The Chinese New Year is upon us here in the Hamptons, and at the heart of any celebration is food—particularly for Vivian Lim.
Lim, owner of Matsulin restaurant in Hampton Bays, grew up in Malaysia and fondly remembers what the Chinese New Year was like when she was a kid. “It’s basically the same thing as Christmas in Asia. It’s that big,” says Lim, who came to the United States when she was 21 years old. “We have 12 different signs and every 12 years that goes by it goes back to the same animal. This year is the Year of the Dragon, which makes this particular year extra special. I remember being a kid and just absolutely loving the Chinese New Year. We’d get presents, food—it was a lot of fun and a lot of partying for quite a few days.”
Lim is hoping to share the sense of joy and celebration with others by offering a special Matsulin menu symbolizing different fortunes for the year She explains, “We are offering up food that symbolize different things for the New Year. We have a very colorful salad with raw fish which is to symbolize a prosperous year. Then we have dry oysters and black moss, the black moss represents good business and the dry oysters represent love. We also have a shark fin soup and a crab meat soup that symbolizes the dragon. But don’t worry, it’s the vegetarian type of shark fin soup.
“For our entrees we have a steamed whole sea bass with a spicy sauce and that symbolizes a hope that there will be surprises every year. We also have a saute shrimp with chili sauce and that represents smooth sailing on all finances. And we also have a stir fry beef with vegetables and a satay sauce which symbolizes that wealth and good fortune will keep rolling in.”
On Sunday, January 29, Matsulin will be offering a buffet brunch with traditional Chinese New Year dishes for $20 per person. You can view the full menu for Matsulin by visiting www.matsulin.comand you can make reservations to the restaurant by calling 631-728-8838. The Chinese New Year menu is a Prix Fix menu that is $38 per person and includes three appetizers, a main course and dessert.