A meals lover’s information to Lunar New Yr feasting in Sydney

Sydney will be colored red and gold with dumplings everywhere as the New Year celebrations officially begin on Friday.

The calendar event, also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated by several Asian cultures. In Vietnam it is known as Tet and the streets are full of flowers; The Tibetan New Year is called Losar, while Koreans celebrate Seollal with bottomless bowls of tteokguk, a sliced ​​rice cake soup.

“In all cultures, New Year’s celebration is about positivity and prosperity,” said Anthony Tam, strategy manager for New Shanghai in Ashfield, Chatswood and the CBD. “Good health and family reunification are also very important.”

New Year candy surround the entrance of Hoa Sanh food in Cabramatta. Photo: Wolter Peeters

The date varies each year according to the lunisolar calendar, but the festival usually starts between January 21st and February 20th.

In 2021, February 12th is the main day on which the year of the ox begins, the second beast in the Chinese zodiac cycle. In the Vietnamese zodiac, a lovable water buffalo takes the place of the ox.

“Monday through Thursday next week, Cabramatta will be full of Vietnamese buying last-minute groceries for Tet,” said Patrick Young, who runs food tours in the southwest suburb with social enterprise Taste Cultural Food Tours.

Butchers at Tan Hong Phat BBQ prepare for Tet in Cabramatta.

Butchers at Tan Hong Phat BBQ prepare for Tet in Cabramatta. Photo: Wolter Peeters

“The streets will be absolutely quiet on Friday while everyone is visiting aunts, uncles and in-laws, but on Saturday the mall will be crazy again when people catch up in cafes and bubble tea shops. Usually one or the other festival bang goes too.” Come on. “”

Victor Liong, co-executive chef of Chuuka at Jones Bay Wharf, says the lunar new year eve dinner is the biggest celebration of the festival.

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“It’s about that family reunion banquet the night before, a bit like Christmas Eve in European cultures. There’s always a whole fish and a whole bird, either chicken or duck, and lots of pasta because it’s a symbol of longevity.”

Liong made a Yu-Sang salad for the Lunar New Year from his Chinese-Malaysian roots. The richly textured dish features green lips, abalone, grapefruit, mango, green papaya, and pickled ginger.

“Yu sang is also known as the affluence throw salad and symbolizes abundance and strength,” he says. “Each ingredient is presented individually on a platter with tradition, which dictates that everyone at the table throws the salad together. The higher you throw, the better the New Year is.”

Local councils have canceled many lunar celebrations for the second year in a row because of COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor gatherings. However, smaller events are planned for some suburbs, not to mention tons of restaurants serving special New Year celebrations.

Chuukas Yu sang prosperity salad with abalone, mango and pickled ginger.

Chuukas Yu sang prosperity salad with abalone, mango and pickled ginger. Photo: Delivered

Here’s how to eat like an ox in three key areas to celebrate the 14-day festival.


Vinata’s hot bread (Shop 13-14, 1 Hughes Street) marked the 2019 New Year celebrations with a record attempt for the world’s longest pork bun. Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge banh mi at the bakery this year, but Young says there will be a long line for crispy buns to be spread with pie or dipped in fragrant stews at family banquets.

A queue can also be expected nearby Tan Hong Phat BBQ (Shop 6, 48 Park Road), where locals buy glittery Peking duck and browned grilled pork. Ask for the pork to be sliced ​​and enjoy in the grass in Cabramatta Park, perhaps with an ice cold Vietnamese coffee from Grape cafe (13-15 Belvedere Arcade) and a box of special moon drops Hoa Sanh Asian grocery store (63 Park Road).

Any bun bo hue and pho cravings can be cured at Thanh Binh (52 John Street), a strong contender for the best noodle soup shop in town.

GOOD FOOD: Cabramatta with taste tours before the lunar new year in the spotlight.  Pho Dac Biet - tripe, beef flank and beef balls with beef noodle soup.  February 3, 2021, Photo: Wolter Peeters, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Huong Xuas beef pho with tripe, beef flank and beef meatballs. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Huong Xua is right next door and specializes in North Vietnamese dishes like banh chung wrapped in banana leaves – a wonderfully sticky rice cake with pork, black pepper, and mung beans that is essential for Tet.


