NYC is going bananas for delicious specials — from mandoo ramen to scallop wontons to longevity noodles — that are being offered at local restaurants for Lunar New Year. February 8 kicks off the Year of the Monkey — you probably know it as “Chinese New Year,” even though the holiday is celebrated across Asia: in Vietnam (where it’s called Tết), Korea (Seollal), Tibet and Bhutan (Losar), as well as Singapore, Malaysia, and China (where it is Xinnian, aka Chinese New Year). To reflect the holiday’s diversity and to take advantage of the melting pot that is NYC, we’ve selected five terrific restaurants that will transport you to Asia in just a couple of bites — and ensure good blessings for the New Year. No monkey business! Note: Although Lunar New Year is on February 8 (the number 8 being particularly auspicious), many of these specials are available for the week.


Mandoo Ramen from Mŏkbar (Photo: Courtesy of Mŏkbar)

Chelsea Market’s popular Mŏkbar has this unique distinction: It’s the first Korean-style Japanese ramen bar in the country. To honor Seollal, Mŏkbar is serving a ramen special called Mandoo Ramen (spicy rice cakes and dumplings ramen) for lunch and dinner for $16 from February 1 to 10 daily, 11am to 9pm. Owner and chef Esther, who made Zagat’s 30 Under 30 Innovative Chefs in 2015, is serving a unique take on the traditional rice cakes and dumplings, which are eaten on New Year’s Day to signify a new beginning. This is testament to the ethos of Mŏkbar, which combines traditional Korean soups with Japanese ramen. 75 9th Ave.,