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Family conversations over Chinese cuisine

The Chinese New Year’s Nian Ye Fian, also known as Reunion Dinner, is a much-awaited event for families as they take a break from work, relax, and share stories over food and drinks. You’ll never know what to hear exactly as stories from family can be diverse and memorable.

Over at the Podium, restaurants serving Chinese cuisine were brimming with such conversations. The mall has multiple restaurants you can explore to taste traditional to modern dishes from Hong Kong to Taiwan, with twists from other Asian countries like South Korea and Japan.

Any gathering is made more enjoyable and exciting with foods and drinks around to relish. Paradise Dynasty sets the festive mood with its “legend,” which are eight colorful flavors of Xiao Long Bao, or soup wrapped elegantly into dumplings. For more variety, the restaurant serves other dishes that represent northern and southern China. Among them are La Mian with Braised Pork Belly and Poached Beef in Szechuan Chili Oil.

Photographs courtesy of the podium
Meet Fresh features healthy Taiwanese treats, including Red Bean Soup from its Hot Taro Ball Series bowl.

Shanghai Saloon’s cosmopolitan cuisine is also a treat for the adventurous. In the menu are Crispy Pork Belly with Kimchi Cuapao and Pork Spareribs with Guava Sauce, among others. As you sit down through the juicier parts of your family stories, you can enjoy its unlimited Yum Cha, a meal consisting of dimsums and hot tea.

Or you can create your own hot pots at Healthy Shabu Shabu with a mix of this and that or bits of everything from arrays of meat, vegetables, and spices in comforting and savory broth with flavors from salmon, cod, tuna fillet, scallops, abalones, or Angus rib eye, beef tenderloin, or beef wagyu.

New Year or not, many people would find certain Chinese dishes simply irresistible. Mann Hann’s menu reminds you of a family member that would find a certain dish delightful. The choices include Lechon Macau, Radish Cake, and Fried Noodles with Seafood.

Shi Lin offers Taiwanese Bento Boxes with a choice of Chicken Chop, Porkchop, Spicy Spareribs, Salt and Pepper Squid, or Sweet and Sour Pork, all with dim sum, bokchoy, and fried or steamed rice.

If you don’t mind splurging, you’ll find these restaurants are up your alley. Family conversations also become more intimate as you glance at the restaurants’ elegant ambience.
For more casual dining, Tai Koo presents Hong Kong in plates of roast meats, bowls of noodle soups, and baskets of dim sums. If you know a family member as one of those who cannot decide immediately, a great option is Soy Chicken Tai Koo Plate that has some Chinese favorites — Chinese sausage, bokchoy with garlic, fried siomai, and buchi.

A dining event without desserts is Chinese New Year’s Day without fireworks or a gathering without that funny member of the family. In between the expected and the surprising stories from family is an anecdote or a joke too amusing that keeps the conversation going as you would down an addictive dessert from Meet Fresh. It offers bowls of shaved ice in milk crowned by mixes of root crops, pearls, fruits, and beans, or they’re submerged in syrup or soy jelly. You can try its Red Bean Soup from Hot Taro Ball Series. Meet Fresh promises their desserts are free of preservatives.

The Podium has a selection of restaurants as varied as the stories we hear at the table during special family gatherings or reunion dinners.

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