Beachside setting primed for auspicious reunions

Golden Sands Resort’s Dragon in Full Swing Chinese New Year dishes are rich in symbolism. — Courtesy photos

Set menu consists of delicacies filled with Lunar New Year symbolism

SYMBOLISM dictates many aspects of Chinese New Year dining, from dishes eaten to choice of venue.

If you are among those who place great emphasis on connotations of good fortune, abundance or prosperity, then one resort in Penang seems tailor-made for the occasion.

Shangri-La Golden Sands’ name gives it an aura of auspiciousness for family reunions, considering the significance attached to gold this time of year.

The chef at the Batu Feringghi hotel has rolled out the Dragon in Full Swing eight-course Chinese New Year set menu priced at RM2,088nett per table of 10.

“We understand the deep symbolism behind certain ingredients and why they’re seasonal must-haves.

“We crafted our menu around it to keep with tradition, but also gave some dishes a subtle twist to celebrate Penang’s culinary multiculturalism.

“This is so guests can usher in good luck and good tidings for the year, but at the same time enjoy exciting flavours,” said Shangri-La Group Penang cluster F&B director Derek Kwan.

All tables get a complimentary helping of Prosperity Yee Sang with smoked salmon for spirited tossing sessions.

Then, it is on to the four seasons platter.

Called Hot and Cold Treasures, it comprises smoked duck breast with sesame, steamed garlic scallops, stir-fried green asparagus with pearl clams and deep-fried golden emperor prawns.

Next up is the nourishing Black Chicken Soup with Seafood, Dried Scallop and Fish Maw – with the poultry believed to restore energy while its marine morsels are an ode to good fortune.

The Black Chicken Soup with Seafood, Dried Scallop and Fish Maw is not only nourishing but also an ode to good fortune.The Black Chicken Soup with Seafood, Dried Scallop and Fish Maw is not only nourishing but also an ode to good fortune.

A whole chicken is also a must this time of year, as it symbolises unity, wholeness and a good year.

Here, it takes the form of Golden Crispy Chicken with Thai Mango Sauce.

The Sea Cucumber, Mixed Mushrooms and Vegetables in Abalone Sauce that ensues is similarly symbolic.

Mushrooms are associated with health and longevity, while abalone’s Mandarin word carries the parallel meaning of “assurance” and “surplus”.

The Steamed Grouper with Nyonya Sauce further reinforces the concept of surplus.

This piquant offering is served whole, as it represents the idea of seeing something through from beginning to end, thus successfully completing the year.

Usher in happiness with Chef’s Signature Wok-fried Prawns.

Sweet, savoury and mouth-watering, the crustaceans are a seasonal requisite for its Cantonese word sounding like “laughter”.

Crispy Noodles with Seafood is the penultimate dish.

Here, the long strands evoke the concept of longevity.

So be sure not to cut them while eating and slurp them in whole.

The feast closes with Chilled Mango Sago with Vanilla Ice Cream, the colours of which evoke gold hues to provide a lavish end.

The set menu is available for booking with a minimum of 30 pax (three tables) until Feb 24 or Chap Goh Meh.

Each table gets a complimentary bottle of house red or white wine.

Seven days’ advance reservation is required.

Besides family reunions, the banquets are equally great for corporate thank you parties or festive get-togethers with friends.

GOLDEN SANDS RESORT, Batu Feringghi Beach, Penang. (Tel: 04-888 8645 (banquet); 04-886 1911 (buffet).

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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Shangri-la Golden Sands , Penang


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