It’s another Lunar New Year overshadowed by the pandemic for those who celebrate Spring Festival and Tết, and while large gatherings are discouraged, diners of all persuasions can still enjoy special foods that mark the holiday’s festivities.
Traditional dishes focus on abundance at the beginning of the new year, as a predictor of the days to come. Many are based on homophones, especially in Cantonese: Sandy Mah, of Brossard’s Maison Sai Yan, tells Eater, “the word for chicken sounds like ‘good life’, the word for fish sounds like ‘bountiful,’ and the word for lobster sounds like ‘dragon laughter.’”
Typical Lunar New Year dishes include poon choi, a bounty of seafood and meats in a huge metal pot meant to be shared and revealed, layer by layer; rice, radish, and taro cakes — savoury, chewy dishes made with sticky rice intended to be pan-fried — plus long (longevity) noodles, braised meats, dumplings, barbecue, and sweets that will all bring the new year in with a roar.
For these specialties, most restaurants require pre-ordering; check first to avoid disappointment.
Gong Hei Fat Choy!
Restaurant dining rooms in Quebec are currently closed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. For updated information and regulations, please visit the official sites of the Quebec government and Montreal’s public health authority (Santé Montréal).Read More