From humble dumpling parcels to traditional Chinese banquets, this month sees a feast of Sino-Hibernian fusion across the city, as revellers celebrate the turning of the season and the advent of Dublin’s Chinese New Year Spring Festival.
With plenty to savour over the next two and a bit weeks, we’ve been checking out the packed programme to select some tasty food and drink focused festival events heralding The Year of The Rat. Xin Nian Hao!
Dumplings: Wrapping Up A Long History
Dumplings have been a staple of Chinese cuisine for centuries, and those interested in learning about regional variations of recipes, ingredients and tradition are in for a treat on the first weekend of the festival when The Chester Beatty hosts a free talk on the history of Chinese dumplings with food and fiction writer Mei Chin.
The author who currently divides her time between Dublin and New York, will be sharing some fascinating insights about what these delightful food parcels tell us about Chinese culture and regions. Run in association with Asia Market, the event is free, but spaces are limited.
And speaking of dumplings, for those who’d like to learn how to master the art and create their own, there’s a special dumpling making workshop under the tutelage of dumpling guru Li Xiu at The Vintage Teapot on February 9th.
Saturday, 25 January 1.10pm | Sunday February 9th
You’ll find them serving up gin-based cocktails inspired by Chinese botanicals, paired with a special Chinese New Year menu from The Little Pig. The exact location of the speakeasy will be revealed to ticket holders in advance of the event.
Saturday February 8th Tickets €43.55
Traditional Chinese Banquets
Those who fancy a leisurely evening sampling the regional dishes of China are spoiled for choice over the next few weeks. Tuesday January 28th sees a unique opportunity to attend a traditional Chinese dress banquet inspired by the culture and customs of the ancient Song Dynasty. The evening takes place at The Good World Restaurant over on South Great George’s Street, where guests will also be invited to dress up in traditional costumes provided by the restaurant while enjoying a delicious dinner. Tickets €32
North of the Liffey, The Vintage Teapot, sister restaurant to our old favourite M & L Chinese Restaurant hosts two special Chinese New Year Banquets over the course of the festival. The spotlight is on all things Sichuan on Thursday January 30th, while a week later the Cathedral Street eatery will be showcasing the cuisine of China’s Guangdong province with a very special Cantonese Style menu on Thursday February 6th.
Thurs Jan 30th and Thursday February 6th
Hot Pot Night
For those who prefer things a little less ornate, Lao Restaurant hosts a Hot Pot Night on February 4th, where they promise a crash course in everything you need to know about concocting the perfect version of ‘Chinese fondue’, one of the most popular meals in China.
6.30pm Tuesday February 4th Tickets: €25
Asian Flavours Walking Tour
The popular Asian Flavours Walking Tour rambles through Dublin’s ‘ChinaTown’ on the first two Saturday afternoons in February. Sample some delicious authentic Asian cuisine at different stops, in the company of knowledgeable tour guide Yang Zhang, who’ll be tracing the history of the Chinese community in Ireland and exploring the integral role of food in the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Sat Feb 1, & Feb 8 Tickets: €22
Words: Martina Murray