Chinese New Year classic dishes for at-home reunion dinners
Chinese New Year is my favourite food season because I love CNY dishes.
I enjoy the heartiness, the full-on flavours, and the comfort these dishes bring.
I hear most restaurants are booked solid for the reunion day meal, so you may want to plan for an at-home meal.
Here are some of my early favourites, most available to order at a restaurant and all are available for you to order for home.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
The Cantonese take their traditional CNY dishes very seriously, so it is not a surprise that Wan Hao has one of my favourites for the Year of the Tiger.
The Wan Hao Eight Treasures Imperial Pot with Bird’s Nest (from $488, available till Feb 15) is a collagen-rich soup that is delicate in flavour but rich in texture, with ingredients such as bird’s nest, 10-head abalone, free-range chicken and Japanese Shiitake Mushroom.
The soup is deeply comforting.
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
Carlton Hotel Singapore
Wah Lok is usually known for its traditional Chinese New Year dishes, but this year, chef Ng Wai Tong has taken a more adventurous route for his yusheng.
Instead of fish, sea cucumbers that had been braised then made into Konnyaku slices is the star, with accompaniments such as jellyfish, iceberg lettuce, white radish, carrots, black moss and marinated ginger. To finish it up, he uses a plum dressing.
The taste of the sea cucumber is intensified, so small doses, please. But it is a change if you’re tired of the usual.
The Fortune Sea Cucumber Lo Hei starts from $88 and is available till Feb 15.
Hai Tien Lo
Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore
Was your year-end bonus a hefty one? If so, celebrate it with Hai Tien Lo’s fancy Superior Treasure Pot (from $508).
It contains 15 ingredients (such as Eight Head Whole Abalone, Dried Fish Maw, Pork Knuckle, Lobster, and a very tasty Dace Fish Bal) and the ingredients and savoury sauce made this such an experience.
It’s available from Jan 17 to Feb 15 for both dine-in and takeaway.
Tow Kay Neo
Popular food personality Miss Tiamchiak has gone into the stock business with Tow Kay Neo, and she came up with one of the most value-for-money deals of the year.
While you may need to assemble and warm up your own Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, the Bundle Kit ($88) makes it simple.
It comes with the ingredients and a golden broth made using scallops, chicken, duck, trotters, carrot and pumpkin.
You just need to defrost it, place the ingredients into two bowls and steam for 30 minutes, and you’re good to go.
There is a range of other CNY dishes too, all requiring simple assembly and are all quite delicious.
Red House Seafood Restaurant
Red House Seafood started in 1976, so it knows its way around the kitchen. It also consistently offers one of the better menus for CNY.
This year is no exception. Its Year of the Tiger set meals (starting from $368) come with traditional seafood classics. There is also the Royal Seafood Pot ($288) with fish maw, crab scallop, lobster, threadfin fish stuffed with minced pork, and clams.
This pot is yummy and warms the stomach, and at this price, it is of tremendous value.
An added bonus: it comes with a pretty claypot which you can reuse.