While the Western approach to the new year has surreptitiously taken on an arse-perfecting, green juice guzzling, personal development bent that, quite frankly, is a bit of a drag, the Chinese version is all about having fun, eating great food, and getting your fortune told by baked goods; All in all, a total cracker of an occasion, and one we look forward to all year. We've round up some of the best Brisbane Chinese New Year spots to ring in the Year of Horse.
Sichuan Bang Bang
Kenmore's Sichuan Bang Bang is beloved by authentic Chinese fans, and definitely one to check out for Chinese New Year. Their menu is a very tasty salute to the best of this spice-loving cuisine; we are nuts about the spiced peanuts and pan-fried shredded crispy Sichuan beef, and the Mongolian "chewy and fatty" lamb ribs (their delicious emphasis) with chilli and sesame. This year, Sichuan Bang Bang is running a special, celebratory Chinese New Year menu from 30th of January to the 1st of February, with delights like pork belly braised in spices and soy braised eggs and crispy rice cakes with prawns, fish and squid in oyster sauce so get down to the 'burbs to welcome in the Year of the Horse!
As an alternative to the festivities taking place in China Town Mall, Gasworks in Newstead have their own celebrations taking place. New Chinese fine dining establishment, Peng You are welcoming the New Year over two nights (New Year's Eve, on the 30th and New Year's Day, the 31st) with their own dancing lion performers, as well as some amazing feasts. On their new year celebrations menu are such delights as crispy roast pork belly with pickled cabbage, jellyfish and poached chicken salad, and Shandong chicken with black vinegar dipping sauce.
The guys at Luke Nguyen's Fat Noodle want you to come in and celebrate Chinese 'Nguyen' Year (man, we love a good pun) with them. So much so that their amazing slow braised beef short ribs are only $20 from the 31st of January to the 17th of February. With a menu that spans China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, there's something for every taste. Our picks include the scallop and prawn dumplings and the roasted duck with tamarind plum sauce. Herald in Chinese New Year with style and great food at this seasonably festive fine dining venue.
Ben's Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant
A much-loved favourite, what Ben's lacks in ambience and decor, it makes up for in fun. Karaoke, BYO wine, and good food make this the ideal venue to ring in Brisbane's Chinese New Year. On the 31st and the 1st, Bring along a suitably festive bottle o' wine (find some recommendations here) and then go all-out and order the Special New Year Banquet, which comes complete with dragon dancing and firecrackers; a feast that's fitting for this time of year.
King of Kings
Yum Cha house King of Kings goes off as is, but throw some Chinese New Year festivities into the mix and this dumpling mecca is going to be bursting with good fortune and New Year well wishing. They have a Chinese New Year set menu (for only $38 per person—see, the good fortune's starting already) running from the 30th of January to the 2nd of February, which includes king prawns and cashew, Moreton Bay bugs with garlic butter, as well as dumplings, dim sum, and a host of other tasty plates.