Chinese New Year Festive Offerings @ 6 Fine Dining Chinese Restaurants in Singapore

The Chinese New Year Festive Dining has already started and many places are already serving Yusheng and Pen Cai. There’s no way I can have an exhaustive list, but these 6 places are where I had the privilege to taste their festive offerings.

Some places might still have slots available for booking for the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Some popular ones have already been booked months ahead. That’s what I heard of the very popular Li Bai. There are so many days in the Chinese New Year period to dine, so there will be slots available for you. Just see which one you fancy and call them up.

1) St Regis Singapore – Yan Ting

Yan Ting serves fine Cantonese cuisine and it has recently appointed a new Executive Chinese Chef, Chef Tony Wun. Chef Wun brings with him a list of awards and accolades. I will talk more about that in another post some time later.

My wife and I had one of the Yu Sheng here with my in laws last year. We haven’t decided where we are going this year. We like to change around every year.

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Yan Ting’s Yu Sheng this year is called the Prosperity Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon. This year they have snow pear and passion fruit plum sauce dressing to give it a very refreshing flavour.

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One of their interesting creations is the Crispy Prosperity Roll with Scallops, Banana and Salted Egg. That’s the item in the middle above. What you have are layers of scallop, water chestnut, prawns, black moss, as well as banana!

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If you decide to dine at home, Yan Ting’s Chinese New Year Pun Choy serves 6 and it includes a medium Prosperity “Yu Sheng” with Norwegian Salmon, Fried Glutinous Rice with Preserved Meat and Osmanthus Cake. The takeaway price is $468. It’s a huge serving with thirteen ingredients including the much loved abalones, dried oysters, sea cucumber and dace fish balls.

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If you chose to dine in, there are multiple set meals with different taste buds. In the set meals, you get to try things like this very succulent prawns with black bean sauce.

For you convenience, you can click here to view all their different set meals and pricing here: http://www.yantingrestaurant.com/assets/u/YanTingCNY2015Menu.pdf

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It’s interesting when you read the menu and they have interesting name. This is the Wok-fried Glutinous Rice with Wind-dried Sausages.

Why is it wind-dried? It seems there is some history behind it. The sausages they have are wind-dried preserves the meat’s umami. Sun-dried ones have nice scent. Ask the knowledgeable service staff. There’s this service staff who seems to know quite a bit here. Or you can read this interesting article about Lup Cheong by chaxiubao. I love to read about food, hope this part is interesting to you.

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You can end the meal with a cup of creamy avocado sago cream served with ice cream and glutinous rice cake.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at: http://www.yantingrestaurant.com/cny2015

Yan Ting Restaurant
The St Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247911

Tel: +65 6506 6887

2) InterContinental Singapore – Man Fu Yuan

Man Fu Yuan probably had the most interesting preview for the mainstream and online media. I reckon they have the biggest private room in a Chinese Restaurant that can seat 25 people comfortably!

Executive Chinese Chef Kwan Yiu Kan has created a unique reunion menu that is very symbolic of the occasion as well as tasty.

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Their Yu Sheng is called Salmon and Japanese Hokkigai Yu Sheng. It’s served with a concoction of Ponzu and Shoyu Sauce. So it’s tangy instead of the usual more sweetish sauce.

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We each had a cup of literally sweet golden flakes to throw into the center of the table. We then had a super long spatula to toss our Yu Sheng. I think this is only for the preview. If you have some special occasion you can contact the restaurant and they should be able to arrange something with additional cost involved of course.

Here’s an Instagram video that I took. Interesting eh?

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Here’s to show you the Japanese Hokkigai. To add more crunch to the Yu Sheng, Chef Kwan also added fried vermicelli to the dish.

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Chef Kwan’s Double-boiled “Fu Zhou” Buddha Jump Over the Wall ($688+ for 5 persons, with wok-fried glutinous rice and Yu Sheng) is quite an indulgence. Whole abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried scallops, deer tendon and panax ginseng has been cooked over low heat for 48 hours to produce this thick luxurious broth.

