Local Spotlight

Celebrate Chinese New Year at Yauatcha Houston

The Haoyun lantern petit gateau, with soy caramel mousse, mandarin confit, sesame sable, ($12), is one of the specialties offered for Chinese New Year at Yauatcha.
The Haoyun lantern petit gateau, with soy caramel mousse, mandarin confit, sesame sable, ($12), is one of the specialties offered for Chinese New Year at Yauatcha. Photo by Mai Pham
The lunar new year, popularly referred to as Chinese New Year, takes place this Friday, February 16. While there are a myriad of ways that you can celebrate — spending time with family, handing out red envelopes filled with money to young ones, or watching a lion dance — Chinese New Year’s celebrations inevitably involve food. And one place that’s looking to help you celebrate is Yauatcha Houston.

To ring in the Year of the Dog, from now until March 5, Hakkasan Group’s tony dim sum tea house in the Galleria will be serving a special menu of dim sum, mains and pastries created especially for the occasion. All the dishes feature ingredients that symbolize good fortune.
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Salted egg yolk custard sesame ball signifies prosperity and wealth ($10).
Photo by Mai Pham
On the dim sum front, the Chilean sea bass roll is mean to symbolize prosperity. There’s also a sweet and savory salted egg yolk sesame ball, a traditional New Year’s dish where the round shape and golden color are metaphors for prosperity and wealth.

For the mains, there are four celebratory Chinese New Year dishes: the golden fortune prawn in lime sauce, steam scallop in black bean sauce with glass noodle, seafood braised rice in lotus leaf, and stir fried duck breast with hazelnut in mala sauce.
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Chinese New Year macarons come in three flavors: vanilla orchid, kumquat cashew, and raspberry szechuan pepper ($2.50 each).
Photo by Mai Pham
The pastries are a highlight. Shaped like a mini red lantern, the Haoyun Lantern petit gâteau dessert with soy caramel mousse, mandarin confit and sesame sable is so picture perfect, you’re almost loathe to break into it. A specialty pastry item available at all Yauatcha locations worldwide, citrus is thought to bring good luck, and the word “haoyun” translates to “lucky.”  There are also three limited time macaron flavors— vanilla orchid, kumquat cashew, and raspberry szechuan pepper.

In addition to the special menu, for one evening only on Friday, February 16, Yauatcha Houston patrons will get to observe a traditional lion dance at 6:30 p.m. and then again at 8 p.m.
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Yauatcha commissioned artist Jamie Julien Brown to create these stunning paper lanterns - on display now throughout the restaurant, until March 5.
Photo by Mai Pham
For the duration of the Chinese New Year celebrations, the restaurant will also showcase a custom paper lantern display by artist Jamie Julien Brown, whose work of mini totem lights has been interpreted as hanging lanterns inspired by the diverse palette of Yauatcha’s dim sum and patisserie.

For menu and reservations, visit www.yauatcha.com.
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Mai Pham is a contributing freelance food writer and food critic for the Houston Press whose adventurous palate has taken her from Argentina to Thailand and everywhere in between -- Peru, Spain, Hong Kong and more -- in pursuit of the most memorable bite. Her work appears in numerous outlets at the local, state and national level, where she is also a luxury travel correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide.
Contact: Mai Pham