Happy Chinese New Year
The explosion in the number of Pan-Asian restaurants is driving the growth of Oriental food in the UK, according to a food report commissioned by Wing Yip, the UK’s leading Oriental wholesaler. The report highlights that 94% of the 3,000 asked have eaten Chinese food at home, as a takeaway or in a restaurant, but sadly few dine out on the cuisine in a pub or bar.
Therefore, Chinese New Year – 28 January – presents an opportunity for operators to capitalise on one of the most popular ethnic foods by featuring it on your menu.
Chinese cuisine is one of the most popular ethnic foods – some even say the nation’s favourite. Not only is it delicious, appealing to all ages and versatile, it can be a healthy option too if you cook stir-fries with little oil and lots of vegetables. Perfect for those customers wanting a healthy start to the new year.
What to do
Having a Chinese option on your menu will lure customers away from the takeaway option – especially if you incorporate an early-bird menu or 2FOR1 offer. Chinese New Year lands on a Saturday, so it is a prime day to pull in custom. You could even make a weekend out of it by having options available Friday and Sunday. Why not try an all you can eat buffet on a Sunday? Make sure you advertise in advance on your social media, website and in-house, and get into the spirit by decorating your premises in accordance with the festival.
What to serve
Choose something relatively simple, but tasty. Sweet and sour chicken, chop suey and chow mein are popular, safe options. Dim sum are delicious and that bit more adventurous for the experienced chef – and customer! Stir-fries are quick and easy, and cantonese-style roast duck is always a winner and ticks the box for those who want to share a course.
What to drink
In China, beer is a big part of the New Year celebration, so why not stick with tradition and stock up on Tiger Beer, Tsingtao and the not so well known Kirin Ichiban. For those not drinking alcohol, tea is a must! Tea is huge in China so there is a lot to choose from, but if you want to present your customers with a traditional option, these are the best: Pu-Erh – a black tea, known for its digestive benefits, popular to drink during or after a large meal, Chrysanthemum tea – a herbal, caffeine-free tea that goes well with seafood, Oolong – a Chinese favourite that lies between black and green tea and complements every type of dim sum, Green tea – a palate cleanser, the ideal tea to drink between courses.