Indulge in the best of Chinese New Year dishes
Time to pig out on some of the best meals out there
Those of us who celebrate Chinese New Year know that overeating is a foregone conclusion.
If we are going to indulge, we might as well eat the best.
Here are my favourites of the season that are worth every calorie
I like my yusheng to have bursts of sweetness instead of being blanketed in sugar.
It should have a 20:80 nut to vegetable ratio, and there should be lots of fish because who wants just a salad?
Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant (201 Keppel Road, Tel: 6272-8822) is the place to be for a meal steeped in nostalgia, and the Prosperity Yusheng (from $58) it serves is as traditional as the place itself.
The addition of abalone ($30) is probably its newest move.
Otherwise, it's a plate of candied orange bits, crackers and any other ingredient you would expect.
But when combined, it's a blissful step back in time. Because the tastes are all so comforting, this restaurant offers one of the best festive menus overall.
The other yusheng that I like boasts a very modern take.
Blue Lotus' Yu Sheng (from $48) has herbs and vegetables, aromatic spices, nuts, crispy salmon skin, silver bait and rice vermicelli, topped with spring onion-infused olive oil and wild honey yuzu dressing.
The result is an unforgettable, not-too-sweet dish with lots of textures and flavours.
It's available at all Blue Lotus outlets (Novotel Singapore on Stevens, Quayside Isle, Tanjong Pagar Centre and 991B Alexandra Road). You can also order online at www.bluelotus.com.sg/chinese-new-year-2019.
Pen cai seems to be taking a back seat this year, but there is nothing quite as festive as a steaming bowl of premium ingredients soaking in a flavourful brown sauce.
Crystal Jade's Bountiful Abalone Treasure Pot (from $268.80) is one of my top picks.
It has 18 ingredients, so no one will feel left out. The best bits here include the scallop, fish maw and pig trotter. A soulful, rich sauce is a must for pen cai, and Crystal Jade's version does not disappoint.
Another trusty restaurant where the food can't go wrong and offers a good pen cai is Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant (Carlton Hotel Singapore, Tel: 6349 1292). Just order any pen cai it has on the menu and it should satisfy.
The Longevity Poon Choi (from $408) is one example.
To me, soup is essential to any successful dining experience. The better the soup, the better the experience.
The Double-boiled Whole Chicken stuffed with Bird's Nest and Duck Foie Gras Dumplings ($308.15, for six, takeaway only) from Min Jiang at One-North is one of the best I've tasted.
The sweetness and richness of the soup come through, enhanced by the richness of the dumplings. The luxurious ingredients are great for those who want to impress, but it is the broth itself that makes the dish perfect.
I find it hard to dislike anything offered at Folklore (Destination Singapore Beach Road, Tel: 9021-9700). I even like that you will have to assemble this dish on your own. It adds to the fun.
The Popiah set ($60) is like any other popiah spread, but the individual elements - like the hand-shredded turnip and the pork belly cooked in prawn and pork stock - are good enough to eat on their own.
It will be available from Feb 4. You can order it for takeaway, but it is priced at $321 (good for 20) and you'll need to give Folklore five days' notice.
Another impressive main to try is the roasted pork belly roulade with minced seafood ($368) at Man Fu Yuan (InterContinental Singapore, Tel: 6825-1131). You need to give the restaurant three days' notice.
The crispy skin of the pork and the umami of the seafood inside make for a heavenly combination. The price tag is a bit high - even for an impressive-looking 4kg roll - but it's worth the splurge because one bite of it and you'll be in hog heaven.