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A sell-out item every year, Man Fu Yuan’s signature Deluxe Treasures Pot ($428+ for 5 persons, with Yu Sheng) is filled to the brim with 23 premium ingredients. Whole baby abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, goose web, scallops, preserved meat sausages all in a flavourful broth.

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For some who love suckling pigs. This is their barbecued whole suckling pig with wok-fried glutinous rice. ($488+). This is so tempting!

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It was fresh out of the barbecue and it was smoking hot as Chef was cutting the pig up. Everyone just had to eat up every bit served because it was really good.

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Steamed Red Garoupa in Homemade Black Bean Sauce was really delicious. If you are a fish lover, you would particularly love how it was nicely steamed. The black bean sauce concoction really brings a difference with its bold flavours.

If you want to view their festive menu online, you can click here.
They have 10 different set menus, vegetarian menu, Indian vegetarian menu and a Muslim Set menu.

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If you are going to indulge for your dessert, order the Double-boiled Superior Bird’s Nest with Rock Sugar in Whole Coconut ($72 per person).

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I just can’t help showing you another photo of it. It is served steaming hot and you slowly scoop up bird’s nest and indulge. It’s the reddish superior bird’s nest.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at:
http://singapore.intercontinental.com/festive-takeaways/


Man Fu Yuan
InterContinental Singapore
80 Middle Road,
Singapore 188966

Tel: +65 68251008 




3) Sheraton Towers Singapore – Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant

Li Bai at Sheraton Towers Singapore is headed by Chinese Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming.

If you are a SPG member, you will notice that this Chinese restaurant is the only that doesn’t give you discount amongst all the Starwood properties in Singapore. It’s that popular. At least you still get to accumulate points though.

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The Yu Sheng here is just called the Salmon Loh Hei Platter. They ingredients all have special meanings. Carrot for luck, pomelo for a smooth sailing year and crisp crackers for abundance in wealth.

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The Loh Hei platter starts from $52. If you want more ingredients, you just request for it and pay the additional charges. If you like more salmon than the one they provide, add it for just $20 per plate. They additions like Ikan Parang, Crispy Salmon Fish Skin, Shredded Abalone, Lobster ($35 per 100gm) and even extra crackers.

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Yes, we had a whole lobster, and the service staff giving us the auspicious cheers.

That reminds me, I got an mass email from a bank and has these all typed out for me, so I might as well reproduce it here. I have added more in, but the list can be longer. You can save it to your phone, just in case you need it for your meals.

Fish
年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu) Surplus and bountiful harvests every year.

Pomelo or lime to the fish
大吉大利 (Da Ji Da Li) May your year be filled with good luck and prosperity

Yu Sheng sauce
甜甜蜜蜜 (Tian Tian Mi Mi) May your life be always sweet.

Pepper
招财进宝 (Zhao Cai Jin Bao) May you attract wealth and treasures

Oil
一本万利 (Yi Ben Wan Li) Making 10000 times profit with your capital

Carrots
鸿运当头 (Hong Yun Dang Tou) Arrival of good luck and blessing

Peanuts
金银满屋 (Jin Yin Man Wu) Abundant wealth and blessings to your household.

Keropok
满地黄金 (Man Di Huang Jin) Let your ground be laid with gold.

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This was the Double-boiled chicken soup with fish maw, morel mushroom, pearl meat, bamboo pith and Tientsin cabbage.

Yes, we were told the Pearl Meat is one very expensive ingredient in this soup that is served in a very interesting ceramic container. Pearl meat is the adductor muscle of a pearl oyster. Only when the oyster is no longer used for producing oyster, it is then harvested. Cost are about hundreds of dollars per kg for fresh ones. There are also dried versions.

