Bullish Chinese New Year meals to celebrate the Year of the Ox
From gold-leafed kurobuta pork char siew to a 60-inch yusheng platter, these are some of the most extravagant dine-in meals to usher in a bullish new year.
The Chinese New Year celebrations are traditionally grand gourmet affairs where diet resolutions are momentarily suspended for 15 days. While we can’t have multiple tables and boisterous lo heis (mask on and quiet well-wishing please, the restaurants would constantly remind us), at least we can now dine in a group of eight here in Singapore.
And restaurants are pulling out the stops to make sure that your meals are as auspicious and memorable as possible. We sieve the gems from the menus – stuffing ourselves at some – and pick out 10 of the most fantastic feasts and where to find them.
CHERRY GARDEN, MANDARIN ORIENTAL, SINGAPORE
For those who want to make a big impression at the table, the ginormous and aptly-named Luxurious Pen Cai is the dish to order at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore’s Cantonese restaurant Cherry Garden. The lavish pot contains delicacies such as lobster, scallop, dace fillet, sea cucumber and king prawn and is full of collagen for your skin.
Don’t miss out on the tasty, homely five-grain fried rice with Cantonese pork sausages and vegetables as well as nian gaos in red date and steamed osmanthus and chestnut flavours.
There are also set menus from S$168++ per guest.
For enquiries and reservations, call 6885 3500 or email mosin-dining [at] mohg.com ()
JADE, THE FULLERTON HOTEL SINGAPORE
From now till Feb 27, beef up the celebrations with a range of delectable dishes at Jade restaurant.
The signature Braised Bird’s Nest with Crab Meat, Crab Roe and Truffle Jus in Superior Broth brings hearty nourishment with sweet crab meat and aromatic truffle notes.
Sprinkle wishes of prosperity around the table with the gold ingot-shaped Poached Wagyu Beef and White Radish Dumplings and savour a taste of tradition with the Wok-Fried Boston Lobster with Preserved Duck and Ginger Spring Onion.
For a sweet finale, order the Sweet Rice Wine Soup with Rice Dumpling and Snow Lotus, a comforting dessert rarely found on CNY menus.
For dining reservations, call 6877 8911/8912 or email dining-rsvp [at] fullertonhotels.com ()
JIANG-NAN CHUN, FOUR SEASONS SINGAPORE
The hotel’s newly appointed Chinese executive chef Albert Au kicks off the Year of the Ox with a bull run of amazing set menus at one-Michelin-starred Jiang-Nan Chun.
Priced from S$168 per person, the sets highlight fresh seasonal produce and signatures such as suckling pig with Avruga caviar, crispy scallops and fresh pear, and Jiang-Nan Chun’s signature roasted duck.
If your group of eight feels particularly generous, live it up and get the S$5,988 eight-course Jin Yu Man Tang set. It’s an indulgent spread that includes a bottle of Dom Perignon Rose and a few who’s who in the seafood world, such as an Empura Fish in Superior Soy Sauce (a Malaysian breed prized for its rarity and sweet flesh), Three-Head Abalone with South American Sea Cucumber and a Prosperity Lobster, Abalone and Salmon Yusheng.
For more info or reservations, call 6831 7220 or go to fourseasons.com/singapore/dining/restaurants/jiang_nan_chun/
MAN FU YUAN, INTERCONTINENTAL SINGAPORE
Known as one of the stalwarts of traditional Cantonese cuisine, Michelin-Plated Man Fu Yuan heightens this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations with eight prix-fixe menus and a collection of speciality dishes.
Get an auspicious start with the 60-inch Blossoms of Spring Prosperity Yu Sheng in the form of the Chinese character for “spring”, accompanied by Hokkaido scallops, salmon and crispy fish skin.
Treat your family or supportive business associates to one of the set menus, which include premium ingredients such as Salmon Yu Sheng with Japanese Omi A4 Wagyu Beef and Hokkaido scallops as well as superior crab meat and pumpkin bisque with bird’s nest and crab roe in a pumpkin husk.
For enquiries and reservations, email SINHBManfuyuan.Manfuyuan [at] ihg.com ()
SHANG PALACE, SHANGRI-LA HOTEL SINGAPORE
With gorgeous auspicious red interiors and excellent Cantonese cuisine by award-winning Chinese executive chef Mok Kit Keung, Shang Palace is a favourite for communal meals and business lunches.
For Chinese New Year, it is serving seven- and eight-course set menus from S$108++ per person with indulgent dishes such as the double-boiled superior bird’s nest soup with Yunnan Ham, yellow mushroom and fish maw and Buddha Jumps Over the Wall.
