For event planners and venues alike, functions taking place around festivities such as those for Chinese New Year pose a challenge. Can you get away with not serving the seasonal specialities? And if not, how can you keep the menus interesting for delegates?
Chinese New Year
The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong offers pre-planned packages to planners, but says it gets some off the wall requests and is ready to go off plan.
“Even with Chinese set menus – be it Christmas or Chinese New Year – more and more guests are asking for a western dessert buffet with a festive theme,” says Louisa Wong (right), the hotel’s director of events. “One year, a client asked for a special Chinese New Year pudding corner among the western dessert buffet choices.”
For Chinese special event catering, Cordis executive chef for Chinese cuisine Mango Tsang (left) says 2016 saw some special recommendations for guests, with lucky implications for the years to come.
“We offer a traditional Prosperity Toss, a Teochew-style raw fish salad to wish guests every success in their business, steamed whole fresh fish as a blessing for guests to stay prosperous through the year, and a whole chicken, symbolising the Rooster’s announcement of good news,” says Tsang.
The Year of the Rooster begins on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
At the Intercontinental, Hong Kong, executive director of events Bryan Chiu says the hotel’s function spaces are usually fully booked over both Christmas and Chinese New Year. But event planners paying the premium prices for harbour view rooms also want unique menus, so all are tailormade and no festive packages are offered.
However, the hotel does have a special menu available in its function spaces for up to 100 diners, from now until February 28, in celebration of the Intercontinental Group’s 70th anniversary.
Banqueting chef Kenny Tsang (left) has created a gourmet five-course Western menu, in collaboration with and endorsed by Intercontinental Europe-based Michelin Insider Chefs Lionel Lever, from the Intercontinental, Marseilles, and Rogér Rassin, from the Intercontinental Amstel, Amsterdam.
Catering for Christmas in Hong Kong