THE time has come again when mistletoe, fruitcake and gaily wrapped presents give way to red lanterns, mandarin oranges and red packets.
Florists, food suppliers and decor stores are stocked choc-a-bloc with supplies to cater to those on the Chinese New Year shopping trail.
“We're already purchasing decorative items and food ingredients for Chinese New Year according to the theme 'Spring into Prosperity',” said Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa assistant director Wendy Kok during a shopping trip for festive ingredients and paraphernalia on Tuesday
Led by Kok, Chinese chef Lim Kok Tong and floral designer Cheng Yoon Seng, the shopping trip was to Petaling Street. It was to show the hotel's tradition of preparing for the Chinese New Year.
Managed by Hiah (Gan) Siek Kee, the shop has been in existence for the last 40 years, wholesaling all manner of dried and canned foodstuff such as abalone, oysters, jellyfish, scallops, sea cucumbers, fungi and herbs.
“For dried oysters and sea cucumbers, make sure you pick those that are not too dry and hard. The sea cucumbers, especially, should be soft enough for you to easily bend it a little without breaking it,” said Lim while selecting sea cucumbers that cost RM420 per kg.
Dried mushrooms were also on the list, with those from China costing some RM60 per kg and those from Japan, RM450 per kg.
“We buy an average of about 50kg of dried seafood during Chinese New Year, and if the demand is very high, it can go up to about 100kg,” Lim later revealed.
The next stop was Lee Wah Florist Sdn Bhd, one of the oldest and most established flower wholesalers in the city.
Set up more than 50 years ago, the florist is run by sisters Apple and Orange Lee.
Saddled with the task of decorating the hotel interior and exterior, Cheng went about selecting peonies, plum blossoms, pussy willows and forsythias for her floral arrangements.
“These flowers are spring flowers and appropriate for Chinese New Year, which is all about embracing spring. The flowers are from China and usually brought in a month before the festival,” said Cheng, adding that other auspicious plants included lucky bamboo, chrysanthemums and gladioli, as well as lime and kumquat trees.
“Blooms and living plants signify growth and new life,” Kok added.
Meanwhile, decoration for the hotel's facade was purchased from Nan Thong Gifts & Decor Sdn Bhd.
Red lanterns, wall decorations, streamers, poetic couplets, and giant and miniature mystic knots and more set the festive mood in the store.
“We'll be using mystic knots, lanterns and ang pow decorated kumquat and lime trees for the hotel exterior,” said Cheng, adding that the flowers and decoration were estimated to cost about RM15,000.
The shopping completed, the media adjourned to the hotel for a floral arrangement demonstration and a much-awaited lunch at the West Lake Garden restaurant.
Among the dishes available at the restaurant this Chinese New Year are nine types of yee sang, Steamed Estuary Garoupa with Mandarin Orange Peel and Soya Sauce, Braised Shark's Fin Soup with Crab Meat and Roe and a variety of other seafood and desserts.
The Chinese New Year menu at West Lake Garden will be available until March 4.
“Don't forget to make reservations,” Kok reminded.
West Lake Garden Restaurant - Website Click Here
West Lake Garden Chinese RestaurantLobby Level, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
(603) 7492 8000 Ext. 3181
(603) 7492 8001
Recommended but not required
Lunch:12.00pm - 2.30pm (Mon - Sat)10.00am - 2.30pm (Sun & Public Holidays)
Dinner:6.30pm - 10.30pm (Mon - Sun)
Eat-All-&-Leave-Nothing:12.00pm - 2.30pm (Sat)
Source : STAR
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel vmy2007]