While living in Singapore, Chinese New Year was always one of the best days of the year. Feasts with friends, devouring a mountain of tangerines, the Chingay Parade with Dragon Dancers on Orchard Road and exchanging (*cough* receiving) ang bao (red envelopes with money). Great childhood memories that will never go away.
Of course, now that I’m living back in Glasgow and not submerged in Chinese culture to the same extent anymore, the celebrations have dramatically reduced. Now, I celebrate with having good quality Chinese food.
To celebrate Chinese New Year hungryhouse has dived into the food and the traditions of the festival, to create an interactive guide to help you stage your own Chinese New Year takeaway feast in the comfort of your own living room. The guide includes information on New Year traditions, foods, a special Chinese do-it-yourself cocktail recipe, and it also features step-by-step instructions for people to make their own funky Chinese decorative lanterns to really get into the spirit of Chinese New Year!
To celebrate the launch of the guide, hungryhouse are asking people to make a lantern and then share a photo of it on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #hungrylantern. hungryhouse will then pick their 10 favourite pictures and award each winner a Â£25 hungryhouse voucher each. The competition is now open with winners being selected on the 19th!
Last week, I had an early Chinese New Year takeaway feast with Ross from Home Wok on Byres Road. After reading reviews and checking out their menu, I knew that we made the right choice. Along with the standard dishes you’d normally get in a local Chinese takeaway, I loved the fact that Home Wok also had range of Traditional Chinese dishes, some I had never heard of and others I hadn’t had in years. Not sure the Fire Exploding Kidney Flowers are that appealing though!
To start, we had meaty pork ribs roasted in maple syrup, vegetable spring rolls and crispy spicy pork dumplings. The ribs were really good and I adored the pork dumplings, so much that I’d definitely order some just for myself. Unfortunately, the vegetable spring rolls were too greasy and lacked any flavour.
For mains, we ordered beef in black bean sauce with green peppers, gong bao chicken with peanuts, dandan noodles, stir-fry pak choi with garlic sauce and Singapore fried rice. If I had to pick a favourite, it would have to be the dandan noodles, traditional spicy soup noodles with pork mince and peanuts. It was absolutely delicious. I wasn’t a fan of the Singapore fried rice. It tasted nothing like the proper Singapore fried rice you’d get in Singapore. This rice dish was overloaded with curry powder and overpowered it. Ross loved the traditional gong bao chicken (kung po over on this side of the world) and laid claim to most of the dish, leaving me with only a few spoonfuls.
Overall, it was a perfect night in complete with watching movies on TV. I even decorated the living room with the hungry house lantern, little ang bao envelopes and of course, chopsticks from Singapore. Want to create your own Chinese New Year feast in the comfort of your own home? Get your chopsticks out, dive into the interactive guide above, and get snapping for your chance to win some free Chinese food!
Disclaimer: I was given a food voucher from hungry house in exchange for this blog post. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.