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Spring Festival reunion dinners a hot commodity

2020-1-14 14:14

 

It took Shanghai resident Su Zhihao several rounds of phone calls and personal visits to three restaurants to secure a reservation for a family reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year.

 

A family feast on the occasion has long been an essential part of celebrating the most important festival in China, also known as Spring Festival, which falls on Jan 25 this year.

 

"Before I got married, we used to eat at home," said Su, 30. "This year, we will be joined by family from my wife's side."

 

While Su is looking forward to the big reunion, a family feast at home is a challenge.

 

"So we decided to go to a restaurant, but it's really difficult to find a suitable one less than a month ahead of the holiday," Su said.

 

By suitable, Su said, he meant he had to consider the price, cuisine, location and, last but not least, availability. Reservations at major restaurants have run short in major cities despite higher prices due to the rising cost of labor and food, especially pork.

 

"All of our tables and rooms for Spring Festival Eve have already been booked," said Wang Shijia, deputy manager of Lubolang, one of the most famous traditional restaurants in Shanghai. It has received many foreign dignitaries, including former United States president Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II.

 

With 10 dishes, three dim sums and a fruit plate, the restaurant, which just completed a renovation in October, offers festival sets for 10 people priced from 3,988 yuan to 6,888 yuan ($570-980).

 

"Even before our reopening, our patrons were calling in, making reservations for our festival meals," Wang said.

 

Similar demand is being observed in other cities such as Beijing and Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province.

 

Guan Na, meeting events director for Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido, said the hotel has launched set meals for the festival, catering to families of various sizes, which have proved popular.

 

Dong Hui, manager of the newly opened Hualuxe hotel in Xi'an, said the hotel offered 15 tables for Spring Festival Eve meals and most had already been booked.

 

"Traditionally, Chinese parents make the family reunion meals at home, but as more children want their parents to save the sweat and have a good rest during the last day of the lunar year, people come to us," Dong said.

 

Su, who eventually booked a 4,000 yuan meal set for 15 people in a private dining room at a restaurant, agreed that convenience is the top reason behind the demand.

 

"The more people we gather, the merrier the festival atmosphere," Su said, "but only when you don't have to fuss over the cooking."

 

上海居民苏志豪(音译)打了几轮电话,亲自去了三家餐厅,才订到年夜饭。


春节是中国最重要的节日,今年的春节是1月25日。


30岁的苏说:“我结婚之前,我们经常在家里吃饭。“今年,我妻子的家人也将加入我们的行列。”


当苏期待着大团圆的时候,在家里吃一顿团圆饭是一个挑战。


苏说:“所以我们决定去餐馆,但在离假期不到一个月的时间里很难找到合适的餐馆。”


苏说,他所说的合适,是指他必须考虑价格、烹饪、地点,以及最后但并非最不重要的可用性。尽管劳动力和食品价格上涨,尤其是猪肉价格上涨,但主要城市的主要餐厅却供不应求。


“我们所有的年夜饭桌子和房间都已经订满了,”上海最著名的传统餐厅之一“路博朗”的副经理王世佳(音)说。它接待了许多外国政要,包括美国前总统比尔·克林顿和英国女王伊丽莎白二世。


10道菜、3道点心和一个水果盘,这家刚刚在10月份装修完毕的餐厅为10个人提供节日套餐,价格从3988元到6888元不等(570-980美元)。


“甚至在我们重新开张之前,我们的老主顾们就已经打电话过来,为我们的节日餐做预定,”王说。


北京和陕西省省会西安等其他城市也出现了类似的需求。


北京丽都皇冠假日酒店(Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido)的会议活动总监关娜(音)说,酒店已经推出了节日套餐,为各种规模的家庭提供餐饮服务,深受欢迎。


西安新开业的华润xe酒店经理董辉(音)说,酒店提供15桌年夜饭,大多数已经被预订。


董说:“传统上,中国父母会在家里做团圆饭,但随着越来越多的孩子希望父母在农历最后一天省点汗,好好休息一下,人们就来找我们。”


苏最终在一家餐馆的包间里订了一套15人的4000元套餐,她认为方便是需求背后的首要原因。


“人越多,节日气氛越欢乐,”苏说,“但前提是你不必为做饭而烦恼。”

原作者: Xing Yi 来自: china daily