Lunar New Year brings many things, but one of the most important (and delicious) aspects of this Asian holiday is the food.
Some people might be preparing for a great feast at home with their families; others might be indulging in a bountiful meal at one of many Chinese restaurants around town.
For those who enjoy sweets more than savoury dishes, there are many places in the city offering Lunar New Year treats—and we’re not talking about traditional Chinese desserts.
Here are five places to find tasty Year of the Rooster-themed desserts in Metro Vancouver.
WILD SWEETS (12191 Hammersmith Way, Richmond)
This Richmond-based award-winning chocolate shop is offering two special products to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. Its zodiac-themed chocolate art collection consists of ingredients that symbolize Chinese meanings of prosperity, good fortune, longevity, and wealth. The chocolates are made with a soft ganache and different fruit-based caramels, featuring flavours such as chestnut-vanilla bean with organic roasted chestnuts, and kumquat-orange with citrus-honey-nut-cream. Its other product is a chocolate art bouchée series, which are small pastries filled with a baked caramel nut jam and decorated with cocoa butter colours.
BETA5 CHOCOLATES (413 Industrial Avenue)
Beta5 is at it again, creating irresistibly cute cream puffs for a specific holiday. For Lunar New Year, its pastry chefs have made limited edition mandarin cream puffs that are filled with mandarin curd, rice pudding mousse, and an almond financier. These treats don’t come in large quantities (limit four per person), and are available in-store until Sunday (January 29). Not lucky enough to snag a few? Try its special Lunar New Year chocolate bar—made with 66% dark chocolate, freeze-dried mandarin, and puffed rice.
FRENCH MADE BAKING (81 Kingsway)
Why not celebrate Lunar New Year with a French treat? French Made Baking has created Rooster macarons filled with jasmine chocolate ganache—a cute treat for yourself or as a gift. The pastry shop is also offering regular-shaped macarons with Asian flavours, including jasmine-green tea, sesame-red bean, matcha-vanilla buttercream, black-sesame-mandarin, and durian.
THOMAS HAAS CHOCOLATES (2539 West Broadway and 128-998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver)
Renowned chocolatier Thomas Haas has created a unique Lunar New Year chocolate collection, featuring roosters, gold coins, mandarin oranges, and more. The Year of the Rooster chocolate sculpture is hand-painted and made with 62% dark chocolate, decorated with Thomas Haas signature chocolates and gold-foil coins. Its good fortune mandarin orange is airbrushed with cocoa butter and looks so good on camera that you might actually refrain from eating it, at least for the first few days after purchase.
SOIRETTE (1433 West Pender Street)
Known for its flavourful cakes and macarons, Soirette has created some special treats to ring in the Year of the Rooster. Its raspberry white chocolate cake (serves 8 to 10 people) is made with a light vanilla genoise soaked in fresh mandarin syrup, and filled with white chocolate mousse with lots of fresh raspberries. Heading to a dinner and not sure what to bring? Its red and white macarons donned with gold specks and roosters that come in a box of 30 might wow the crowd, with flavours such as mandarin milk chocolate and almond butter cookie.