In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the ox comes second after the rat and symbolises tenacity, positivity and honesty—great qualities we can all use regardless of the season. While everyone is geared up for a jolly Lunar New Year celebration, we all can’t help but tread carefully with the current pandemic showing no signs of slowing down in other countries around the world.
Thankfully, here in Singapore, Lunar New Year is marked by the commencement of Phase 3, which allows up to eight diners to make merry and lo hei till 10.30 pm. Here, I’ve set out to present 10 restaurants that CNY revellers can head to for a roaring good time to properly usher in the year of the ox.
Chinese New Year 2021:
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
As far as Lunar New Year buffets go, they are quite the rarity. But this is 2021 and as the world changes, so too must dining traditions. It’s a pivot Food Capital at Grand Copthorne Waterfront fully embraces with their Rhapsody of Spring Buffet (Lunch: S$68++; Dinner S$88++) featuring a combination of crowd favourites and new creations that are sure to enthral.
Toss to a year of abundance at the Yusheng Bar (available from 11 to 14 February 2021) and its extensive selection of toppings such as Abalone, Norwegian Smoked Salmon, and Applewood Smoked Duck in Exotic Plum and Mandarin Orange Dressing.
After that, delight in a plethora of crowd favourites like the Golden Pumpkin Four Treasure Soup, Signature Laksa, Crispy Roast Pork Belly, Kurobuta Pork Char Siew, Freshly Made Naan and Crab Butter Masala. There’s also a nod to good fortune with the newly introduced Extravaganza Crustacean Seafood Bag with an exciting array of seafood classics tossed in a choice of spicy sauce or creamy curry butter.
Available from 1 to 28 February 2021 (excluding 11 to 14th February)
More information | 392 Havelock Road S169663
Classic Cantonese fare takes centre stage at Yàn with premium set menus ranging from five to eight courses (from S$128++ to S$228++ per diner) and an eight-course vegetarian menu (S$78++ per diner) for a touch of inclusivity.
It starts with a good prosperous toss of Yàn’s exquisite Abalone & Yellowtail with gold foil Lo Hei prepared in the restaurant signature savoury Shunde-style, dressed in gold flakes, crispy vermicelli, shredded purple and yellow sweet potatoes, Kailan, and pickled ginger—symbolisms of wealth and abundance aplenty.
Diners can also look forward to a double-boiled Fish Maw, Chicken with Cordyceps Flower, Braised Spring Chicken with six-head whole abalone, and an indulgent wok-fried lobster with superior sauce. There’s also a classic Cantonese favourite—Shrimp Egg and Ee Fu Noodles.
What’s a good reunion dinner without Yàn’s Harvest Pen Cai (S$300 upwards)? Here, it comes with auspicious ingredients such as abalone, scallops, and roast duck served in a claypot and available for both dine-in and takeaway.
Available from 15 January to 26 February 2021
More information | #05-02 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road, S178957
Min Jiang at Dempsey
Over at Min Jiang at Dempsey, the ultra-luxe and gilded mise-en-scene is matched with their Lunar New Year takeaway and delivery specials that are exquisite and compelling. There’s the Min Jiang Five Fortune Takeaway Platter (S$158.35 for six diners) which serves as a praise-worthy opening course of any reunion dinner, filled to the brim with such appetisers like Chilled Mini Abalone with Sweet Chilli Sauce; Crispy Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk; Spicy Popcorn Chicken in Sichuan Style; BBQ Sweet Glazed Unagi, and Marinated Jellyfish Flower.
Equally impressive is their Braised Pork Belly, Meatball with Crabmeat in Beancurd Pockets and Sea Treasures in Claypot (S$393.75 for six diners) that’s equal parts decadence and comfort. Served in a classic claypot, this dish comes with braised Australian 10-head abalone, pork belly, braised meat & crab meatball in beancurd pocket, Chinese dried oysters, black moss, flower mushrooms, sea cucumbers, dried scallops, and Tientsin cabbage.