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We don’t mind more lobster indulgence. This is the Sauteed Lobsters served in Crispy Rice Basket. This dish was probably served to showcase the finest of the chef. The characteristics of good Chinese cooking: color, aroma and taste.

Colors of the carrot, ginger, asparagus complements the whitish orangey colour of the lobsters. I noticed that the ginger pieces are in nice four angle shapes, the carrots are in the shape of a bird! The aroma with the different sauce and application of heat gives it a fragrant wok aroma or the Maillard Reaction. Taste, the use of enough seasoning that doesn’t over power other flavours.

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It seems their popular “Eight Treasures” Duck now has a bonus treasure. It now comes with 5-head abalones. This is in addition to the treasures of Lotus Seed, Chinese Mushroom, Sea Cucumber, Salted Egg, Barley, Chicken, Pork and Chestnut.

If you love slowly stewed food, order this as a Takeaway for $388.

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I was told Chef uses the spiky version of sea cucumber, which is the higher quality ones. There are many types of sea cucumbers, you can read more about it online during your free time. Just look at the photo above, doesn’t it look appetizing? I used to dislike it when mum or aunt cooks them. If you read more about them and taste different ones, you would learn to appreciate them more.

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Other festive goodies you can order with the set meals or for takeaways include Water Chestnut Cake with Osmanthus and also the Traditional Nian Gao with Red Dates and Lotus Seeds. The Nian Gao do get fancy year after year!

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a brochure for it at:
http://issuu.com/sheratontowerssg/docs/cny_emailer__page_by_page_/0
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Road
Singapore 228230

Tel: +65 6737 6888

4) Mandarin Oriental Singapore – Cherry Garden

Cherry Garden at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore is helmed by Executive Chinese Chef Cheng Hon Chau.

We were recently there to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday and we were really impressed with the service standard of the service staff. Impeccable. We like to gossip when we eat sometimes. We realised lady who served us, Joy is a Thai and she can speak multiple languages. She was speaking to us in English, then she switched to Chinese at the Hong Kong couple in the next table. The was then speaking to her colleague in Malay and yes we eventually found out she’s Thai.

Not only that, as the wife is pregnant, she came back with a back pillow for her to sit more comfortably. We haven’t been given a back pillow so far in the places we go to.

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Back to the Yu Sheng here. Depending on the set meals you order, you have different combination of Yu Sheng. They have the Salmon and Crispy Fish Skin ones like the ones above. There is also the Black Truffle Slivers version and the ultimate luxurious lobster, salmon, slice abalone and black truffle slivers version. They also have a Garden of Health Yu Sheng that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables.

You can take a look at their different set menus that are names like Success, Joyous, Harmony, Auspicious, Longevity, Prosperity and Wealth. The menu is available online here:
http://photos.mandarinoriental.com/is/content/MandarinOriental/singapore-cny

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The highlight at Cherry Garden is Singapore’s largest traditional ‘basin dish’. It weights more than 25 kg and measures up to 45 cm in diameter. That’s Chef Cheng carrying the heavy Pen Cai to show off his masterpiece.

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Another angle so that you can look in front of you and imagine how big the Pen Cai is!

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The best way to enjoy this is to gather a minimum of 6 persons and order the Success set menu. It set menu will come with Yu Sheng, this luxurious Pen Cai, Egg Noodles with Lettuce and two desserts. It will cost $138 per guest (minimum of 6 orders), but look at the following photos to see if you think it will be worth it.

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The Pen Cai will be served to you slowly for you to enjoy. Enjoy braised Lobsters and Eight-head Abalones.

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There’s also scallops, sea cucumber, prawns, dried oyster rolls, conpoy, dace fillet, roasted duck, soy chicken, crispy pork belly, waxed sausages, mushrooms, black moss and tientsin cabbage.

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With the luxurious broth, they will also serve you egg noodles and ice berg lettuce.

