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Prosperity and happiness start in the Canton Road kitchen |

Sunday Lifestyle

Prosperity and happiness start in the Canton Road kitchen

#NOFILTER - Chonx Tibajia - The Philippine Star
Prosperity and happiness start in the Canton Road kitchen
Steamed Pig-Shaped Lotus Paste Bun by executive Chinese chef Wang Wei Qing (left) versus my cute version, created during Canton Road’s dim sum making class at Shangri-La at the Fort.

Chinese or not, this one is a hard-and-fast rule of the universe: you make your own luck. In our case, it was lucky dumplings. Shangri-La at the Fort gave us first dibs on its Chinese New Year dimsum making class at Canton Road, where executive Chinese chef Wang Wei Qing demonstrated the fine art of dim sum making to people such as myself, who are only versed in the fine art of food delivery. Some of my classmates — fellow writers —had more experience. Some were home cooks, others home makers, and one was a graduate from last year’s class. Still, we were all equal in the kitchen, driven by one goal: make as many dumplings as we want to take home.

How to make the perfect dumpling: less dough, more filling. Also, don’t forget to pinch!

Literally, we made our own prosperity, a.k.a. lunch, guided by expert chefs starting with Fish-shaped Coconut Rice Cake, a sweet CNY treat made with glutinous rice flour, potato starch, coconut cream and milk. Boiled Cabbage and Pork Dumpling with Ginger Vinegar, made with pork belly and chives, came next. The experts were careful to remind us to roll the dough into very thin pieces, otherwise you can a chewy dumpling and that’s no good. Finally, we made Steamed Pig-shaped Lotus Paste Bun, a sweet dessert celebrating the Year of the Pig. Of course, we made all sorts of shapes much to the amusement of our chef-guides — we fashioned some after our own pets, someone made one with pink hair, and I made one that accidentally looked like a duck. It’s all part of the fun. Hey, you get to eat them after and that’s what matters.

Canton Road’s dim sum making classes are on Feb. 7, 9, 14 and 16, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Call to reserve.

Shangri-La at the Fort will be offering these sessions on Feb. 7, 9, 14 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for P2,988 nett for adults ages 18 years and above, and P1,888 nett for kids agest 8 to 17.

All done! Fish-Shaped Coconut Rice Cakes Making our own luck and lunch at Canton Road. by the class.

On Chinese New Year itself, Canton Road will be offering its Happiness, Abundance and Wealth menus, spreads featuring regional Chinese specialties that bring in good fortune. Headlining this year’s special menu is Pun Choi, also known as “basic food,” made of different treasures layered into a bowl. Chef Wan’s Pun Choi is comprised of a healthy mix of shrimp, flower mushroom, chicken, roasted duck, sea moss fish ball, dry oyster, abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, lettuce and broccoli in oyster sauce. The dish is guided by the philosophy of harmony and carries a unique historical and cultural symbolism, as it was offered to the gods and ancestors during festivals. It represents cooperation as a way to attract luck,

Making our own luck and lunch at Canton Road.

Alongside Pun Choi is Yee Sang, a raw Norwegian salmon salad that is better known for its preparation — the “Prosperity Toss.” In this traditional ritual, the ingredients of the dish are tossed in the air using chopsticks, to signify happiness and luck. The higher the toss, the more chances of one’s wishes coming true.

Salmon Head and Pork Knuckles to ring in the Year of the Pig

Last but not least, Canton Road features its suckling pig stuffed with fragrant glutinous rice. It’s a staple dish with a rich history associated with royal banquets, and is considered an auspicious treat that symbolizes completeness and prosperity.

Pun Choi is the star of Shangri-La at the Fort’s special Chinese New Year menu.

The Happiness menu is priced at P29,888 nett, the Abundance menu at P32,888 and the Wealth menu at P38,888. The special menus are for a table of 10 persons and are inclusive of a non-alcoholic beverage package. Canton Road also offers eight private dining rooms, the biggest of which can seat up to 28 guests at a time. Each dining room is named after an iconic street in Hong Kong: Kowloon, Peking, Nathan, Mody, Salisbury, Admiralty, Austin, and Granville. All rooms are equipped with private pantries.

The Yee Sang is ready for the Prosperity Toss.

For inquiries and reservations, call (632) 820-0888 or email

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