Chinese Moon Festival Comes to Hotel Grand Pacific

Left: The Imperial tea service, upper right: pan-fried tea-cured salmon, lower right: the traditional moon cake and contemporary moon cake

In celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival, The Pacific Restaurant‘s Executive Chef Rick Choy has created a contemporary menu with a traditional spirit. Using the wooden moon cake mold passed down to him by his grandmother, the chef makes the traditional  lotus seed-filled treats, though he explains it took him many tries to get the recipe right, explaining that Chinese cooks like to leave something out when the write out a recipe  – a little mystery to solve! Chef Choy also uses a modern moon cake press to make his contemporary version, using a green tea pastry with a crunchy almond filling. The first course is a silky  prawn custard in a fragrant shiitake and goji berry broth (prawns are a symbol of liveliness, while shiitakes represent longevity). The main course offers a choice between tea-cured salmon or steamed cornish game hen, both accented by traditional ingredients such as ginger or taro root. Find the full menu below.

From the press release:

The specially-prepared three-course celebratory Chinese Moon Festival menu will be offered in the restaurant on each of the five nights, from Thursday, September 8 through to Monday, September 12. Continuing The Pacific’s merging of the traditional and contemporary, Silk Road‘s Daniela Cubelic has selected Chinese tea pairings for each dish and restaurant’s sommeliers have chosen contemporary wine pairings. The menu will cost $38.88 per person, with tea pairings for an additional $8.88 or wine pairings for $28.88. As part of the celebrations on the Saturday night, September 10, a lion dance will be performed for good luck at 6:00 pm.

The Chinese Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival, is traditionally associated with the tale of the archer, Houyi and his wife, Chang’e, the Goddess of Immortality. Legend has it that after taking an immortality pill, Chang’e flew up to the moon where she continued to live, while Houyi set up residence on the sun. The bright mid-autumn moon is said to be the result of Houyi paying his wife a visit. The festival is celebrated in both Chinese and Vietnamese cultures on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, bringing together family and friends to admire the bright harvest moon and eat mooncakes.

While a magic pill was the “elixir of life” in the tale, the Hotel Grand Pacific will be celebrating with a substance perhaps less extreme but just as potent: tea! Along with the tea pairings for the menu, Cubelic will also perform a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, approximately 30 minutes long, in The Mark at 3:00 pm on Sunday, September 11, perfect for those wishing to enjoy the restaurant’s weekend dim sum. Tickets are free, however reservations are required to observe the ceremony; reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 250-380-4458. Dim sum will be offered on both the Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 am through to 3:00 pm.

The Chinese tea ceremony is the world’s oldest tea ritual and can be performed any time of year as a way to enjoy tea or as a celebration to mark a specific occasion. The version of the ceremony that Cubelic will be performing is specific to the Chinese Moon Festival. The tea ceremony was devised for brewing tea under the influence of the moon, and each of the steps in the tea ceremony, and even the tea-ware used, all have meaning and symbolism that tie to the occasion.

The Chinese Moon Festival menu is as follows:


Steamed Prawn Custard

Shiitake and Goji Berry Broth

Tea pairing: Mulberry Tea

Wine pairing: Road 13 Chenin Blanc, Oliver B.C.

Steamed Cornish Game Hen

Wrapped in Lotus Leaf

Sherry Ginger Sauce

Tea pairing: Black Pu-erh Imperial Tea Mandarin

Wine pairing: Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir, Westbank, B.C.

~ or ~

Pan Fried Tea Cured Salmon

Da Fang Reduction, Taro Root Rösti

Tea pairing: Black Pu-erh Imperial Tea Mandarin

Wine pairing: Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir, Westbank, B.C.

Moon Cake Two Ways

One Traditional

One Contemporary

Tea pairing: Jasmine Tea

Wine pairing: Tinhorn Creek Late Harvest Kerner, Oliver, B.C.



Written By:

Rebecca Baugniet is a freelance food writer and editor living on Canada’s West Coast with her husband and their four children. The author of three published cookbooks, Rebecca has also written for EAT Magazine and for Montréal ...

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