Ring in the Lunar New Year with special menus from these Toronto restaurants
Including dim sum feasts, afternoon tea and everything you need for at-home hot pot
A whole bunch of Toronto restaurants are ringing in the Year of the Rabbit with exclusive meals and menu items, for both takeout and—for the first time in a couple of years—dine-in. Here, 15 spots celebrating the Lunar New Year with festive feasts.
For this year’s Lunar New Year celebration, chef Nick Liu is serving up a special tasting menu that will include one-off dishes as well as a few of his hits. The new offerings include pastrami spring rolls (a traditional symbol of wealth and prosperity), oysters and pearls (based on a traditional New Year dish called ho see fat choy), a whole fried fish (to symbolize abundance) and lobster longevity noodles. Dine-in only, starting January 22. $108 per person.
This massive dim sum hall in Scarborough is offering a celebratory poon choi special. Poon choi, a one-pot festive meal common in Cantonese-speaking parts of China, usually includes radishes, cabbage, shrimp and abalone. All of the ingredients are carefully layered and then simmered together, with the radishes and cabbage forming the base layer and the more impressive ingredients—like seafood—on top. Takeout only, pre-order available now. $288 and up, serves five to 10 people.
Parkdale catering company Noble House is ringing in the Year of the Rabbit with an at-home hot-pot party. The feast includes meatballs, seafood balls, mushrooms, napa cabbage, noodles, tofu puffs, dipping sauces and hot-pot stock with optional chili paste. And—because not everyone has all of the necessary tools, like a portable burner and, well, the pot—there’s a Hot Pot Equipment Package for an extra $88. Takeout only, available until January 28. $98 for two, $178 for four.
Over at this east-end brewery, chef Eva Chin is hosting a dinner with a special one-day-only menu on January 28. Everything on it symbolizes longevity, peace and prosperity while remaining consistent with Avling’s focus on sustainable and seasonal eats. Dishes include a dim sum platter, a prosperity salad with pomelo and cured BC rockfish, sweet-and-sour pork ribs, and more. Dine-in only, January 28. $88 per person.
Taking inspiration from classic Chinese dishes as well as tea-time classics, Holts Café has created a uniquely elegant celebration of the new year with an afternoon tea special. The menu, available at both the Yorkville and Yorkdale locations, features specials like crystal shrimp dumplings, Peking duck bao, golden leaf egg tarts, and more. Dine-in only, until January 29. $60 per person.
This long-standing Chinese staple is offering a six-course takeout meal featuring dishes like balsamic sweet-and-sour pork, garlic beef tenderloin and a White Rabbit Candy cream puff. Also included: a jar of Hong Shing’s signature ginger-scallion sauce with each order. (And be sure to check our their cool Lunar New Year merch.) Takeout only, January 19 to 22, pre-order available now. $208, feeds two.
This popular College Street cheese shop and café is offering yusheng, or prosperity slaw. The giant Singaporean salad features auspicious ingredients—like smoked salmon, clementine, pomelo, turnip and roasted peanuts—in a sesame-orange-yuzu dressing. It’s a real hands-on tradition: diners gather around the plate, nominate someone to call out what each ingredient symbolizes, then toss the salad together as high as they can. The higher it’s tossed, the more prosperous the people tossing will be in the coming year. Takeout only, January 20 to 22. $88, feeds four to eight.
Dasha is going all out with a special Lunar New Year menu, one-off cocktail features, and traditional dragon and tiger dances from Wushu Project accompanied by Chinese drummers. The performances will take place on January 21, but the food specials (Iberico pork and chive dumplings, charcoal-grilled rice and fried red mullet) are available all weekend long. Dine-in only, January 21 to 22. $12 and up.
The plant-based alter ego of popular Ossington Malaysian restaurant Soos is serving up a special one-day-only Nyonya New Year menu featuring Peking pancakes, Nyonya chili wonton, longevity noodles and a trio of rice desserts. Dine-in only, January 22, reservations available now. $68 per person.
To ring in the Year of the Rabbit, Daan Go Lab has made all kinds of adorable desserts, including a raspberry chocolate mousse chiffon roll cake shaped like a whole suckling pig, a dark chocolate mousse cake that looks like a little gold bar, a rabbit-shaped carrot cake, and a white chocolate and puffed rice cat, which is cracked open to reveal a cache of candy. Takeout only, starting January 20. $8.50 and up.
Chef Eric Chong and his team at Chinatown’s R&D have put together some special dishes that will be available on top of the restaurant’s regular menu. The one-off items include a steamed branzino, Wagyu dan dan mien, and ma lai go, a steamed sponge cake with nian go ice cream and brown sugar. Dine-in only, January 22. $16 and up.
This fried chicken shop, with locations at Stackt Market and Superfresh on Bloor, will be running a Lucky Rabbit meal deal, which includes, among other dishes, 10 dumplings, noodles and a pork belly rice bowl. Takeout only, January 15 to 29. $58.88.
Yorkdale Mall’s bougie dim sum spot will be welcoming the new year with nian gao, jiggly rice cakes typically served during the Lunar New Year. Four different types are up for grabs: coconut, fresh sugar cane, dried oyster and fat choy with taro, and ham and dried scallops with radish. Takeout only, pre-order available now. $21.88.
With a few locations around the GTA, this bakery makes it easy to pick up Lunar New Year treats. Offerings include a variety of nian gao, including the traditional rice cake along with seafood-radish and ginger versions, as well as assorted golden fritters and deep-fried dough goodies in the shape of gold ingots. Takeout only, available now. $14 and up.
This Junction Triangle kitchen is offering two Lunar New Year specials available for pickup and delivery. On January 20 and 21, there will be a meaty feast (white cut chicken, sweet-and-sour pork) and a veggie one (Fukien tofu, sweet-and-sour tofu, lotus leaf rice). Then, on January 27 and 28, they move to a dim sum menu. Lunar New Year radish cakes and prosperity salad can also be ordered separately. Takeout only. $118 and up.