Chinese New Year 2018 Dining And Shopping Destinations
Although, only about 2% of the Filipino population boasts of Chinese ancestry, it does not matter at all come Chinese New Year. Whether you’re a chinoy or not, Chinese New Year is another season to celebrate. Holiday celebrations wouldn’t be complete without a satisfying gastronomic experience and a trip to shopping bazaars in town for the season.
This year, the event will fall on Friday, February 16. This means a long weekend, when you’ll get the chance to celebrate with your family in true Chinese style. Thankfully, there are many options for dining and shopping in Manila that will make the experience as traditional and authentic for you and your loved ones.
Here is a run-down of the top three places to visit for your Chinese New Year shopping and dining this year.
3 Best Chinese New Year dining destinations
Be it tikoy, dimsum, or noodles, Chinese New Year heralds an invitation to gorging on treats that China and its territories have blessed us with. Manila does not fall short in offering places that will not only give you the distinct Chinese flavours, but also make you feel welcome to partake in the Year of the Earth Dog.
There is no place better than the local Chinatown for your Chinese New Year celebration! This sprawling avenue of everything Chinese boasts of small and established restaurants that will satisfy your gastronomic appetites, from Sincerity to holes-in-the-wall dimsum shops. What’s best is that the setting contributes to a feast not only for the taste buds, but for all of your senses. Binondo is home to many Chinese-Filipino, and you will find the place to be a true melting pot that makes the country the rich and diverse potpourri of cultures that it is.
Address: Binando, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila, Philippines
If you’re looking for something fancier, Spiral in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is just perfect! For this Lunar New Year, the hotel will feature a menu that combines the best Chinese recipes from China, Malaysia, and Singapore. In fact, this prized collection of dishes has reportedly been served to royalty in Imperial China.
You can look forward to scrumptious noms such as the Beijing-style Peking Duck, Double-Boiled Mini Buddha Soup, and traditional delicacies from Chinese provinces and the mainland. Then, you can end your decadent meal with a sweet dessert, such as the Double-Boiled Bird’s Nest with Rock Sugar, which is crafted from sweetened bird saliva from Indonesia, and dubbed to be the “Caviar of the East”. All these will be prepared by resident Chinese chef, Chef Michael Tai.
Address: CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila, 1300 Metro Manila, Philippines
Tim Ho Wan
Now, if you’re in the mood for something that isn’t as pricey but also not as predictable as Binondo, Tim Ho Wan is your ideal destination. With several locations in the metro – some of them inside shopping malls – the restaurant has the distinction of being touted to have the most famous dimsum in Hong Kong, where it is originally from.
Its parentage also boasts of being the cheapest one Michelin Star restaurant in the world. And sure enough, dining at this restaurant hits all of the necessary marks: good Chinese food, no-fuss service, and a straightforward dining experience.
Address: Various locations
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Top 3 Chinese New Year shopping destinations
Chinese New Year won’t be complete without channeling one of the most interesting features about the Chinese-Filipino dynamics: Haggling. Here, we list down the top three places to check out to catch up on the latest trends in clothing, decorations and everything else.
Divisoria is the go-to place for shopping in Manila, regardless of which echelon of society you belong to. This expansive shopping complex that should probably be a city of its own has been known to attract celebrities such as Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda.
If you are hoping to score some exotic sweet finds, then Divisoria is definitely a must-visit. You will likely find some interesting and unusual delicacies that you won’t find anywhere else in the city – or even in the country!
Other than food, you will also find a huge array of new tops, black market shoes and even portable ring lights. If you can’t find it somewhere else, you will likely find it at Divi!
However, there is just one catch. On regular days, the place is already quite packed with shoppers. Nearing Chinese New Year, the place will be even more crowded than usual. So, make sure to bring a lot of good sense for safety, and a ton of patience.
Address: 557 M. De Santos St, San Nicolas, Manila, 1010 Metro Manila, Philippines
Baclaran is the less-intense Divisoria, and it is perfect for people who will be coming from the South of Metro Manila. Like Divi, it features racks upon racks of all things bright, bold, beautiful, and budget-friendly, but it does not have as wide a variety as you would find in its counterpart in Manila.
The area that is dedicated to shopping is also smaller, which means that if the place is packed, it will be quite an experience. But the finds that you will get from it will make everything worth it, definitely.
Address: Baclaran, Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines
If you have an aversion to crowds and people invading your private space while you are shopping, the Greenhillsshopping center may be more to your taste. First off, it is air-conditioned, although certain shops in the other two places also have AC.
Second, it does not attract as big a crowd as Divisoria and Baclaran, and it’s centrally located, it caters to both the south and north of Manila. However, it won’t have as many options as the other two, and prices may be a little more expensive.
If you plan to hit two birds with one stone – shop and dine – this will be a good place to hit.
Address: Ortigas Ave, Greenhills, San Juan, 1502 Metro Manila, Philippines
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Regardless of where you end up going, it always bears noting that celebrating an event must be done not only with great gusto, but also with respect. The Chinese New Year is not just a calendar thing, it is also a special event in the lives of the Chinese and the Chinese-Filipinos. Bring your sense of fun and get ready to enjoy all that the celebration can bring, but always temper enjoyment with sensitivity. That will not just make the whole thing more enjoyable for you, it might also bring you a new year of good fortune! Kung hei fat choi!