Chinese New Year Beach Party at Mandarin Oriental

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The Year of the Dragon begins exactly two weeks from today, so if celebrating the Chinese lunar calendar helps to provide a party excuse in between the usual holidays and vacays, we say, bring it on. The Mandarin Oriental always embraces their roots during this time period with a well-rounded line up of New Year's related offerings. Sadly, none of it comes cheaply, but they are turning the lobby into an art gallery and that slice of culture is free.

The highlight is a party on their private beach on January 28, from

7 to 10 p.m.; picture yourself among red and gold lanterns, gilded dancing dragons and the smell of roast duck. The menu covers the standard Chinese fare for pleasing everyone: sweet and sour prawns, seafood fried rice, mu shu pork, dumplings. Open bar lasts all night long, but definitely buy your tickets in advance, they are $95 per person, but go up to $110 at the door.

Café Sambal is also adding a la carte menu items from January 23 to February 5. The Chinese New Year inspired dishes include kung pao scallops, char siu pork chop, chicken and shrimp egg rolls and the ultimate Chinese food contribution to fowl, Peking duck.

They are also paying homage to contemporary calligrapher Fung Ming Chip, who is a famous Chinese artist and poet that created a line of tableware for Hermes. Artists just can't afford to starve anymore. The hotel's atrium will feature his work in the hotel's atrium lobby through March 5, and they are hosting a private talk and dinner with Fung on January 25, at Café Sambal. For $75 per person, mingle with the artist at a three-course dinner, including wine pairings. Good food fortune awaits.

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