Celebrating the Chinese New Year at the Hotel Grand Pacific

Tea Smoked Duck Leg, Mandarin Orange Infused Shao Shing Wine Sauce, Crushed Taro Root with Chinese Ham. Photos by Ellie Shortt

To honour the Chinese New Year, the Hotel Grand Pacific is hosting a series of events that incorporate food, fun and entertainment. Not only will they be introducing new offerings on their popular dim sum menu, but from January 23rd to 29th their restaurant will also be providing guests with a unique opportunity to sample a symbolic three-course menu that will feature traditional flavours with gourmet flair.

 

Celebrated executive chef Rick Choy has prepared this exceptional spread, achieving a beautiful balance between time-honoured Chinese tastes and western technique. To accompany the food, a team of restaurant sommeliers, tea enthusiasts and the experts at Silk Road Tea have put together a series of wine and tea pairings that, along with a lion dance performance on the 27th, make for a truly memorable dining experience for the year of the dragon.

 

Scallop Tofu Croquette, XO Sauce and Rice Crackers

The dinner begins with a scallop tofu croquette topped with XO Sauce, dehydrated scallop and shrimp, and a crispy cracker made from sticky rice flour. The contrast of flavour, in addition to a slight kick in the sauce, makes for an exciting and lively way to begin the meal. This dish is paired with the fresh and somewhat floral notes of the Road 13 Chenin Blanc, as well as a smooth and subtle Silk Road Dragon Tea. In Chinese culture, the tea’s jasmine flavours signify motherhood and the moon, and the scallop and tofu blend symbolizes reunion, with the golden colour of the croquette suggesting wealth. In addition to this, the rice found in the cracker garnish signifies fertility, luck and good fortune.

 

For the second course, guests have a choice between tea-smoked duck leg and a pan-fried lingcod with a prawn filled shitake mushroom.

 

The tea-smoked duck is certainly a dish of luxury. The duck marinates for 4 days in a mandarin orange infused Shao Shing wine sauce that itself takes 5-10 years to age. A task for truly the most patient of chefs, the duck is served with perfectly textured crushed taro root mixed with Chinese ham. The dish is paired with a plumy and somewhat spicy Mission Hill Five Vineyards Pinot Noir, as well as Silk Road Imperial Mandarin Tea. Oranges are often displayed in homes and stores during the New Year celebration and symbolize wealth, good fortune and gold, while the duck is a sign of fertility for the following year.

 

Pan Fried Ling Cod, Prawn Filled Shitake Mushroom, Crab and Egg White Sauce, Eight Treasure Sticky Rice

The second option of pan-fried lingcod served with a prawn filled shiitake mushroom comes with a light crab and egg white sauce as well as Eight Treasure sticky rice. Included in the eight treasures are chopped chestnuts, lotus and seeds, which give the rice a delightful texture. The fresh lingcod is flavoured with a bean paste as well as a Chinese wine marinade, and Chef Choy has chosen a dehydrated shitake mushroom as the base for the prawn filling to ensure that the mushroom doesn’t become overly soft. This texturally varied dish is paired with the fresh bite of a Sandhill Viognier, giving this portion of the meal more of a punch than a softer, buttery white would provide. For those drinking tea, they also recommend the soft citrusy flavours of the Silk Road Imperial Mandarin. The signification of the fish is that of prosperity and monetary surplus, while the prawns suggest happiness and laughter. Similar to the rice in the first dish, the sticky rice used here symbolizes fertility.

 

Honey Pomela Tea, Banana Filled Sweet Pastry Globe

To end the meal, guests are given Sea Cider Pomona, honey pomelo tea and a banana filled sweet pastry globe. The pomelo honey tea comes from a recipe that is over 2000 years old and has medicinal value with its warm and mellow flavours. This comforting brew takes between 10 to 20 days and leaves a delicious marmalade-like mix on the bottom of your cup that is delicious on its own or as a toping to the deep-fried globe. The syrupy Pomona combined with the soothing tea and scrumptious banana pastry make for a calming combination that will no doubt leave you with a sleepy but satisfied smile at the end of a truly spectacular dining experience.

 

For reservations contact The Pacific Restaurant at 250-380-4458. Runs January 23 – 29

Tickets are priced at $38.88 per person with a choice to add on the tea parings for $8.88 or the wine parings for $28.88.

The Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St Victoria, BC (800) 663-7550

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