After eating them all, you would probably be quite full. They will then serve you one of their signature dessert available in their regular menu. Cherries in Nu Er Hong and aged Kuei Hua wine cocktail jelly served with lychee sorbet. This dessert is quite good.

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You will end your meal with some pan fried Nian Gao.

If you like pork trotter, you can order their Braised Pork Trotter with whole 8-head abalone, dried oyster, mushroom, black moss and vegetable in claypot for $188. This will serve 4 persons.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a brochure for it at:
http://photos.mandarinoriental.com/is/content/MandarinOriental/singapore-cny

Cherry Garden
Mandarin Oriental Singapore
5 Raffles Avenue,
Marina Square
Singapore 039797

Tel: +65 6885 3500

5) Pan Pacific Singapore – Hai Tien Lo

Hai Tien Lo is helmed by Master Chef Lai Tong Ping. After the recent refurbishment of Pan Pacific Hotel, the restaurants have moved around. It’s now located at Level 3. Chef Lai has been here for 10 years and if you like his food, there’s also a Glorious Decade at Hai Tien Lo set menu available.

It probably has the 2nd largest private dining room I have seen, after Man Fu Yuan. Something about the turn table here at Hai Tien Lo is that it is automated! You can push a button and it turns. It’s because the table is so huge and there’s no way anyone is going to turn the ‘lazy susan’.

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Oh wow. During the preview, we saw this and instantly felt blessed. This is their Flourishing Prosperity Yu Sheng with Fresh Lobster, Alaskan Crab, Hokkaido Scallop, Norwegian Salmon, Salmon Roe and Japanese Kelp.

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It’s quite bold to have the word ‘yang’ in black and topped it with gold flakes. I was thinking, if you have a ‘black sheep’ at home, bring them here. You know I am just joking.

For Hai Tien Lo’s different combination of Yu Sheng, you can download their choices here.

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Double boiled soups are such a pleasure to consume. This was the Double-boiled Abalone, Fish Maw, Dried Scallops, Sea Cucumber and Fermented Black Garlic.

I have noticed that chefs are using fermented black garlic more. They do give the soups a different flavour. It is subtle so you wonder what it is, then when you are told what it is, some people says it has a nice balsamic aroma. There are also many reported health benefits to it. 

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I think I said this before, if you want to have great soups, marry a Cantonese. Your perception of soups will instantly change when your mother in law boils soup for you. As Hokkiens, we grew up drinking soups too. Egg drop soups with tomatoes. Lean pork and bittergourd soups. Most soups that doesn’t take hours, except maybe the peanut and pork ribs, lotus root soup with pork or chicken soup that takes a longer time to boil. (Wait, I am not sure if these are Hokkien soups, but we drink them growing up).

Long story short, you get these kind of soups when you go back for your weekly dinner when the mother in law ‘boils soup’. Of course the weekly soup ingredients doesn’t include all the expensive stuff. Once in a while, they do add in some abalone or sea cucumber.

You can only bring them to places that does better soups than them like all these Cantonese restaurants. Maybe I shall buy her some black garlic one of these days.

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If you want a whole Barbecue Crispy Whole Suckling Pig (5 kg), you can order it from their Takeaway menu at $288+. Tempting doesn’t it?

The takeaway order for for this is here.

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This is Chef’s Trio of Treasures that we had. So cute to have the pastry as Honey Bees!
There are quite a few weekend Dim Sum buffets around, maybe we should try the ones here and see.

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Stewed Inaniwa Udon with Lobster and Truffles in Supreme stock. These udon as slightly thinner than the regular udon. A curious me went to do a search and read about it here. Oh the little bit of truffles on top really gives it a nice aroma.

This dish will be served as part of the various set meals, available. They call it the French way Chinese New Year Prix Fixe Menu. You can view their full menu here.

