Chinese New Year 2020: Year of the Rat24th Jan 2020
Chinese New Year 2020: what does Year of the Rat actually mean?
Chinese New Year is already in full swing at Coal Drops Yard with the latest installation featuring the colours of the Chinese flag (installation available to view until Monday 27th Jan).
But what we're wondering is, what does year of the rat actually mean?
According to The Telegraph, it means luck, and apparently that you should avoid medicine, laundry and crying children.
According to Chinese superstition, doing any of these on January 25th – the day Chinese New Year falls in 2020, will lead to bad luck for the entire coming year. But it isn’t all doom and gloom: 2020 is the Year of the Rat, an animal that symbolises wealth and the beginning of a new day.
So here's to new beginnings, and hopefully more wealth too - that would be nice!
Anyway, enough about the superstitions, has all this talk of Chinese New Year got you craving Chinese food by any chance?
Well if it has, you're in luck.
We've pulled together our favourite Chinese food spots in both London and Los Angeles.
Disclaimer: maybe not a good idea to read this before lunch time, or when hungry at all. We can't be held responsible for any hanger issues that arise.
The best Chinese restaurants in London
A world-famous Taiwanese restaurant, Din Tai Fung is known for its street food small plates and signature xiao long bao (soup dumplings). These delicate steamed parcels come served in bamboo baskets and filled with the likes of spicy pork, chilli crab and soft prawn. While you’re there, be sure to order the crispy prawn pancakes, and the wontons with black vinegar and chilli oil.
Andrew Wong’s Bloomberg Arcade restaurant specialises in small plates of modern Chinese food (though there are larger plates too) and has great vibes and great service to boot. The street food dishes are a delight: don’t miss the trio of soft bao, served DIY-style with juicy lamb that’s been doused in warm cumin and a smooth sesame-and-peanut dip on the side.
Launched back in 2001, this Michelin-starred Cantonese trendsetter remains a benchmark against which all high-end Chinese restaurants should be judged. It’s one for the big spenders, who lap up dazzling signature dishes such as roasted silver cod with champagne and honey or jasmine tea-smoked organic pork ribs. Sexy, moody and oh-so cool.
The Lucky Jie dessert (above), inspired by the traditional lucky Chinese knot. Created especially to celebrate Chinese New Year, this dessert is available until Sunday 9th February.
The best Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles
Experiencing a touch of deja vu? That's because there's also a Din Tai Fung in London! Each soup dumpling is meticulously made, resulting in lovely, thin-skinned pouches filled with savory pork (there are shrimp and veggie options, too, but you’ll want to go with the pork) and hot broth, then eat with a dab of soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. In Glendale, you can top them off with a slice of truffle (there’s also a full bar at the Americana location).
Opened by Chengdu natives Lynn Liu and Kelly Xiao, Sichuan Impression serves a selection of Sichuan dishes in their art-lined space in Alhambra and their new outpost in West L.A. The restaurants build upon familiar options like mapo tofu and kung pao chicken, and feature items that include strips of mung bean jelly tossed in chile oil, hou dao dumplings and the “party in a pot” Leshan bobo chicken pot.
The San Gabriel Valley’s Tasty Noodle House has been making a big push westward, from West Third on down to Lomita. And that’s a very good thing, as there may be no better place on the westside for the restaurant’s signature made-to-order Shanghai pork bao along with a respectable iteration of xiao long bao.