In the a la carte menu are chef recommendations such as stir-fried Kagoshima wagyu beef with sliced garlic and pan-fried sun-dried oysters filled with shrimp paste and crispy rice.
For dining reservations, call 6213 4398 or email dining.sls [at] shangri-la.com ()
SI CHUAN DOU HUA
Well-known for its expertly executed Cantonese and Sichuan specialities, the Si Chuan Dou Hua restaurant at Parkroyal on Kitchener Road has undergone a stunning transformation – its first since opening in 2011 – to unveil a more modern, dark timber interior with splashes of bold colours.
Besides set menus priced from S$88 per person, festive specialities include a healthy lo hei platter that is served on ice in a spinning bowl. It comprises more than 10 types of fresh vegetables and strips of bolete mushroom (cep) sourced from Belgium.
At the outlet at Parkroyal on Beach Road, try the Prosperity Beef Tongue Yusheng. Done in quintessential Sichuan style and flavours, this slightly spicy cold appetiser dish has slices of beef tongue arranged into a huge bloom with finely sliced celtuce.
For reservations and enquiries, call 6505 5722 or email douhua.prsin [at] parkroyalhotels.com ()
SUMMER PALACE, REGENT SINGAPORE
To celebrate this year’s animal zodiac, Regent Singapore’s one-Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Summer Palace rolls out a series of ox-themed dishes such as Stewed Beef in Casserole and Stir-fried Diced Tenderloin of Beef with Black Pepper and Asparagus.
Don’t miss out on these seasonal items that appear only once a year: Braised Dried Oyster with Sea Moss and Beancurd Skin, Braised Sea Cucumber with Goose Web and Vegetables, and Stewed Pork Leg with Sea Cucumber and Sea Moss.
There are a couple of unique yusheng platters too. Toss to an abundant year with bird’s nest and pear or vegetarian purple cauliflower with lily bulbs variations.
For enquiries and reservations, call 6725 3288 or email summerpalace [at] regentsigapore.com.sg ()
THE RITZ-CARLTON, MILLENIA SINGAPORE
Now you can have your gold and eat it too. Among Colony’s extravagant offerings for reunion dinner on Feb 11 is a 24K gold leaf-plated kurobuta pork char siew served with abalone gold grain fried rice, and yusheng with sea whelk, salmon and ikura. For an added luxurious touch, splash on the champagne with the Lo Hei Vintage Champagne Brunch on Feb 14.
One-Michelin-starred restaurant Summer Pavilion continues its winning streak of well-crafted Cantonese dishes. There are six- to eight-course lunch and dinner sets, priced from S$118 and available from Feb 1 to Feb 16.
Must-order dishes: Yusheng with Australian Greenlip abalone and salmon roe, a hearty double-boiled sea whelk soup with fish maw, chicken and boletus mushroom, and delicate poached Inaniwa noodles with plump Hokkaido king scallops in a delicious superior chicken stock. Nutrition in a bowl – and one of the most beautiful ones to boot – doesn’t get better than this.
For more info and dining reservations, call 6434 5288 or go to ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/singapore/dining
Located at the National Gallery Singapore, Cantonese restaurant Yan waxes nostalgic with this year’s Chinese New Year menu, as it serves a heartwarming range of Cantonese dishes using the finest ingredients cooked with traditional methods.
The Abalone & Yellowtail with Gold Foil Lo Hei is prepared Shunde style with crispy vermicelli, slices of yellowtail fish and pickled ginger and Japanese radish.
According to the restaurant, yusheng originated in Guangzhou and in Shunde, fishermen used to celebrate the seventh day of the Chinese New Year (known as ren ri) by eating raw slices of river fish with soy sauce and pickles.
Other delicious gems include a crispy-tender roasted duck whose flavour is enhanced by the well-known bitter mandarin peels from Xin Hui, Guangdong. The poached star grouper brings flashes of my grandmother’s homely cooking with its silky broth, made from fried preserved duck meat, chicken and pork stock and fermented beancurd. This time-consuming dish is rarely offered on menus and a real treat to savour in the restaurant.
For reservations and enquiries, call 6384 5585 or email reserve [at] yan.com.sg ()
YI BY JEREME LEUNG
The exquisitely plated dishes at Raffles Singapore’s only Chinese restaurant, yi by Jereme Leung, are always something to look forward to.
Their Chinese New Year menus include signatures such as Chef Leung’s well-textured Golden Fried Rice with Preserved Meats, Baked Lobster with XO Sauce and Cheese and an aromatic Braised Pork Belly with Dried Oysters.
Groups of five to eight can opt for private dining with a set menu in the capaciously elegant Residence Suite for a supplementary fee of S$500++.
For more info and dining reservations, go to yi-restaurant.com.sg