch for guests to enjoy their creations alongside the Chinese New Year Bunny Sour cocktail and a glass of champagne. 

Visit yauatcha.com

Read more: Chinese New Year 2023: Luxury gifts for the Year of the Rabbit

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