Chinese New Year is hot on our heels this year, but finally being able to celebrate the auspicious festivities with loved ones in full force is something I’m immensely looking forward to. From now till 5 Feb 2023, join The Star Vista
in its exciting line-up of CNY events, which range from massive feasting to free gifts, and even lion dance and musical performances!
Conveniently nestled a stone’s throw away from Buona Vista MRT, The Star Vista has over 100 shops spread across B1 to L2 that will definitely fit the bill if you’re looking for somewhere to shop and dine this Chinese New Year.
To help set the lively mood, there’ll even be lion dance performances by Kuan Feng Arts Centre every Fri to Sun from 27 Jan to 5 Feb 2023! These show-stopping acts will take place twice a day, at 1pm & 5pm, at The Star Plaza.
On 28 Jan 2023, GW Merry Band’s spring festive musical performance will be happening at 3 timings (2.30pm, 6pm & 8pm), so be sure to hop on down to enjoy the jovial music!
Shopping and feasting is such a quintessential part of Chinese New Year, and if you’re doing so at The Star Vista, be sure to keep your receipts, as you’ll be able to exchange them for some exclusive gifts and vouchers!
Specially designed and created just for this Lunar New Year is a gorgeous set of 8 ang paos that come in 4 different designs. To redeem this, simply spend a minimum of S$50. Purchases above S$100 will even entitle you to a $10 gift voucher!
Note that you’re allowed to combine a maximum of 3 same-day receipts from now till 5 Feb 2023, and that redemptions are limited to the first 200 per day and 1 per shopper per day. For more info, head to the Customer Service Counter on Level 1 or click here.
What I tried at The Star Vista
Craving a cuppa to fuel your shopping adventure, or simply looking for a place to rest your feet while enjoying a slice of cake or two?
Cedele (#01-19), located conveniently near the entrance of The Star Vista, has curated a selection of decadent food, drinks and baked goodies that you should try this Lunar New Year. Cedele is also open daily from 9am to 8pm— yes, even during Chinese New Year!
A playful CNY spin on Cedele’s grain bowl is the Sea Bass & Prawn Jasberry Rice (S$24). With seared sea bass, prawns, red cabbage, romaine, pomelo and dried prawns, it reminded me of a one-person yusheng portion. I loved how refreshing it was, with bursts of pineapple-like fragrance from the Jasberry rice and sweet pomelo pulp.
You can also try Cedele’s Sea Bass Coriander Pesto Pasta (S$22), which features grilled sea bass, zucchini, edamame, red pepper and coriander pesto. This pasta packed a punch of zesty flavours, with the lime-like burst of freshness from the coriander pesto and crunchy zucchini.
A must-try are Cedele’s seasonal drinks created specially for Chinese New Year, such as its Hot Osmanthus Latte (S$6), Cold Osmanthus Latte (S$7) or the Osmanthus Fizz (S$7).
Thanks to the addition of osmanthus, these drinks were delightfully fragrant and sweet. My personal favourite was the Hot Osmanthus Latte, as the floral lightness went hand-in-hand with the roasted notes from the coffee.
Circle round the second floor of The Star Vista and you’ll find Warm Up Cafe (#02-10/11), a hidden gem offering authentic Thai food such as boat noodles, mookata and Thai street food.
Warm Up Cafe is open from 11am to 3am (though note that they are closed on 22 Jan, and opening hours on 23 Jan are from 5pm – 3am), making this the perfect supper spot after a long night of mahjong or Blackjack this Lunar New Year. It even has a Thai live band to add to the bustling atmosphere!
Let Warm Up Cafe’s experienced team of Thai chefs create a spread of delectable Thai food that’ll bring you straight to Bangkok.
Its Seabass (S$31) was my favourite, as it consisted of a whole sea bass that had been butterflied and deep fried. The fish meat was incredibly juicy, sweet and fresh, and came with fresh vegetables and a tangy mango salad on the side for a zesty kick.
For those who lean towards stronger flavours, Warm Up Cafe’s Salted Egg Sotong (S$19) will definitely hit the spot. These were large, generous chunks of squid that had been deep fried till addictively crispy, and topped with a creamy and rich salted egg batter.
Buttery, crunchy with just the right amount of spice, this dish was a clear winner and was polished off in an instant. A real must-try!
Feast a little too much this Chinese New Year? Lao Huo Tang’s (#B1-31A) lovingly boiled Cantonese-style soups come chock full with healthy and revitalising ingredients to nurse your body back to health.
It’s also open daily from 11am to 9.30pm (though note that it will be closed on 22 Jan 2023 for CNY), making it a great place to head to for lunch or dinner.
Exclusively for Chinese New Year, Lao Huo Tang will be offering the opulent Buddha Jumps Over The Wall (S$22.80).
This legendary Chinese delicacy, which is said to be so delicious that even Buddha might jump over a wall to try it (thus the name), comes with the best of the best. Imagine shark’s fin, abalone, fish maw, oysters, scallops, mushrooms and red dates bubbling in a soothing yet savoury soup broth— what a sure way to invigorate the body!
In a fascinating twist, Lao Huo Tang will also be selling a bak kwa-inspired fried rice this Lunar New Year.
Named the Prosperity Bak Kwa with Pork Floss (S$28.80), this fragrant fried rice is loaded with sweet yet smoky bak kwa, savoury pork floss and plenty of wok hei. I reckon this would be perfect for sharing with the whole family.
Canton Paradise’s (#B1-45/46) Hong Kong classics range from roast specialties to the ever-favourite dim sum, and the fact that these are offered all day makes this the ideal spot any occasion— be it reunion meals with the family or tea-time catch-ups with friends.
This quintessential Cantonese restaurant will be open throughout CNY, from 11am – 10pm (Mon to Fri) and 10.30am – 10pm (Sat, Sun & PH).
If there’s one dish you should get at Canton Paradise this Lunar New Year, it’s the Deep-fried Dragon Tiger Grouper with Ginger (S$88).
This features a whopping 800g dragon tiger grouper that has been deep-fried to perfection, resulting in crispy ASMR-worthy skin with juicy, silky flakes of fish meat on the inside. Pair the luscious meat with the classic Cantonese soy sauce-based gravy and crisp deep-fried ginger slices for the best experience possible.
While I’ve had my fair share of scallop and asparagus dishes at Chinese restaurants, Canton Paradise’s unique twist on this traditional Cantonese dish sees the inclusion of macadamia nuts.
What I loved about the Stir-fried Scallop and Asparagus with Macadamia Nut (S$32 for regular) was how the tender scallops were wonderfully cooked. The exterior of the scallop had absorbed the soy-based gravy, creating a really delicious salty exterior that broke apart at the slight pressure. The macadamia nuts paired well with the asparagus, both of which added the well-needed crunch factor to the dish.
Open as per normal during CNY Eve and throughout CNY itself, Gelare (#02-27) acts as an ideal pitstop for a midday ice cream break.
This old-school ice cream parlour, which originated from Australia, is well known for its all-natural ice cream and freshly baked waffles. I remember frequenting it often, especially on certain days of the week, as it would always have promotions, such as 50% off Classic Waffles on Tuesdays!
A must-try is Gelare’s best-selling Banana Split (S$16.90). This all-time classic features 3 scoops of ice cream sandwiched between banana slices, and is topped with fresh whipped cream and a chocolate fudge drizzle.
As for ice cream flavours, pick between perennial favourites like Cookies and Cream, Strawberry, Honey Malt Crunch and more!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a yummy treat to share with friends and family, try the Waffle Fruit Platter (S$29.40).
Served on a large wooden board, this comes with 2 scoops of ice cream of your choice, seasonal fresh fruits, freshly baked waffles and 2 sauces. What’s interesting about Gelare’s waffles is that it’s yeast-free and soy-free, ensuring a crispy exterior and fluffy interior that goes perfectly with its ice cream, which is made with higher cream and 0% air content for a richer texture.
Note that Gelare is open as per normal throughout CNY, and operates from 11.30am – 9pm (Mon, Wed & Thu) and 11.30am – 10pm (Tue, Fri to Sun).
A feast for the eyes and the senses, Gyu-Kaku (#02-17) has over 600 locations in Japan alone, making this easily the king of yakiniku. Its The Star Vista outlet will be closed on 22 & 23 Jan 2023, and will reopen on 24 Jan 2023 from 4pm onwards.
Gyu-Kaku specialises in high-quality Japanese wagyu, with gorgeous marbling that promises a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Its prime offering: the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, which is split into two choices— the Japanese Wagyu buffet (S$89.90++ per pax) and Australia Wagyu Buffet (S$69.80++ per pax).
Alternatively, if you’re not in the mood for an all-out buffet, you can try the Gyu-Kaku Premium Set (S$122 for 2 pax), which comes with 5 types of meat including the Wagyu Cross Karubi, Australia Thick Tongue and Gyu-Kaku Karubi, as well as appetisers, rice, soup and side dishes.
There is also the Chef’s Recommended Platter (400g) (S$82.80), which is ideal for 2 persons, and comes solely with 5 types of meat like Kurobuta Belly, Fillet Cubes Cut and Wagyu Cross Karubi.
The Star Vista’s line-up of auspicious festivities is a great way to usher in the Year of the Rabbit.
From aesthetic cafes to Cantonese restaurants, Japanese yakiniku places to mookata joints, and even ice cream parlours to bakeries, there are plenty of F&B options to keep you and the entire family occupied from breakfast to supper this Chinese New Year. Not to mention, the free lion dance and musical performances are a great way to soak in the festive vibes!
Remember to keep your receipts and combine up to 3 same-day receipts to redeem exclusive freebies like The Star Vista’s ang paos and gift vouchers worth S$10!
* This post was brought to you in partnership with The Star Vista.
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