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To keep guys handsome, and ladies pretty. A dose of Birds Nest will do the trick. This is the Double-boiled Imperial Swiftlet’s Nest with Maltose. Also comes as part of their Prix Fixe Menu.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at:
http://www.panpacific.com/en/hotels-resorts/singapore/marina/stay/offers/an-ode-to-tradition.html

Hai Tien Lo
Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square
Singapore 039595

Tel: +65 6336 8111

6) Fairmont Singapore – Szechuan Court

Szechuan Court dishes have been crafted by Master Chef Mok Wan Lok. It has been quite a few years since I dined here. As I typed this, I remember that I have the FAR Card through my Amex Card and I do get discounts here. Maybe it’s time to come dine here with the wife.

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The Yu Sheng here is called the “Ultimate Success Yusheng”. The choice of exquisite ingredients here includes Maguro (Tuna) and Boston Lobster with a citrusy flavour.

You can choose a choice of Salmon, Maguro, Abalone, Lobster or Vegetarian Yu Sheng. Prices range from $58++ to $98++ for the small serving. For the large serving, the prices range from $108++ to $188++ if you opt for the Boston Lobster Yu Sheng.

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To add crunch to their Yu Sheng here, they have added  Crispy morel mushrooms known as “羊肚菌” in Chinese to give it the crunch in this dish. Yes, it’s there because of the 羊 in the Chinese characters. This is in addition to the 羊 word that is arranged on the platter.

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Their Pen Cai here is called Szechuan Court’s Prosperity Pot of Gold. The 6 persons portion costs $438++ while the 8-10 persons portion costs $688++.

The OCD me noticed that when they prepared the prawns they snipped off the head and also the sharp ends on that is on the tail. I do that when I clean my prawns at home. It’s so that no one gets hurt eating. It’s either your hands or mouth gets pricked. So I know the chefs here are meticulous.

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They have 14 different ingredients in this treasure pot. It includes the sort after African abalones, top grade giant Japanese dried scallops and oysters, luscious fish maw, sea cucumbers and a selection of juicy roast meats. They have been slow simmered for six hours.

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Double-boiled Bird’s Nest Chicken Soup with Morel Mushrooms. $58++ per person. If you want soup for its nutritional and health value, you can order this.

Treat your mum, mother in law, wife, girlfriend to this it’s better than any Valentine’s Day gift. Someone was texting me asking what to bring his girlfriend to eat. I said it’s a day for them to chop you. I should have recommended him to bring the girlfriend to some Chinese restaurants and have beauty soup!

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A new creation by Dim Sum Chef Mandy Yeo to the Dim Sum menu is the Fried Shredded Filo Dough Roll with Prawns and Lychee. It is something sweet, 2 kinds of sweetness, from the prawns and the lychee. It’s paired with the house blended Thousand Island Sauce. $8.80++ per set of 3 pieces.

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Teochew-Style Steamed Pomfret from the Spring Set Menu. If you come from a traditional family and your grandparents insists that you have a whole pomfret, you can have it here.

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These ‘prawn balls’ are so crunchy and tasty. Need I say more?
Prawns to bring you ‘haha’ laughter and harmony in the family for the whole new year.

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Another new creation by Chef Mandy is this Home-made Green Tea, Red Kidney Bean and Traditional Nian Gao coated with Coconut Flakes. $12.80++  per order.

It’s a contemporary twist to the traditional brown Nian Gao. It has freshly grated coconut to give it a unique texture and taste when you eat it. Their Nian Gao is freshly prepared daily. 

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at:
http://www.fairmont.com/singapore/special-offers/other-offers/prosperous-lunar-new-year-delicacies/

Szechuan Court
Level 3, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189560

Tel: +65 6431 6156

Here are 6 previews of what you can expect from some of the Fine Dining Chinese Restaurants in Singapore. If you are still deciding where to go, I hope this post will help you.

Almost every restaurant listed above will be serving their Chinese New Year Menu till 5 March 2015. 

Wishing you all a very Blessed, Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year.



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