Lunar New Year is the most important holiday on the lunar calendar. It signifies new beginnings, is heralded by many festivities and is a period mired in tradition. It’s a time when people read up on their Chinese zodiac and busy themselves with auspicious totems and animals to boost their luck for the coming year. One of the traditions that has never changed is bearing gifts when visiting someone’s house. An all-time favourite present is puddings, which phonetically sounds the same as the words “above” or “higher” in Chinese, signifying achieving new heights in one’s career, studies or business. Which Hong Kong and Macau restaurants just got their first Michelin star? Kowloon Shangri-La’s 24-karat gold dusted pudding is back – and is truly the ultimate in luxurious puddings. Meanwhile, Michelin-starred Ying Jee Club and JW Marriott’s Chinese restaurant Man Ho excel in traditional recipes. Vegans also have many choices this year as Cuisine Cuisine and The Cakery have prepared scrumptious plant-based options as well. Here’s our shortlist of the year’s most notable puddings. Shang Palace Want to give the ultimate gift this Lunar New Year? For those who are out to impress big time with a pudding, then the Shangri-La Master Chef Series has brought back the 999.9 Prestige Golden Bar Pudding this year – priced HK$3,888 (US$501). Fashioned into the shape of a gold bar, the pudding is coated entirely in edible gold. Of course, the full range of turnip, taro, water chestnut as well as other festive puddings are available as well. Lower Level, Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 9 new Hong Kong restaurants and dining deals for 2021 Kiki Noodle For something with a Formosan flavour, Kiki Noodle has created a dried longan and brown sugar pudding (HK$118) using traditional dried longan from Zhuqi and Chiayi in Taiwan. This type of dried fruit is produced by using an ancient roasting technique that reduces 3kg of fresh longan to 1kg of chewy dried fruit. For something savoury you might also want to bring your host the dried sakura shrimp turnip pudding (HK$118) as well. Shop 406, 4/F, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Ying Jee Club This Michelin-starred establishment has opted for the less is more approach by offering one sweet and one savoury pudding that are both preservative free. Patrons can look forward to an elegant coconut milk and Ceylon black tea pudding (HK$238) or a traditional turnip pudding (HK$298) made with exquisite ingredients. Shop G05, 107& 108, G/F, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central, Central 7 new restaurants and menus to try at the foodie haven Wan Chai Cuisine Cuisine The restaurant, whose name is synonymous with quality, has brought back its most popular pudding varieties this year, as well as launching two new flavours to tantalise the taste buds of the discerning palates of the city. The turnip pudding with Parma ham (HK$408) and coconut cream pudding with Okinawa brown sugar (HK$348) make a comeback, while vegans can sink their teeth into turnip pudding with black truffle and mushrooms (HK$408) as well as the beautifully colourful roselle, rose purée and osmanthus pudding with bird’s nest and gold foil (HK$448) for something a little more out of the ordinary. 3/F, The Mira Hong Kong, Mira Place, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Tired of tiramisu? Try Hong Kong’s original Italian desserts Man Ho JW Marriott’s esteemed Chinese restaurant presents two exquisite puddings to satisfy the taste buds of Hong Kong’s gourmands. The hotel’s New Year pudding features gold leaf and mashed premium red dates (HK$288), and the turnip pudding boasts huge dried tiger prawns (HK$288) and the finest locally-sourced preserved sausages. 3/F, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty The Cakery This one has been specially made for the vegans around town. The Cakery has created a Chinese Pudding Trio (HK$398) featuring refined, sugar-free and vegan renditions of the festive delicacy including red sugar, red date and a savoury turnip pudding, made with delicious white radish, dried mushroom, preserved pickles, black fungus, and garnished with gold leaf and black truffle. Shop 124, 1/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .