Keep the turkeys and bring out the pineapple tarts – it’s time to usher in another Chinese New Year. This time, we’re welcoming 2020 and the year of the rat with an abundance of festive treats: from unique yu sheng creations to luxurious variants of pen cai stuffed with auspicious ingredients. If you aren’t planning (or too lazy) to prepare a feast for reunion dinner, we’ve got you covered with these special Lunar New Year meals.
January 2 to February 8
Start the new year on a high note with the exquisite prixe-fixe menu (from $198) from Shang Palace. Choose from the seven- or eight- course menu, which starts off with the Fortune Yu Sheng, adorably plated to resemble a mouse. Other highlights include braised bird’s nest with sea cucumber and fish maw in a pumpkin chicken broth, braised abalone and melon ring, and steamed cod fish served with homemade pine mushroom sauce.
For true indulgence, splurge on the Luxury Imperial Treasure Pot ($700) which is a sight to behold. Within an ornate red pot comes stuffed with prized ingredients: abalone, lobster, garoupa fish stuffed with foie gras and wild mushroom, dried sea cucumber, goose, and other fix-ins are stewed for over six hours to yield a rich, flavourful dish.
January 13 to February 8
Amid all the new year frenzy, unwind and feast with a peace of mind at Yellow Pot. Here, the seven- to nine- course Lunar New Year set menus (from $58) focuses on using sustainable, healthy produce to recreate traditional dishes. For the heartiest of celebrations, treat your loved ones to the 10-course Six Senses Signature Auspicious Menu ($168 per person) that begins with the special King Ora Salmon Yu Sheng – made with sustainably sourced seafood, healthful granola to replace the usual golden crackers, and an iridescent plum sauce made with edible glitter. Other nourishing highlights include the double-boiled ginseng chicken soup with cordyceps flower, braised seafood in a superior rich broth, and double-boiled snow pear and white fungus with bird’s nest.
January 7 to February 8
Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel rolls out picture-worthy festive treats that taste as good as they look. When dining at the restaurant, start off with the Joyful Abundance Yusheng ($168 for large) – the beautifully plated creation features an intricate illustration, paired with crisp vegetables that include romaine lettuce, wild arugula, and fresh pomelo to lend a refreshing crunch. Replacing the golden cracker are strips of cheesy deep-fried chee cheong fun.
Equally impressive is the Pot Of Gold ($243.95 for eight persons), where alternating slices of pork belly and pumpkin is simmered in a rich abalone gravy, and the longevity noodles with baby abalones and roasted Iberico pork loin ($201.15 for six persons), where capellini is used instead to soak up the umami-rich sauce made with shallot oil and dried kombu.
January 6 to February 8
The usual festive flavours of the season are given an update at Crystal Jade Palace. Sample the auspicious, but uncommon, Hakka dish of abacus seed ($15 per 100g) – an aromatic dish that’s stir-fried with dried shrimp, shiitake mushroom, black moss, and Boston lobster for a touch of opulence. Even the requisite yu sheng is renewed to create this year’s Prosperity Golden Lobster Yu Sheng (from $98).
The usual preserved ingredients – those responsible for making this dish overly sweet – are swapped for house-pickled plum tomatoes and cucumbers to lend a fresh, naturally sweetened crunch. Other healthy additions include pomelo, lily bulbs, red dates, and walnuts. It’s then crowned with local lobster and ikura, and dressed with a sauce made from flower blossom syrup, olive oil, and plum sauce. A selection of set menus (from $98) featuring braised bird’s nest with conpoy and saffron, truffled Irish duck, and crispy rice brown sugar and coconut nian gao is also available.
January 10 to February 8
The same comfy flavours of a home-cooked meal can also be found at Park Hotel Clarke Quay. Gather your loved ones and enjoy an intimate feast that ranges from six ($388) to eight courses (from $698). Like most Chinese dinners, the dishes here are best enjoyed when paired with a bowl of rice. These include the steamed garoupa with yellow bean paste is served with an aromatic sauce blended from minced ginger, red chilli, and garlic; and the steamed chicken cooked with a superior stock that gets its sweetness from the addition of Chinese sausage, lily buds, black and white fungus.
Also part of the menu is the seafood treasure soup with fish maw, sea cucumber, and fish lips; braised baby abalone with Chinese spinach; and the Auspicious Abundance Yu Sheng, made with deep-fried silver needle noodle as a subtle nod to the Year of the Rat.
January 13 to February 8
Fill your reunion dinner plate with food from the well-stocked buffet lines of Makan@Jen (from $32). Start off with the fruity pink peppercorn salmon yu sheng with passion fruit pops and honey mango dressing (from $58) before enjoying a wide array of festive treats, including crackling suckling pig and steamed sea bass fillet perfumed with truffle oil.
January 9 to February 8
Indulge in the opulent creations from Szechuan Court, which allows diners the flexibility to choose from lavish set menus (from $528 for four) or its exquisite a la carte offerings. Delight in opulent creations that include the Teochew-style gold leaf lobster dumpling ($18 for three), abalone stuffed with prawn mousse and crab roe ($68), and the nourishing double-boiled consommè ($68) simmered with fish maw, bird’s nest for over eight hours.
January 9 to February 8
Indulge in elevated Cantonese delicacies at Hai Tien Lo to ring in the year of the rat. Nine different set menus (from $128) will feature charming creations that include a bowl of soothing double-boiled chicken soup with abalone, sea conch, and Korean ginseng; baked sea perch fillet; and bird’s nest with almond cream served in young coconut.