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This year’s Chinese New Year, the year of the Rooster, began on January 28. The celebration can last for 15 days, and each day has a different purpose. For example, the first day is for visiting senior members of the family, the second day is for married women to visit their birth parents, the third day is for visiting the grave of deceased relatives, and so on. Coincidentally, the seventh day is for celebrating the birth of mankind, not unlike the stories told in several religions of the world. On the 15th day, the last day of the celebration, which marks the first full moon of this lunar new year, special sweet dumplings will be eaten and lanterns will be displayed. Throughout the new year celebration, children will be given red packets with money when they greet visitors with auspicious wishes, and lion and dragon dances will be performed.

Here in Fort Bonifacio, expect to see lion and dragon dance performed in mall areas, including open spaces such as the central square in Bonifacio High Street. Have your red packets ready if the dragon or lion dancers approach you, so that you can get some good luck. For a description of how Chinese New Year is celebrated in Fort Bonifacio, read our article here.

Feasting is one of the main ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year with family and friends. Indeed, the tenth to twelfth days of the celebration are earmarked for meeting family and friends over food, but there is no rule against feasting on the other days. Vegetarian food is encouraged for the first day of the celebration because eating vegetarian meals at least once in a while is believed to be good for health, and since many Chinese are Buddhists, who refrain from taking life of any form, it is also regarded as a way to show respect for Buddha. Apart from that, Chinese have no special dietary requirements during the new year celebration.

There are several Chinese restaurants in Fort Bonifacio that one can go during Chinese New Year as a means to join in the celebration. One of them is DaTang Jardin Asian Tapas Bar. Just the name of the restaurant tells you that the restaurant is unconventional. It has French word (“Jardin,” which means garden) and refers to Spanish food (“tapas”). When you go there, the mystery can solve itself. The interior design follows a garden theme, with a lot of greens and wood. Many dishes are served in bite sizes, like Spanish tapas.┬á

The interior at DaTang Jardin Asian Tapas Bar.

“DaTang” refers to the great Tang Dynasty in China, which lasted for nearly 300 years from 618 A.D. The food is unmistakably Chinese, but a diverse one, covering dishes from many different regions in China, each with their distinct characteristics. It has Cantonese dishes like sweet and sour pork, sauteed sliced beef in oyster sauce, as well as many Taiwanese dishes like braised beef tenderloin chunks with soy sauce, Three Cup Chicken (the three cups refer to soy sauce, red wine, and sesame oil), and Fried Pork and Squid with Tofu, Taiwan style. All dishes are served in beautiful ceramics. If you want to try the unusual, and are fond of spicy food, then these dishes are for you: Sichuan dishes called Beef in Hot Chili Oil, ┬áSliced Fish in Hot Chili Oil, Stir-Fried Minced Pork with Chopped Hot Chili.

Some dishes are served the tapas way, that is, in snack size or in separate pieces in one dish good for two persons to taste test, such as the Sweet and Sour Pork, Grilled Pork Neck served with Garlic Sauce, Pan-Fried Sliced Scallops with Milk & Egg Whites in Truffle Sauce, Steamed Shrimp with Asparagus Served with Crab Egg Sauce. The tapas way of serving Chinese food takes some getting used to, as a regular Chinese dish serving size is usually expected to be big enough for sharing by a family.

Steamed shrimps with asparagus served with crab egg sauce P220

Since this year is the year of the rooster, go and try their unique chicken dishes at DaTang Jardin Asian Tapas Bar, such as Steamed Chicken with Chili Sauce, Spicy Salt Fried Chicken in Taiwan Style or Crispy Chicken in fermented bean paste. it is located at Forbes Town Road, near Burgos Circle.

Contact DaTang Jardin Asian Tapas Bar:

Contact number:  888 6868

Location: G/F., Bellagio 2, Forbestown Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (see map here).

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