Chinese New Year’s fast approaching the shores of Singapore and the streets of Chinatown are abuzz with excitement. Once Singapore Art Week ends, it’s only a matter of time before the festivities really kick off and if you’ve checked out our trusty guide to CNY, you’ll know what that means… reunion dinners! Whether you’re a devoted fan of Chinese cuisine, or are a newbie who wants to try out some CNY delicacies (hello, abalone!), we’ve dished up the best (and most auspicious) a great guide to dining out this CNY. Our advice? Get the kids into their best mandarin shirts and cheongsams, and book your tables before the hot seats are all snapped up.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
We love the fancy jewel box-shaped booth seating at ornately decorated Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant and the menu is just as grand! We popped along to try out the festive set menus (you’re welcome) and we say get ready for the seafood-galore crispy fish skin yu sheng with caviar, lobster, sea urchin and more, deep-fried lobster, and braised tangy U.S. short rib with mandarin orange. Yum! If you’re feeling adventurous, order the alternative menu picks including sliced black truffle yu sheng, crispy pork trotter or a big helping of hot and sour abalone soup.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865, p. 6831 4605, Available from 14 January to 19 February; www.singaporemarriott.com
Jiang-Nan Chun at Four Seasons Hotel
For a taste of sophistication, head to Michelin-starred restaurant Jiang-Nan Chun to indulge in the festive menus specially crafted by Executive Chinese Chef Tim Lam. With prices from $148 per person for six courses, you can lo hei your way into the Lunar New Year with fresh Australian lobster and abalone and salmon yu sheng. Or go fishy with wok fried Boston lobster in black bean sauce, stir fried Chinese yam and braised fresh beancurd skin.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, 190 Orchard Blvd, Singapore 248646, Available 21 January to 19 February; www.fourseasons.com
Traditional and healthy are the name of the new year game at Min Jiang, and we’re loving the delectable edible art being served up for CNY. Toss the new prosperity ‘Fa Cai’ Yu Sheng of salmon and chow down on picks including abalones, edible viola petals and homemade ‘bak kwa’ – all artfully arranged around a Chinese illustration painted by the talented resident chef, Chan Hwan Kee. Feeling peckish? A hearty claypot filled with braised tender pork belly and a side order of crispy shredded duck will do the trick. But leave some space for deep-fried pork knuckle and slow baked honey butter ribs.
Min Jiang at Goodwood Park and One-North, Available from 18 January to 19 February; www.goodwoodparkhotel.com
Feeling fancy? Ditch the kids for a Cantonese cuisine-themed date night at Madame Fan. Set in the NCO Club, you’ll be greeted by a red carpet, glass elevator and beautiful bar before you head for your reunion meal. Come hungry for a six-course dinner menu starring four treasure soup with supreme stock, fortune chicken and steamed silver cod with Chinese ham. Can’t forget the yu sheng incorporated with crispy rice noodles, purple cabbage, silver fish and green mango with add ons like live abalone from South Africa and Kaluga caviar. Head down to the Fish Pool after 5pm on a Friday or Saturday and you’ll even be able to catch a mermaid show!
Madame Fan, 32 Beach Rd, Singapore 189764, Available from 16 January to 19 February 2019; madamefan.sg
Sky22 at Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena
Celebrating Chinese New Year under the stars is definitely a good way to start the new year, especially when there’s a buffet involved. Get ready to pig out on Sky22’s (pictured above) affordable and delish a la carte buffet with signature dishes like the Singapore chilli baby lobster wrapped in mantou bun, pumpkin salted egg prawns and golden fortune suckling pig lo hei featuring crispy pig skin, crackling, bak kwa flakes and special orange and plum sauce. Or go fuss-free at the semi-buffet with longevity noodles, steam lotus leaf rice and a DIY yu sheng lo hei bar.
Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena, 99 Irrawaddy Road, Novena, Singapore 329568 Singapore, Available 22 January to 19 February; www.marriott.com
If you’re out museum hopping with the family, drop by Empress at the Asian Civilisations Museum for a lunch ($68) or dinner set (from $88) where hungry kids will love trying delish roasted suckling pig, wild-caught lobster e-fu noodles and tender braised 5-head South African abalone. Don’t miss the mouthwatering smoked salmon, silver bait and abalone yu sheng either – we’ve tried it all! If you have a smidgen of space after all that feasting, try the hot and crispy sesame nian gao roll served with goji berry ice cream. Although the Grand Marnier and chocolate ganache with mandarin orange macaroon sounds pretty impressive…
Empress@ACM, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555. Available 21 January to 19 February; www.empress.com.sg
Hai Tien Lo at the Pan Pacific
Award-winning Hai Tien Lo embodies traditional Chinese dining with a modern twist. Located on the third floor of Pan Pacific, the restaurant’s Chinese New Year offerings include seven sumptuous set menus (from $138.80 per diner) with premium delicacies such as double boiled Buddha Jumps Over the Wall with morel mushrooms! And for the veggies among you, the vegetarian yusheng with crispy enoki mushrooms and wolfberries and wild vegetables is food heaven.
Hai Tien Lo, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039595, Available 21 January to 19 February; www.panpacific.com
Man Fu Yuan at Intercontinental Singapore
Head to Man Fu Yuan for an authentic Chinese Lunar New Year meal or opt for the handcrafted dim sum option (available on selected dates). There’s also a menu dedicated entirely to teas to pair with your meal. This award-winning restaurant offers set meals complete with dishes including lobster and pumpkin soup, roast chicken and signature tea-smoked duck.
Intercontinental, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966, p. 6338 7600, Available from 4 January to 19 February; www.singapore.intercontinental.com
Ellenborough Market Café at Swissotel
The Ellenborough Market Café is satisfying all our buffet cravings this year with its spread of roasts, Peranakan faves and seafood. We’ll be piling our plates high with bak kwa, drunken chicken, braised dried oysters with black moss, steamed garoupa and duck and pork belly. Can’t forget the double boiled chicken soup with sliced abalone though, and don’t forget to make your own fortune at the DIY yu sheng station. Finish off with a fab spread of steamed nian gao with coconut, nyonya kueh and the signature durian pengat before going back for more.
Ellenborough Market Café, 20 Merchant Road, Singapore 058281, Available from 18 January to 19 February; www.swissotel.com
For a contemporary take on traditional Cantonese cuisine, head to swish Chinese restaurant, Mitzo to welcome a new year of happiness and wealth over a plate of signature dish of king fish yu sheng, abalone yu sheng or fruits yu sheng. Pick a menu to suit your budget (dishes range from deep fried grouper in truffle sauce and braised tomato pork rib to stir fried dried oyster served with scallops) and end the meal with a refreshing dessert of pineapple sago with warm sticky rice cake “nian gao” tart. Hot tip: There’s a kids’ playroom!
Mitzo, Level 4 Grand Park, 270 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238857, Available 15 January to 19 February; www.mitzo.sg
Jade at the Fullerton
Decked out in an elegant white with colourful bird motifs, the opulent Jade is your destination for a refined and modern reunion dinner. Usher in the Year of the Pig with auspicious five course set menus (from $88++) featuring stellar dishes including poached yellow capsicum mushroom and pork dumplings and wok-fried radish cake. Also being served up is the wok-fried Boston lobster with white fungus and salted clams as well as pan-fried wagyu beef fillet in barbecue sauce. And for dessert? Check out and devour the gold rush salmon yu sheng with champagne jelly, and honey pineapple dressing for the perfect sweet-sour balance. It’s different but delicious!
Jade, 1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Singapore 049178, Available 22 January to 2 March; www.fullertonhotel.com
Top image credit: Sky22 at Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena
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Beginners’ guide to Chinese New Year in Singapore
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