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Cakes That Could Go In a Design Museum


Chinese New Year is marked by an estimated fifth of the world’s population and 2017 sees the arrival of the year of the rooster, bringing it with colour, celebration and a cultural explosion like no other. The rooster represents the tenth in the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, so, if you were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 – and of course 2017 - then this is your very special year.


All the signs of the Chinese zodiac embody different characteristics, with elements even particular depending on the time of the day you were born. Generally, the rooster is seen as faithful and punctual – unsurprisingly given that roosters were for millennia a sure-fire natural alarm clock! Roosters are also seen as honest, bright and ambitious, natural communicators who can count on their own abilities, even if occasionally they can lack patience.



Of course Chinese New Year is celebrated in multiple ways, but one of the most important and symbolic is through food. Chinese New Year's cake, known as nin gou in Cantonese, is prepared from glutinous rice and consumed to help bring good luck. As is often the case, homonyms – words which sound the same – come to the fore as the name of the cake sounds similar to ‘higher year’, symbolising growth and prosperity.


The cake can also be made as an offering to the Kitchen God, namely so their mouth will be filled with sticky rice, leaving them unable to talk ill of the family! The cakes are a hugely popular gift at New Year, usually featuring auspicious decorations such as the God of Wealth or the character for prosperity. Not all New Year cakes are created equal, however, and at Hotel ICON, once again quirky, contemporary and unique design comes to the fore.


This year’s cakes mark a partnership with Hong Kong’s coolest design store, G.O.D., an acronym for Goods of Desire, the city’s leading light when it comes to irreverent and memorable takes on Chinese culture. Hotel ICON has consistently supported and nurtured the city’s young emerging artists and designers across the property, and this is definitely no exception.

The award-winning new Chef at Above & Beyond, Paul Tsui has crafted a delicious selection of New Year cakes in three flavours: Brown Sugar Pudding with Coconut Milk, Turnip Cake with Yunnan Ham and Conpoy and Taro Cake with Preserved Sausages.

G.O.D’s acclaimed design team has created the limited edition one-off gift box that celebrates the exuberant colours and nature of the Rooster. In addition, unique lai see envelopes are also included within the packaging, ensuring that gifts to friends and family alike will bear the unique stamp of the city’s ultimate designer.


Wherever in the world you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, may it be filled with health, prosperity and good fortune – not to mention Hotel ICON’s must-have limited edition cakes in association with G.O.D.!