The Handbook
The Handbook

Okay, so we’re not saying that you need to stuff your face like a pig, nor are we saying it’s time to ditch the cutlery and go at it snout first, although you can. We are, of course, talking about the Year of the Pig, and if you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, then today is the day (or, indeed, five days). Marking the start of spring and a time of new beginnings, it’s the longest Chinese holiday and also so-happens to be Tony Truong, Head Chef of Mei Ume at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square’s, favourite time of the year.

To celebrate the holiday, Truong has created a special feast menu inspired by the Manchu Han Imperial Feast, one of the grandest meals documented in Chinese cuisine that included more than 100 different dishes…sounds like our kind of feast. Dishes on the menu include a steamed dim sum platter, suckling pig, golden crispy five spice pigeon and even a jellyfish salad. To toast the New Year there are also two cocktails including a sweet cocktail made with mandarin syrup or for a smokier drink try the Pu Her Tea infused vodka. Whilst to finish you’ll find a Chinese New Year Cake made from glutinous rice which symbolises the promise of a better year and after the rocky year we had last year we’ll take all the help we can get (what’s the guessing we’ll be saying the same next year?).

The menu is being served until the 16th February and during this time the a la carte menu will also be available. Spanning both Chinese and Japanese cuisine with some Korean dishes also included, the daily menu is a smorgasbord of sashimi, uramaki, hosomaki and dishes of seafood, poultry and hot stone rice bowls. To start we suggest the salt and pepper squid with lemon leaves and shallots and the steamed Diver scallop, you can choose to serve it with garlic, ginger or spicy black bean sauce. There’s an excellent dish of king prawns with orange tobiko and a wasabi mayonnaise, which still gives a hit of heat without the punch that wasabi can often deliver. If meat is more your thing then go for the slow braised Dongpo pork belly, it’s so tender it practically melts against your chopsticks. Feeling indulgent, at £29 it’s the most expensive of the uramaki but the BBQ wagyu beef with caramelised onion is pure bites of decadence. For pudding you’ll find a tart yuzu crème brûlée, a chocolate crunch cake with a rich Valrhona chocolate sorbet, or go for iced mochi dipped in chocolate.

Designed by AB Concept, the restaurant is sleek and elegant, divided up by ornate pillars, low lighting and a high ceilings. Choose to sit at the bar for a glass of sake, in one of the booths or for larger groups we suggest the private dining room. Wherever you choose to eat though, start the year off in the right way by heading to Mei Ume.

The Chinese New Year Menu is available until the 16th February 2019 at Mei Ume, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, 10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