Willoughby City Council has put together a jam-packed program to welcome the Year of the Ox that includes COVID-safe events like a comedy night, an art exhibition, and all-day lunar markets in the mall.

During the festival, finding delicious treats on Victoria Avenue is never a challenge, from the gold-stained lime and raisin mousse cake in the 85 Degree Bakery Cafe (326 Victoria Avenue) to “Make Me Rich” Xiao long Bao dumplings at New Shanghai at Chatswood Chase Mall. “People like to see lots of New Year’s color on the table, so we lightened the dumpling wrappers with purple cabbage and pumpkin juice,” says Tam.

Other gastronomic highlights in the growing area are beef combination noodle soup Bao Dao Taiwanese cuisine (Shop 8, 376 Victoria Avenue), spicy, dry-fried Mala Xiang Guo hotpot at Master Bowl Chinese (306 Victoria Avenue) and whole suckling pig for $ 65 a pound Chatswood grill kitchen. For a whole fish Lilong to taste from Shanghai is ready and waiting at the interchange (Shop 68, Level 3, 436 Victoria Avenue) with steamed coral trout that has been sharpened by ginger and shallots.


Hell, there are a lot of restaurants in this South Sydney suburb. Fortunately, almost all of them are brilliant, especially everywhere on Forest Road where they specialize in North Chinese, Cantonese, and Malaysian. However, first-time visitors can book a special guided New Year’s tour of Hurstville with Taste Cultural Food Tours. (The nonprofit has special tours of Chatswood and Haymarket throughout February.)

A must see café and tour stop Diamond Bakery (197 Forest Road) for its floating shop windows with special moon mousses, taro sponges and tiramisu. Locals pour in Mr. Steinbogen (316 Forest Road) for pan-Chinese fusion cooking while golden sand (Level 2, Hurstville Times Plaza, 127-141 Forest Road) is the number one Yum Cha Temple in the city. Don’t miss the chicken pie cart.

Sydney Dumpling King (173 Forest Road) is a Disneyland with pork buns, siu mai and rib-sticking wonton soup and closer to Westfield. Oppa Pocha (264 Forest Road) is the right idea for Korean grilling and bibimbap. Guests who like to throw Malay Prosperity Salad can reserve a table at KampongBoy (370 Forest Road) for the experience.

More dumplings can be mocked in Hurstville Plaza on February 19, when the Little Lunar night market kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with Malaysian food stalls, lion dance, dragon beard candy making, and Chinese opera.

Din Tai Fung's red Wagyu dumplings for the 2021 Lunar New Year.

Din Tai Fung’s red Wagyu dumplings for the Lunar New Year 2021. Photo: Delivered

Another festival for the year of the ox


A $ 220 lunar tasting 6-course menu features glazed Maremma duck and roasted monkfish with black truffle. Available from February 17th to February 24th.

1 Macquarie Street Sydney

From Tai Fung

Even the ox-shaped chocolate buns wear masks on the bao chain. Bright red Wagyu dumplings are his selection of New Year’s treats. Available from February 8th to 28th.

Different places

The Gardens of Lotus

A $ 168 banquet includes all of the hits from the Lunar Festival such as Prosperity Salad, Dim Sum, Oysters, Whole Fish, and Duck Pancakes. Available from February 10th to 13th.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier Street, Darling Harbor

New Years Specials include XO Pippies and Roast Duck in Lilymu, Parramatta.

XO Pipis in Lilymu, Parramatta. Photo: Delivered


On this occasion, head chef Brendan Fong rocks specialties made from XO pees, garlic lobster and scampi noodles. Available February 9-21.

153 Macquarie Street, Parramatta

Spice Temple

Raw tuna with flavored orange oil is one of the many highlights on a $ 129 banquet menu at the brooding pan-Chinese restaurant. Available from February 10th to 20th.

10 Bligh Street, Sydney

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