For: reunion dinner at home
Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant
Your guess at the magic number of diners permitted at restaurants this Lunar New Year is as good as ours, so hunkering down for reunion dinner in the comfort of home is worth considering.
Xin Cuisine’s takeaway menu sets the premium – rather than the provincial – on your table this spring festival, with its Sesame Crusted Tuna with Pineapple Sauce Yu Sheng being the pièce de resistance. The Yu Sheng is also available in other iterations that include gold leaf salmon, vegetarian abalone or baby abalone. Also plumped with ingredients bearing auspicious connotations are specialities such as Xin’s Traditional Pen Cai with whole abalone, fresh scallop, deep-fried fish maw, sea cucumber, live prawn and roast meat; as well as their Home-style Roast Duck with Tea Leaves.
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium; 317 Outram Road
For: a casual family lunch
Awash in natural light streaming in from floor-to-ceiling windows, this Fullerton Hotel mainstay sets the mood for a relaxing lunch by the Singapore River, sans the over-decorousness of a traditional banquet-style Chinese restaurant. With that being said, you can expect no less attention to detail from executive chef Leong Chee Yeng, who has earned a reputation for turning out consistently refined Cantonese dishes.
Here, subtle sweetness is artfully coaxed out of fresh seafood in new creations such as the Wok-fried Local Lobster with Tomato, Egg and Rice Wine, and Steamed Tiger Grouper with Minced Ginger and White Wine, topped with Stuffed Chicken Wing. The delicate flavours are beautifully contrasted with the smoky char of the Claypot Rice with Preserved Meat – another Chinese New Year must-have.
The Fullerton Hotel; 1 Fullerton Square
For: a filler meal between home visits
House of WÈI
If the traditional Chinese New Year fare is getting a little repetitive after a succession of meals with relatives, take a breather at this contemporary Chinese restaurant that recently supplanted the former Szechuan Court at Fairmont. Here, veteran chef Mok Wan Lok, whose 42-year culinary career has shuttled him to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, culls techniques from his international stints to reinterpret Chinese cuisine.
The Crispy Pork Rib Espresso Kahlua, for instance, is a nod to his time spent in the Malaysian capital, and is notable for its rich, chocolatey intensity. Equally intriguing, are the Jackfruit Sweet & Sour Chicken, and The Oven Roasted Cod with Soy and Balsamic, which boasts a rounded finish. Festive menus include an eight-course feast featuring a Yu Sheng platter that’s jazzed up with tropical fruits.
Fairmont Singapore; 80 Bras Basah Road
For: a sustainably-sourced reunion dinner and after-party drinks
5 on 25
Celebrate long-awaited reunions at 5 on 25, Andaz’s Singapore’s take on Cantonese cuisine. Premium, sustainably-sourced dishes have been whipped up by Executive Chef Lim Hong Lih specially for Chinese New Year, and include the lavish Bird’s Nest Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, and Boston Lobster Poached Rice “Pao Fan”. Lunch and dinner set menus are also available, for a minimum of two persons. Groups can expect to tuck into delectable dishes such as Fish Maw Soup with Lotus Root and Shimeji Mushrooms; Braised Ee-fu Noodles with Canadian Lobster Meat; and Fried Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausage.
Round off the evening with a drink at bar Mr Stork, which has joined in the festivities by concocting two delightful cocktails made with Singapore’s very-own Tanglin Gin – a cherry-blossom-inspired Oriental Blossom, and citrus-based Jin Long.
Andaz Singapore; 5 Fraser Street
For: a Michelin-star meal with foodie friends
Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
Start Chinese New Year by splurging on a set menu from two-Michelin-star Shisen Hanten by Chef Kentaro – the highest Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant in Singapore. Exclusively available for dine-in, diners can choose from a range of eight set menus spanning eight (of course) sumptuous courses starting with yusheng and ending with a crispy piece of nian gao.
Special springtime creations are also available on the Chinese New Year a la carte menu, such as the Braised Pork Ribs and Lotus Seed in Red Glutinous Rice Wine, served with Golden Mantou, Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab RoeSoup, and the Braised Inaniwa Udon with Lobster and Roasted Garlic in Superior Golden Broth – a storied dish dating back to the Edo era and once reserved for Japanese nobility.
Mandarin Orchard Singapore 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
For: a potluck with relatives
Toss high for roaring success and good health with Tablescape’s Abundance Yu Sheng with Lobster and Octopus, a modern take on the classic dish. The yusheng on steroids boasts a succulent Boston lobster cooked in a housemade broth and tender bites of grilled octopus, sitting daintily on a bed of crunchy vegetables including daikon, carrots, and lotus roots. Add on toppings such as pistachios and peanuts, crispy bok chui crackers and fish skin, and a bite-sized piece of housemade truffle bak kwa, and you have an east-meets-west yusheng brimming with textures and flavours.
Also good for gifting or takeaways is their Josper Grilled Bak Kwa with Fresh Black Truffle Shavings, made entirely in-house and specially created by the culinary team for Chinese New Year. The pork is marinated for hours with a mix of sauces including oyster sauce, brandy and truffle paste before being carefully grilled in the Josper oven. Applewood chips are also added to charcoal, to add another dimension of flavour, making it one of the most decadent bak kwa out there.
Grand Park City Hall, 10 Coleman Street
For: a propitious meal with business partners
藝 yì by Jereme Leung
Celebrate the emergence of springtime by tucking into a medley of luxe dishes, and joyfully usher in a successful year with your business associates at the elegant private rooms within 藝 yì by Jereme Leung, located at the illustrious Raffles Hotel Singapore.
Four indulgent set menus, and an extensive a la carte menu are available, but regardless of choice, diners will be treated to refined Chinese delicacies signifying peace, prosperity, and happiness. Instagram-worthy creations – some of which resemble works of art – include the Double-Boiled Fish Maw with Morel Mushrooms, Steamed Spotted Garoupa & Fresh Lily Bulbs with “Mao Er Duo” Black Fungus, and Braised Abalone with Fa Choy, Sun-Dried Oysters, and Lettuce.
Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road
For: hungry diners looking for a laid-back ambience
Feast to your heart’s content at Ginger restaurant, a botanical eden ensconced within PARKROYAL on Beach Road. The halal-certified all-day diner is the perfect place to celebrate with friends and family, thanks to the wide range of buffet dishes that appeal to both young and old.
Start the bountiful feast by raising your chopsticks to an abundance of wealth with the Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng. Then, savour local favourites such as Singapore Laksa and Chilli Crab with Mantou, indulge in bowls of Double Boiled Fish Maw Soup, and crack into festive seafood specials such as Cereal Lobster and Crayfish Ipoh Hor Fun. Cap the meal on a sweet note with the hotel’s popular Durian Pengat, the interestingly-named Eight Treasures Ice Cream, or for a more traditional palate, the Glutinous Balls with Sweet Ginger Broth.
PARKROYAL on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road