Available from 24 January 2021 to 26 February 2021
More information | 7A & 7B Dempsey Rd S249684
Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore
Yusheng is given the spotlight at Hai Tien Lo Pan Pacific Singapore. Diners can toss to a more bountiful (and virus-free) year with Hai Tien Lo’s selection of decadent Yusheng platters. Choose from the seafood-centric Abundance Yu Sheng with Abalone and Lobster (S$128 serves four to six; S$188 serves six to eight) or the Blossoming Treasures Yu Sheng (S$168 serves four to six, S$288 serves six to eight) that comes with gold and silver flakes, lobster, scallops, black caviar, and shredded vegetable salad in Passion fruit.
To usher in abundance and good fortune, Hai Tien Lo’s indulgent Poon Choy would more than suffice. There’s the Classic Treasure Pot (S$268, serves up to six; S$428, serves up to ten)—a treasure trove of Eight-Head whole abalone, Bird’s Nest, Sakura chicken, dried scallops, wontons, and broccoli. Or, go all the way with their Premium Wealth Treasure Pot (S$468, serves up to six; S$738, serves up to ten) that comprises such exquisite ingredients like pork knuckle, lobster, Goose web, and pork dumplings amongst many others.
Available from 25 January 2021 to 26 February 2021
More information | 7 Raffles Boulevard Marina Square S039595
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
When it comes to reunion dinners, it’s not too demanding to expect the usual favourites—Yusheng and fish come to mind. But here at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, what got me giddy with excitement is the Crispy Durian, a deep-fried parcel filled with durian purée blended with gula Melaka and coconut milk. Save some stomach space for this, sil vous plait.
Park Hotel Clarke Quay’s sweet ending comes at the tail end of four reunion dinner set menus that range in price between S$388 to S$768 for a table of six to eight diners. To start, liberally toss to good fortune and wealth with the Prosperity Tuna Yu Sheng Platter featuring such auspicious ingredients like yellowfin tuna slices coated in sesame seeds and seaweed flakes, and an assortment of traditional greens to keep everything light and crunchy.
There’s also the Steamed Red Garoupa with Yellow Bean paste, fish a perennial menu mainstay at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, here, adorned with a house-made yellow bean sauce and paired with fresh garoupa with the flakiest of flesh.
8-Course Golden Fortune (S$698 per table of 7 to 8 diners)
7-Course Abundant Happiness (S$648 per table of 6 to 7 diners)
6-Course Treasure Trove (S$388 per table of 4 to 5 diners)
Lunch: 12pm to 2pm
Dinner: 5.30pm to 10.30pm (two seatings)
Available from 29 January to 26 February 2021
More information | 1 Unity Street, S237983
Xperience Restaurant, So/ Sofitel Singapore
In a clear move away from the traditional, Xperience Restaurant at So/ Sofitel has curated a Chinese-European fusion set menu that comes with free-flow of three types of dim sum and refreshing Chinese tea.
Some of the more interesting highlights of this festive fusion menu include “Gold Ingot”, a chicken and foie gras tortellini; “Nian Nian You Yu”, steamed fresh market fish with prawn bouillabaisse; and ”Nian Gao”, a homemade baked coconut-scented glutinous rice cake. There’s also Yusheng platters for three to 12 diners, with optional premium upgrades of sashimi-style Japanese sweet shrimp or house-cured salmon.
Available from 25 January to 26 February 2021
More information | 35 Robinson Road S068876
Summer Palace, Regent Singapore
At Summer Palace, Regent Singapore, the year of the Ox comes to the fore through a series of nine celebration menus featuring a variety of “ox”-themed dishes specially created for this festive season. Diners can look forward to dishes such as Traditional Stewed Beef in Casserole (S$50) and Stir-fried Diced Tenderloin of Beef with Black Pepper and Asparagus (S$46).
Each menu also comes with dish selections that are unique to each price point. The Phoenix menu (S$168++ per diner), for instance, comes with Deep-fried Prawns with Mango Mayonnaise and Golden Cornflakes and Steamed Cod Fish with Fungus and Red Dates. Over at the Imperial menu (S$298++ per diner), dinner comes with a resplendent array of dishes including a Combination Platter of Truffle Peking Duck, Wasabi Prawns and Soft Shell Crab Wok-fried Crocodile Meat with Asparagus and Spicy Sauce.
Feeling a little fancy? Then you can’t go wrong with the Deluxe menu (S$398++ per diner) with its selection of the finest—Pan-fried Wagyu Beef with Soy Sauce and Stir-fried Bird’s Nest with Crabmeat and Bean Sprouts.
