With the Lunar New Year happening so early this year, you might still be recovering from December’s festivities and scrambling to get all your preparations in order. You’ll be glad to know that the restaurants and hotels are rolling out delectable offerings by the dozen, so you won’t have to worry about slaving in the kitchen for hours to make sure there’s enough food to feed everyone. There are plenty of options out there, whether you’re looking for something to take away, or eschewing cooking entirely in favour of holding your reunion dinner at a restaurant.
Now, keep calm and wrap those hongbaos.
If your family is … super traditional.
Head over to Yan Ting at The St. Regis Singapore
Everyone will be crazy over yusheng and peng cai but if you are heading over to Yan Ting, The St Regis Singapore’s awesome Chinese restaurant, be sure to order the Braised Superior Bird’s Nest Broth with Crab Meat, $78 per portion. A definite greener-alternative to shark’s fin, this comforting broth features chunky servings of bird’s nest with sweet, succulent crab meat. As someone who never likes bird’s nest dessert because of its cloying sweetness, Deborah fell in love with this savory way of eat this delicacy. It’s a must-try!
Yan Ting is located at The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road. Tel: 6506 6866
Book a table at Peony Jade
When you dine at Peony Jade, you get the impression that the kitchen staff has put in a lot of effort to ensure you have a memorable dining experience. From the horse-shaped yu sheng to the baked horse-shaped ingot (where you have to pound away at the crust to get to the food), you’re given a taste of the chefs’ creativity. This creativity extends beyond aesthetics to the quality of their food too. One particularly standout dish is the Golden Suckling Pig Stuffed With Glutinous Rice, priced at $8.88 per piece (min. order of 6 pieces) or $238.88 for the whole pig (serves 12). Roasted over slow charcoal fire, the pork has a wonderfully smoky flavour and crispy skin that complements the soft, chewy glutinous rice.
The Golden Suckling Pig is available for dine-in and takeaway. 1-day advance order is required. Peony Jade is at Blk 3A Clarke Quay, #02-02, Tel: 6338 0305 and Keppel Club, Bukit Chermin Road, Level M, Tel: 6276 9138.
Take away the Braised Chicken with Sea Treasures in Claypot from Min Jiang
This one’s sure to be a hit among the older folks in your family. It is a whole chicken braised for two hours with pork belly (that has been cooked for eight hours), whole Australian abalones, dried oysters, flower mushrooms, black moss and broccoli. It’s simply a feast for the eyes and tastebuds, thanks to its many textures and perfectly balanced flavours. It tastes like homecooked food (never a bad thing), but with a super luxurious touch.
Min Jiang is at Goodwood Park Hotel (Tel: 6730 1704) and One North, 5 Rochester Park (Tel: 6774 0122). Advanced order of three working days is required for takeaways.
If your family is … somewhat traditional, but open to experimentation
Hold your reunion dinner at Au Chocolat
A very affordable $48 per person will get you a three-course meal at this European-style bistro. An while the presentation and ingredients of the dishes here are unmistakably Western, the familiar flavours will certainly come as a surprise to the palate. For instance, for the main course, one of the choices is the Creamy “Drunken Prawn” Pasta. Succulent tiger prawns have been cooked in traditional Chinese wine, simmered in a shallot cream sauce, then tossed with wolfberries and pasta, and garnished with fried wanton strips. For the family looking to break away from tradition, this is the perfect place to head to.
Order a roasted suckling pig from Intrepid Gastro Bar
There’s something about having a whole suckling pig on your table that lends a gourmet touch to the occasion, even if the rest of the dishes comprise of home-cooked favourites. At Intrepid Gastro Bar, the suckling pig, $298, is prepared with Australian herbs and spices, and comes with a selection of gourmet side dishes. Before you head down to pick it up, be sure to Like Intrepid’s Facebook page as you’ll be entitled to a complimentary bottle of either red or white wine worth $68.
The Roast Suckling Pig is available for takeaway and dine-in during lunch and dinner from 13 January to 15 February 2014 and 3 days advanced booking is required. Intrepid Gastro Bar is located at 40 Pekin St #01-01, Far East Square, Singapore 048770. For reservations, call 9068 8297 or book online at CHOPE.
If your family is … uncommonly adventurous
Try French cuisine at Boathouse Restaurant
No, you don’t have to abandon the spirit of the Lunar New Year entirely even if you’ve chosen not to have Chinese cuisine! The three-course set menu at Boathouse restaurant ($78 per person) is centred around “yu” (fish in Mandarin), which is the homonym with prosperity. For appetisers, you can look forward to a rustic Bouillabaisse fish stew or a pan-roasted Hokkaido scallops. Moving on to the main course, you have a choice of other pan-seared Atlantic sea bass or grilled red snapper presented with a seafood bisque. Wine pairing is also available for a supplementary $32 per person. Delicious food aside, there’s another fantastic reason to hold your reunion dinner here on the eve of the Lunar New Year – the unbeatable views as you and your family will be treated to a dazzling display of fireworks over the Marina Bay.
Boathouse Restaurant is located at 3 Fullerton Road, #03-01. For enquiries, call 6538 9038 or email email@example.com.
About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.
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