Our weekly serving of off-the-menu items—a few popular favorites from the week as well as a few morsels that may have slipped your notice.
Lunar New Year is all about the symbolic power of food and drink—fish for abundance, dumplings for riches, noodles for long life, mandarin oranges for money. Double down on your luck with the Twins Dish by Afterain Design. New Year greetings for “peace” and “family reunion” by Taiwanese master seal carver Ke Shih-An are cast into the ceramic dishware for a twin dose of deliciousness.
Hot Pot, Now Powered by Your Phone
Communal dining just got a lot more fun with IKEA Taiwan’s Hot Pot Table. The heating element at the center of this shared meal is powered by diner’s cell phones, forcing friends and family to choose between a meal and their phones.
A Luxury Chinese New Year Feast, Delivered to Your Door
A four-course New Year Feast, fit for visiting dignitaries and politicos, can now be ordered online and delivered straight to your door—tableware included. The luxury packaging for the “State Banquet Dinner” comes in a carrying case and includes dishware for each of the four individually packaged courses for a whopping $617. Dishes like Lion’s Head meatballs, braised prawns and abalone stew take inspiration from the menu served at the annual New Year Feast held traditionally at The Great Hall of People in Beijing.
Folded Paper Packaging
So it’s not exactly Lunar New Year food stuff but origami and the art of folded paper is a fun activity for the holiday—whether its paper lanterns or a fire monkey. These origami burrito and taco holders compress with each bite for a smart way to add some structure to a potentially messy lunch.
Gan Bei! Cheers to Chinese Baijiu Cocktails
The unofficial “national drink of China,” baijiu (white alcohol), is having a renaissance with cocktail bars dedicated to the spirit open in Beijing and New York. Traditionally drank as a shot, these new watering holes are highlighting the notes of sorghum and rice that make the foundation of this grain alcohol.