Available from 25 January to 26 February 2021
More information | 1 Cuscaden Road, S249715
Blue Jasmine’s ala carte buffet is not only a sight for the bottomless belly; it is also unique in its culinary preposition. True to its Thai food concept, Blue Jasmine has injected a creative Thai twist on the classic Lunar New Year fare to great aplomb.
We’re talking enticing dishes like Khao Soi Salmon, a traditional Northern Thailand offering that comes served with a heady broth of garlic and coconut milk curry. What’s Thai food without some fruit salads? Here, Blue Jasmine offers up the fruity Pomelo Salad and traditional Thai Salad as a homage to the vibrant streets of the land of smiles coupled with a bowl of Tom Kha Gai Chicken Soup, a housemade tom yum soup simmered with coconut milk, fresh herbs, and chilli.
Your Lunar New Year celebration at Blue Jasmine ends with a selection of traditional sweet treats such as Thai Mango Sticky Rice and Red Ruby with Ice Cream. But what you should save your stomach for is the Mao Shan Wang Durian Pengat, a heady and aromatic concoction of Mao Shan Wang puree and coconut cream, topped with cold coconut ice cream.
11 February 2021
Lunch: S$68.80++ to S$78.80++ (12pm to 2.30pm)
Dinner: S$68.80++ to S$98.80++ (2 seatings)
12 and 13 February 2021
Available from 11 to 13 February 2021
More information | 10 Farrer Park Station Road, Park Hotel Farrer Park, Level 5, S217564
Shoukouwa Sushi Restaurant
This Lunar New Year, two Michelin-starred Shoukouwa Sushi Restaurant brings luxury and fine dining to your home with three Japanese hotpot bundles that are perfectly proportioned for three to five diners. All in all, a very cosy CNY dinner for the ones that matter the most.
With a reputation as stellar as this, it is no surprise that it comes with a handsome price to match. But worry not. Although each set comes at an eye-popping S$888, it is, assuredly, paired with some of the finest ingredients to satiate even the most discerning food connoisseur.
There’s the Fugu Hotpot bundle featuring pufferfish from Yamaguchi and creamy Shirako; the Kani Hotpot bundle is a treat for seafood lovers who can look forward to partaking in Kegani from Hokkaido and Hard Clam and Scallops; meat lovers will enjoy the Beef Shabu Shabu Hotpot bundle which comes with grade A4 Omi Wagyu from Shiga.
Each bundle also comes served with hotpot must-haves such as Chinese cabbage, kuzukiri noodles, mushrooms, chrysanthemum leaf, tofu, leek, seaweed, complete with dashi, condiments, and rice or udon.
Orders must be made at least one week in advance.
Available for self-collection or delivery on 11 February 2021; 2pm–5pm
More information | 1 Fullerton Rd, #02-02A One Fullerton, S049213
CÉ LA VI Rooftop Restaurant
Maybe what you need to start 2021 right is a dining experience 57 floors up at Marina Bay Sand Skypark that is both incredibly indulgent, romantic, and surprisingly, full of symbolism.
The premise here is simple and straightforward—a six-course Set Dinner menu priced at (S$158++ per diner) with each dish cleverly tied in with select traditional Chinese values.
Prosperity finds representation in a Yu Sheng, chock-full of salmon, peanut, sesame, and honey plum sauce. The Heirloom Tomato Salad & Burrata served with yuzu-shiso vinaigrette, and black sesame tuile is an apt sign of Longevity while Black Truffle Chicken Soup is symbolic of Luck.
Harmony is dressed in a Steamed Kühlbarra Seabass, drenched in lemongrass-coconut broth and served with sautéed squid and Thai basil. Elsewhere, a hefty slab of Iberico Pork Loin glazed with Shiitake tare symbolises Wealth. At the same time, Prosperity finds a home in a dessert of coconut koi jelly with chilled mango pomelo sago, crispy mung bean and pu-er bubbles.
Available from 8 February to 21 February 2021 (except 14th Feb)
More information | Level 57, Marina Bay Sands SkyPark, Hotel Tower 3,
1 Bayfront Avenue, S018971
Chinese New Year 2021: