Craving holiday foods still? Wish upon a star

Compiled by John Kang

If you haven't had enough of Lunar New Year food, Hong Kong Disneyland is offering some traditional holiday dishes, including poon choi, until March 8

Compiled by John Kang |

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Young Post junior reporters Charlotte Chan, Bakhita Fung and Cynthia Huang were invited to experience some of the dishes which are available there. This is what they thought ...

Chocolate delight Iced Chocolate with Cotton Candy Drink (HK$68)

This drink is sure to satisfy any chocoholic's biggest cravings, especially as the approaching warmer weather makes drinking hot chocolate less tempting. The delicious drink was sugary enough to re-energise us after running around the park, but it wasn't heavy enough to fill us up before our "Treasure in Pot" lunch set.

The first sip was creamy, rich and irresistibly sweet. Taste wise, the drink resembles a Starbucks iced chocolate, but with an extra shot of chocolate syrup. In terms of appearance, the drink is definitely Instagram worthy - topped with a massive wig of cotton candy and embellished with colourful sprinkles, it's bound to appeal to your inner child. This huge treat is something you can eat and drink, and combines the best of both worlds - chocolate and candy! With the fun and creative white "cloud", the drink fully embodies the theme of spring and it is therefore no surprise that it is only available seasonally - so go on, splurge a little, and make sure you get one while you can!

Young Post junior reporters Charlotte Chan (left) and Bakhita Fung with a chocolate cotton candy drink. Photo: John Kang/SCMP


Creamy and light Flower Bun (HK$38) 

At first, I was worried that the beautiful sweet potato flower bun would not taste as good as it looked, but I didn't have to worry because it was delicious. The "Flower Bun" is essentially a buttery brioche coated in a sweet glaze with a rich, sweet potato filling. To add to the flower's presentation, there is a crunchy green leaf, which has a strong green tea flavour. Not only did the thick, creamy potato complement the light, airy brioche really well, but the intense purple colour made the flower visually eye-catching and appealing, too.

Golden-brown perfection Lucky Bun (HK$38)

The "Lucky Bun" can be found at the Market House Bakery at Disneyland. It's actually made up of two buns, baked to golden-brown perfection. They come with a red bean filling, and green tea-flavoured, leaf-shaped pieces of pastry on top. There was also a sweet and crunchy pretzel-like piece of dough connecting the two buns. Flavour-wise, these buns were perfectly balanced. The mild sweetness from the red bean filling paired with its traditional green tea counterpart perfectly complemented the hint of sourness from the dough, and at HK$38, this "Lucky Bun" is affordable by Disneyland standards.

Mouth-watering ingredients

As the colossal poon choi (which feeds four) was delivered to the table, tantalising aromas of seafood and abalone sauce wafted across to us, enticing me to sample the delicious "treasures" hidden inside the medallion-shaped pot. 

My mouth watered as I caught sight of the beautifully presented array of traditional and exotic ingredients, which included dried oysters, prawns, roasted chicken, braised pork knuckle and spare ribs, pork skin, sliced conch meat and fish fillet. 

I sampled the succulent roasted chicken, which was juicy and moist with a satisfyingly crispy skin. The braised pork knuckle and spare ribs were impeccable - tender and cooked to perfection. 

I also loved the dried oysters and the fish fillet, which brought about a strong but not overwhelming seafood flavour to the pot. But the star of the poon choi had to be the moreish prawns, which were smothered in a tangy tomato sauce that was packed with flavour - although we couldn't identify the name of the sauce, it reminded us of sweet and sour, only with a spicy kick to it. Paired with the creamy corn sauce dousing the fish fillet, it was the perfect yin and yang combination for our senses!

Charlotte Chan

Is Disneyland's food magical, too?

There's more to this dish than the taste, aroma and texture though. There's history. In fact, poon choi is a traditional Lunar New Year dish originating from our home city, Hong Kong!

(From left) Charlotte Chan, Cynthia Huang and Bakhita Fung with the "Treasure in Pot". Photo: John Kang/SCMP

It is said that this remarkable dish was invented in Hong Kong during the Song dynasty, almost 1,000 years ago. Poon choi is culturally significant to a lot of people and is reserved for rituals and festivals. It symbolises many things - respecting ancestors, unity, family and equality.

In addition to the historical aspect, it is also prepared in different layers, in order to make it more visually pleasing and also blend the taste of all ingredients.

There are also a few combinations you can't miss. The tangy prawn, together with the soft, succulent chicken, is a match made in heaven. The textures are both chewy and smooth, and the flawless taste is a powerful punch. Another combination you must try is the mushroom with baby cabbage, especially if you're a health guru. The mushroom is chewy and juicy, while the baby cabbage is soft, smooth and silky. I can't think of a better combination.

And although HK$688 does sound like a lot of money, trust me - it's worth every dollar. Not only is the aroma, taste and texture irresistible, this dish is massive. And I mean, massive. Between four hungry junior reporters, we couldn't even eat half of it. Quite literally, it seemed like every time we ate something, the pot grew bigger and bigger. Is Disneyland's food magical, too?

Bakhita Fung

Something for everyone

Nestled in the faux wilderness of Disneyland's Adventureland, the River View Cafe's atmosphere is serene. Soft music plays in the background, and there is a great view of Tarzan's Treehouse and the river.

It's the perfect place to enjoy the Lunar New Year "Treasure in Pot" set, which is only available until March 8.

Cynthia Huang with a Flower Bun and Lucky Bun. Photo: John Kang/SCMP

The soup holds the perfect mix of flavours - the sweet bits of corn complement the slightly salty shrimp, fish, and egg, providing a burst of flavour with every mouthful. Although the soup didn't contain as much shrimp or fish as we would have liked, what was there was cooked with care - upon prying the shrimp and fish with a fork, they fell apart delicately.

However, the second course was the star - the traditional poon choi, referred to as the "Treasure in Pot." Encased in a bamboo pot and containing an appealing array of colours, it looked every bit the spectacle.

This "Treasure in Pot" has something in it for everyone - with so much variety, it will appease even the pickiest eater. And although the vegetables weren't the stars of the dish, they were still tasty.

There were six types of vegetables in our pot - carrots, broccoli, baby cabbages, mushrooms, lotus roots, and turnips.

The carrots had bits cut out of them to make them look like gold medallions. This was a creative approach, and served as a visual reminder of the Lunar New Year theme.

The broccoli and baby cabbages were steamed to smooth, silky perfection. Both were boiled just enough to make them soft, but not enough to make them wilt. 

Nothing was doused with sauces or heavy seasoning, but every mouthful was still deliciously tasty, as all the flavours in the pot swirled together and mixed with each other.

The mushrooms were delicious and cooked to perfection, being both succulent and juicy.

The lotus roots were crunchy and quite sweet, while the turnips were soft, and fell apart with every bite. They retained a bit of sweetness to them, too, and were less bitter than expected.

Overall, the vegetables - an often overlooked but essential part of every meal - were handled with delicacy and precision in this "Treasure in Pot" course. They were fresh, delectable, and held the power to get even the fussiest eater in our group wanting more.

Cynthia Huang