Last Wednesday I attended a traditional Chinese New Year dinner organized by fashion designer William Tang. The celebration, which he hosts every year, takes place in the Tang family ancestral hall that dates back 700 years!
The building itself is an interesting, mostly outdoor structure, which is made up of several courtyards. I arrived a little early and had a chance to take photos before guests began to stream in.[photopress:Tang_ancestral_Hall_Hong_Ko.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Chinese_New_Year_2009_Ox.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:William_Tang_fashion_design_1.jpg,full,pp_image]
After nightfall, the dozens of tables were packed with people and they began to serve a series of traditional dishes.[photopress:Tang_hall_Yuen_Long_Hong_K.jpg,full,pp_image]
One of the more interesting ones was ‘poon choi‘.[photopress:poon_choi_Hong_Kong_Chinese.jpg,full,pp_image]
Poon choi is actually a multi-layered medley of foods. It’s typically served in a big bowl and eaten on notable occasions. The dinner I attended was something like an outdoor feast, which is a typical scenario for eating poon choi.
The big bowl is piled high with nearly a dozen kinds of meats and seafood. (I kept thinking that Homer Simpson would love it!) Each table had a portable gas range that kept it warm.
As I looked around I noticed some tables of people were eating while standing up – at first I thought this was because there were not enough seats! Later I was told that this is another custom.
After the dinner we briefly stopped by William Tang’s family home just a few feet away in the village. He’s done an interesting job restoring the place and modernizing it, yet keeping its traditional beauty intact.
If you’re ever interested in visiting the Tang Ancestral Hall, it’s part of a collection of attractions on the Ping Shan Historical Trail. The hall itself is just a short walk from the Tin Shui Wai stop on the West Rail.[photopress:Tang_ancestral_hall_CNY_HK.jpg,full,pp_image]
Tang Ancestral Hall
Ping Shan, Yuen Long
Open 9:00am â€“ 1:00pm & 2:00pm â€“ 5:00pm daily.
Closed on the first 3 days of the Lunar New Year