Lin go – a traditional glutinous rice pudding – is eaten during Lunar New Year because the Cantonese pronunciation sounds like ‘a year higher’. An auspicious dessert, eating it is supposed to help diners advance their careers or reach new heights in prosperity in the forthcoming year. Since lin go can be time consuming to make, especially in the hectic run up to CNY, we’ve rounded up the best places you can pick some up in case life is giving you no break. By Lisa Cam and Rachel Wu
And in case you’re in need of some Valentine’s Day inspiration too, check out our guide to Valentine’s Day in Hong Kong and the city’s most romantic restaurants.
Best Chinese New Year lin go in Hong Kong
Known for providing healthy options and quality merchandise that uses refined ingredients, Dashijie’s puddings are the go-to choice for those who want to embrace tradition but with modern tweaks. Among the classics, there’s a limited edition ginger and brown sugar cake, and another that’s flavoured with porcini mushrooms (instead of the usual dried meats), so vegetarians don’t have to miss out. $218-$298.
We know what you’re thinking: Lin go from a German-themed restaurant? Well, all King Parrot groups are selling a variety of traditional and more contemporary desserts this CNY and they’re surprisingly good. For those seeking something new there’s a red bean with osamanthus and goji berry pud, or you can keep it old school with ginger and purple sweet potato.
To help you start the Lunar New Year off on the right foot, Lung King Heen’s chef, Chan Yan-tak, is putting a healthy spin on traditional puddings by using aloe vera alongside lotus root and jasmine for a super food packed lin go. Of course, other classics are still available such as a taro pudding with air-dried meat and an abalone and turnip pudding with conpoy. $388-$468.
Purveyors of many decadent food products, The Peninsula Boutique has an awesome collection of jams, chocolates, cakes and plenty more. For Chinese New Year it has a couple of special items available for this auspicious time of year – a new pineapple variety as well as a sweet osmanthus pudding. Can’t decide? You can get a traditional flavour and osmanthus combo box. $188-$348.
Chef Mok Kit-keung has been busy creating brand new, innovatively-flavoured puddings. If you’re after something different tuck, into the likes of chef Mok’s rose sugar and honey locust fruit pudding or the American ginseng, fig and honey variety. For something savoury, there’s the popular black truffle, abalone and turnip pudding, plus many other creations made using superior ingredients. $278-$488.
Known for its excellent Cantonese fare, the outposts of this small chain are regularly packed during lunch hours. Given its penchant for traditional local fare, it’s no surprise the restaurant is offering up an old school yam and dried shrimp pudding this Spring Festival. Stuffed with toothsome fresh yam and yam beans, the pudding comes served with dried conpoy. $248.