SINGAPORE — And just like that, it’s time to bring out the prosperous red deco, gold ingots, bust out everyone’s favourite He Xin Nian jam, and usher in the year of the tiger. It’s been said that people born in the year of the Tiger are bold, ambitious, adventurous, restless and a tad reckless—but in a good way, I’m sure. After the tumultuous year we’ve had, who can blame anyone for being anything but slightly reckless in the face of lockdowns, cancelled VTLs, and booster jabs. Still, the show (and the year) must go on. There are reunion dinners to be planned, Yushengs to be tossed, and nuts to buy. If you’re already on the verge of a breakdown from all that CNY dinner research, perhaps this handy dandy list might help make things easier.
Enjoy Eating House and Bar
The champion of all things large and in-charge, Enjoy Eating House ushers in the year of the Tiger with a resounding roar and a prosperous spread that takes judicious inspiration from local fare that’s familiar, comforting, and, in true Enjoy fashion, value-for-the-buck.
To start, there’s the Abundant Treasure Pot (S$288 for 6–8 diners), filled to the brim with Whole Pork Knuckle, Sea Cucumber, Abalone, Conpoy, Prawns, Pork Tendon, Dried Oysters, Handmade Crab Meat Ball, Fish Maw, Shiitake, Chinese Sausage, and Wok Fried Rice.
Elsewhere, the Lucky Star Set (S$248 for 4–5 diners) promises more food than anyone could ever imagine at this price. It comes with Prosperity Yu Sheng Salmon Sashimi, Jumbo Kurobuta and Crab Ngoh Hiong, Salt Baked Whole Barramundi, Baked Herbal Kampung Chicken with Abalone in Aged Shaoxing, King Tiger Prawns in Singapore Chilli Sauce, and an Eight Treasure Vegetables Truffle XO Scallop Dai “Fok” Mien. Take it up a notch and top up S$150 to the set for an additional BBQ Pork rib with 7-Spice Mandarin Orange Baijiu Glaze.
Enjoy Eating House’s CNY menu is available from 20 Jan to 15 Feb 2022. Order from 2 Jan to 16 Jan to enjoy 10% off the Reunion Set Meal and Pen Cai.
At Cantonese restaurant, Yàn, Lunar New Year is steeped with classic Cantonese fare that is fresh, balanced, and incredibly flavourful. It shows in the six-course Lunar New Year Family Feast (S$98+ per diner; minimum four diners) that comes served with a Salmon Yusheng, Steamed Cod Fillet with Preserved Lemon Peel Sauce, Braised 6 Head Whole Abalone, Fish Maw and Prawns, and Chilled Pumpkin Cream with Aloe Vera Jelly accompanied by Deep-Fried Sesame Rice Ball.
For something slightly more pared-down but no less impressive is their Lunar New Year Reunion Treasures (S$388+ for five diners; S$776+ for ten diners), a festive set of three communal dishes curated for convivial gatherings. They come with a classic Salmon Yusheng, signature Harvest Pen Cai, and Wok-Fried Glutinous Rice with Preserved Meat.
Still, what’s Cantonese fare without the proverbial duck, am I right? Remember to get the whole Yàn Peking Roast Duck (from $95+), which comes served with sliced skin packed separately, homemade pancakes, and traditional garnishes so you can have it your way. Other barbecue selections to salivate over include the Signature Crispy Roast Suckling Pig (S$328+), Roast Pork Belly (S$18+ per serving), and Roasted Duck Marinated with Mandarin Peel (S$88+).
Yàn’s lunar new year menu is available from 1 Jan to 15 Feb 2022.
Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel
The decadent and incredibly indulgent Pen Cai takes centre stage at Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel, all specially curated for a Reunion Dinner Auntie Jenny won’t soon forget.
There’s the Braised Boneless Pork Knuckle with Abalone Gold Bags in Pot (S$393.76 nett for six diners; comes with pot) that comes with deboned Australian pork knuckle braised for three hours until fall-off-the-bone tender. Inside, there’s also six ‘golden bags’ of Japanese ‘inari’ beancurd, each filled with whole abalone, oyster, and minced chicken, Chinese shiitake mushrooms, sea cucumber, braised lotus root, radish, beancurd skin and ‘fa cai’, all simmered in flavourful chicken stock.
