In Chinese culture, the annual reunion dinner is an all-important event where family and friends gather for a feast that signifies joy, bond and togetherness. Often, the festive spread consists of lavish, auspicious ingredients (read: not your everyday food) that are not just rich in flavours but also in symbolic meanings. Seafood and chicken, for example, are must-haves to signify abundance. With the city’s best Chinese restaurants offering a sumptuous array of set menus, there’s absolutely no need to do grocery shopping or labour over a stove to have a great meal with your loved ones – unless you want to, of course. Prefer to stay in? Check out the takeaway options offered at these establishments for meaningful dishes and yu sheng you can enjoy at home.
Here are our picks of reunion set menus to book this Chinese New Year:
Executive Chef Lee Hiu Ngai of Cassia at Capella Singapore has created a Chinese New Year menu featuring classic Cantonese plates that are both soul-hugging and refined. The quintessential lo hei comes with a colourful array of shredded vegetables and topped with salmon, crispy fish skin and a tangy kiwi dressing. Bird’s nest – typically served sweet – gets a lovely, savoury treatment with crabmeat and a thick supreme broth on the festive menu. We also lapped up every bit of the steamed fragrant rice with the most tender and flavoursome Dong Po meat. A chilled coconut jelly with candied walnut, black sago pearls and lychee sorbet ends the elegant meal on a refreshing note.
Feng Shui Inn
Newly located at Equarius Hotel, the acclaimed Chinese restaurant Feng Shui Inn is ushering in the New Year with a pop-up dinner event, A Bountiful Reunion by Feng Shui Inn, featuring lavish festive set menus with auspicious creations that spell abundance, prosperity and wellness. Highlights include a yu sheng with smoked salmon, amber walnut, crystal iceplant and yuzu dressing, irresistible crispy suckling pig and wok-fried glutinous rice with Chinese sausage. Splendid spreads aside, the beautiful rainforest-themed interior with a tranquil ambience presents a welcome respite from the city’s buzz.
Michelin-starred Summer Palace is sparing no expense for its extravagant $8,888 Grand Dynasty Menu. Every dish in the nine-course spread is skillfully prepared by executive chef Liu Ching Hai using luxurious ingredients, such as Alaskan geoduck and fish roe in the yu sheng, superior dried abalone, lobster, pacific garoupa, foie gras, crab and bird’s nest. A three-day advanced order is required for this opulent feast, which includes fragrant pours of 30-year aged Pu Er Tea.
Shang Palace is making sure you have all the blessings, luck and good omens with its festive set menus featuring the most auspicious ingredients. There’s the Fortune Yu Sheng with Norwegian smoked salmon and poached lobster, sautéed scallops and pacific clams, crispy suckling pig, braised bird’s nest soup, steamed star garoupa and sautéed Boston lobster. A sophisticated vegetarian set menu is also available, with soul-hugging plates like deep-fried beancurd puffs, braised bamboo fungus and asparagus and five grain fried rice.
Herald in abundance, good health and more this Year of the Tiger at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore’s Jiang-Nan Chun. Look forward to sumptuous feasts that spotlight fresh, seasonal produce and the culinary prowess of executive Chinese chef Albert Au. Toss to prosperity with a seafood-filled yu sheng that has lobster, abalone and salmon alongside hand-shredded root vegetables, savour the sweetness of wok-fried Australian lobster and feel all warm inside tucking into the nostalgic braised imperial chicken with six head abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, dried scallop and black mushrooms. Advance reservations are recommended.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Usher in the Year of the Tiger with Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant’s seven-course Celebratory Menu. Kick off the feast with a toss of the Swordfish Yu Sheng with Crispy Fish and Passion Fruit Pearl, before soothing your bellies with a bowl of Bird’s Nest with Lobster Broth, Conpoy, Bamboo Pith and Wolfberry. Other highlights from the menu include the Crispy Sea Cucumber with Crab Roe Superior Sauce, Fish Curd and Chinese Mustard Green. Don’t forget to save space in your stomach for the refreshing Chilled 8-Treasure Carrageen with Loquat too. – Jocelyn Tan
Sustainability is at the top of mind for Grand Hyatt Singapore, whose restaurants use mostly ingredients that are environmentally-friendly, including fruits and vegetables that are imported from organic farms nearby to keep the hotel’s carbon footprint. For a even more meaningful reunion dinner, book the luxurious six-course dinner menu at Mezza9, which includes a sustainable yu sheng topped with premium-grade salmon from the Faroe Island, a superior broth with crab meat and salmon roe as well as a steamed kampung chicken with cordyceps flower, black fungus, red date, old ginger and Chinese rose wine.
Take the adventurous route this Chinese New Year with a reunion Lo Hei Vintage Champagne Brunch at Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s Colony. Happening on the 6 and 13 February, the posh Sunday affair includes unlimited pours of Champagne, rosé, beer, red/white wines and cocktails as well as unlimited servings of food from the extensive menu, which boasts a range of cuisines from Italian to Singaporean.
5 on 25
Andaz Singapore has a new modern Cantonese restaurant up its sleeve: 5 on 25. Helmed by chef Lim Hong Lih, who brings over 20 years of Chinese fine-dining experience (including Assistant Chinese Chef at Michelin-starred Summer Pavilion), 5 on 25 places a strong emphasis on fresh and sustainable seafood. The Lunar New Year Lunch Set Menu this year sees mouthwatering dishes like the Braised Superior Bird’s Nest, Crabmeat and Crab Roe, the Six-head Abalone, and Mushroom and Vegetables, complete with a stellar view of Singapore’s skyline. – Jocelyn Tan
(Main and featured image: Shang Palace)
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