Traditionally, a Reunion Dinner is held by families the day before Chinese New Year to celebrate together and bring luck for the year ahead with a generous whole dish as a centrepiece. Hutong’s menu features dishes such as a delicious Whole Peking duck, Kung Po-style whole lobster and Deep-fried whole deboned turbot, which are perfect for sharing and celebrating the occasion.
The Double Happiness menu will feature the customary Lo Hei mixed raw seafood salad (salmon, yellow tail, shredded abalone tossed with assorted vegetables). This year guests have a choice of sweet plum sauce or a Hutong-style fiery chilli sauce to accompany the salad. The origins of Lo Hei date back more than 750 years to the days of the Song Dynasty when fishermen along the coast of China would celebrate the seventh day of Chinese New Year, known as Renri or ‘everyone’s birthday’, with this fresh fish and diced vegetable dish. The most important (and fun) part of eating “Lo Hei” is the mixing together of the ingredients; to ensure good luck for the coming year, everyone calls out “Lo Hei” which means “to mix it up” but also sounds like “ to prosper more and more”, while tossing the ingredients high into the air. Hutong will be giving away a pair of extra-long chopsticks with each Lo Hei order. The salad will also be available after the Double Happiness menu has finished, until Sunday 14 February and will be priced at £58 for four or more people to share.
The menu will also include: a selection of dim sum dishes; Hutong’s signature Red Lantern soft shell crab; Grouper in Chinkiang vinegar sauce; Crispy de-boned lamb ribs; Beef fillet in classic Sichuan pickle-chilli sauce; Lobster and asparagus fried rice; and Wok-fried kai-lan with garlic sauce. Dessert will be Black sesame fondant with chocolate ice cream.
The special dinner will be accompanied by a traditional lion dance, to ward off nian or evil spirits, as well as Chinese musicians and noise-makers. A Chinese calligrapher will also be creating personalised items for guests to take away. Hutong will also offer special Year of the Monkey wishing cards and the traditional candy box. On 8 February, all guests will receive a traditional red pocket envelope containing gifts and treats. One lucky table will receive their entire bill complimentary.
Hutong’s bar will also join in the celebrations. The bar team has created a unique Baijiu cocktail called Sweet Success (Baijiu, Cointreau, Kumquat muddle, Tapatio, Passionfruit syrup, Lemon juice) which will be part of Baijiu Cocktail Week. Baijiu – which means ‘white alcohol’ – is a distilled white spirit, 52% proof and is brewed using ancient techniques with fermented grains.
Baijiu Cocktail Week (5 -14 February) coincides with Chinese New Year to celebrate the popular spirit, also known as Chinese firewater.
Hutong, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1