The Braised Spring Chicken with Ibérico Pork Rolls & Abalone in Pot (S$361.66 nett for six diners, comes with pot) features an ingredient seldom used due to challenges in its preparation process—Goose Web. It’s deep-fried then braised with chicken, Chinese ‘Jinhua’ ham, ginger and spring onions over two hours. It’s combined with a whole spring chicken that is deep-fried then steamed, Ibérico pork belly rolls that have been grilled and braised, whole abalone, moreish dried oysters, Shiitake, and fried fish maw.
The fun doesn’t end there. For a more affordable, yet no less impressive pot, have a go at the Double-boiled Seafood Soup with Abalone & Handmade Black Moss Meatballs in Claypot (S$308.16 nett for six diners, comes with claypot) that features such gems like the Australian 10-head abalone, fried eel fish maw, deep-fried fresh grouper slices, fresh tiger prawns, and handmade black moss meatballs with pork and turnip.
Min Jiang’s Lunar New Year menu is available from 7 Jan to 15 Feb 2022.
Next to join the festive Lunar New Year celebrations is Singaporean-owned Tanuki Raw, who comes armed with speciality knowledge of all things raw. It starts with the Tanuki Raw Yu Sheng (S$38.99 for 3–4 diners) that comes served with ten slices of sashimi-grade air-flown Norwegian salmon draped over freshly shredded carrots, purple cabbage, cucumber, and radish. The Yu Sheng also comes with seven assorted pickles and preserves, plum sauce, peanut oil, sesame, and crushed peanuts for a mighty toss you won’t soon forget.
While you’re at it, why not indulge in the Tanuki Raw Sashimi Platter (S$88 for 56 slices). The platter comes with thick, sashimi-cut Sake (salmon), Maguro (tuna), Hotate (Japanese scallop), Hokkigai (surf clams), Tako (octopus), Mekajiki (swordfish), Shiro Maguro (white tuna), and Hamachi (yellowtail).
Only like salmon? I hear you. Go crazy with the Tanuki Raw Salmon Lover Platter (S$88 for ten slices, 40pcs). The salmon centric platter comes served with ten sashimi slices of salmon and 40 pieces of a combination of Salmon Nigiri sushi, smoked salmon roll, salmon California roll, Ikura Gunkan, and Tanuki Raw’s famous fusion roll, the Superstar Roll.
City Hall’s favourite Modern European restaurant tries its hand at Lunar New Year with a 5-course menu that starts from S$176 for a cosy dinner for two, which can be ‘upsized’, so to speak, for as many diners the current regulations allow.
It starts with the Prosperity Yu Sheng that comes with Norwegian smoked salmon, Chinese tangerine and crispy fish skin, pomelo, ginger, and carrots, topped with bok chui crackers avruga caviar and bite-sized pieces of their housemade truffle bak kwa.
An appetiser of plump Hokkaido Scallops follows, served with sauteed green peas, purees of green pea and parsnip, a mango and
tomato salsa, and a pomegranate drizzle. Mains come by way of a Slow Cooked Pork Belly, served with roasted vegetables and XO-scented Gold Yukon potato gratin, and a serving of Truffle Jus made in-house with beef stock infused with truffle paste and truffle oil.
Elsewhere, the Seafood in the Bag features seabass, prawns, mussels, and lobsters cooked, cartoccio-style, in a fish broth made with seabass bones, peeled tomatoes, and white wine. Into this, artichokes, tomatoes, and olives are cooked for a subtle touch of natural sweetness.
Desserts come by way of a Mandarin Chocolate Cake—a fruit-cocoa pairing that never fails to impress. The slice features a layer of orange custard made with the juices of different types of oranges and a rich, moist chocolate sponge made with dark Valrhona chocolate.
Tablescape’s Lunar New Year menu is available from 17 Jan to 10 Feb 2022.