Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - FEAST -

Sym­bol­ism per­vades Chi­nese cul­ture in ev­ery form and func­tion, and so too does it mark the cui­sine of its peo­ple. With a mul­ti­tude of mean­ings that stem from the in­gre­di­ents, pre­sen­ta­tions, and even cook­ing meth­ods, Chi­nese cui­sine is one that hon­ours life, health, wealth, and good­ness through aus­pi­cious words and phrases, ut­tered at the height of the cel­e­bra­tions amidst the happy re­union of fam­ily and friends.

All this is made the more ev­i­dent dur­ing the Lu­nar New Year. With ex­tra-long chop­sticks at the ready, cel­e­brants of the Lu­nar New Year speak words of good­will, with wishes for a gen­er­ous year filled with friend­ship, ad­vance­ment, love, and good health. Fish is served to en­sure that the fam­ily has an abun­dance of pros­per­ity. Prawns are served to evoke laugh­ter and good times. Dumplings sig­nify wealth, and sweet rice balls are a pre­cur­sor to happy times for the fam­ily. Longevity noo­dles, in clear def­er­ence to their name, are brought out to evoke hap­pi­ness and per­ma­nence. There is mean­ing to be found in food, just as there is mean­ing to be found in life.

“Our Chi­nese New Year menus are con­cep­tialised with mean­ing­ful names to cel­e­brate the new year with wealth and pros­per­ity,” Says Chef Jimmy Wong of Yun House in Four Sea­sons Kuala Lumpur. “As an ex­am­ple, a ‘money bag’ dish to

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