Chinese cuisine

What the Chinese Eat During the Spring Festival – The Diary with Stephen Cole



Spring Festival celebrations in London are usually the largest in the world outside of Asia, but after the cancellation in 2021, this year’s event will also be scaled back due to the pandemic. The city’s Chinese restaurants, however, will be whipping up sumptuous cuisine to mark the Year of the Tiger.

Stephen Cole from The Agenda visits the iconic China Tang at the Dorchester to speak to the manager, John Man.


John Man has been the manager of China Tang Restaurant since its inception in 2005. He served Baroness Thatcher on opening day.

The man tells Stephen that the Chinese are obsessed with good fortune. “You need fish. The word fish in Chinese means abundance.”

He adds that New Year’s specials also include sea moss and dried oysters. “Again, it’s a homophone. Dried oyster in Chinese (Cantonese) Housi (好时) means good times. Sea moss is oily choy (发菜). It’s a homophone for getting rich.”

The man says that Chinese food is comparatively healthier because it contains more vegetables. China also has a long history of vegetarianism under the influence of Buddhism.


– Professor of Food Safety Chris Elliot speaks on The Agenda to discuss the best way to eat amid the supply chain crisis and the urgency to reduce carbon emissions.

Sally Shi-Po Poon The president of Hong Kong Practicing Dietitians Union explains how to eat healthy during confinement and some tips for vegans.