Reunion feast at home? Easy does it
THE Chinese New Year reunion dinner does not have to be an assembly-line restaurant affair with draconian time limits. A growing number of takeaway options means you can enjoy your family get-together at home.
Here's some help to choose your menu.
AH HOI'S KITCHEN
Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore 6831-4373
You have to dig deep to get every morsel of goodness in this pen cai, or what the restaurant calls the Fortune Big Bowl Feast. The premium ingredients used include black moss, abalone, superior sea cucumber, fish maw, dried oyster, fresh prawns, along with roasted pork, chicken, yam, beancurd, lotus root, Chinese cabbage, gingko nut, golden mushroom, superior mushroom and conpoy broth.
A medium-sized pen cai is good for four to six people, and is priced at $268.
You have heard of Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, but how about a baked version? This one from Xi Yan features a whole chicken baked in a giant bun, which helps to keep the chicken warm.
Cut away the bread to get the succulent chicken, which comes stuffed with sea cucumber, pork belly, mushroom, dried scallop and abalone. The Baked Buddha Jumps Over The Wall is priced at $128.
JING ONE FULLERTON
This year, Jing is offering a three-course takeaway menu that is good for four to six people. Start off with the salmon yusheng, followed by Jing's Abalone Dried Seafood Poon Choi. Each claypot comes packed with abalone, fish maw, fish glue, Japanese mushroom, dried oyster, prawns, lotus roots, braised tofu, chicken, black moss and sea asparagus.
For some carbohydrates, there's the Supreme Fried Rice, wok-fried with Chinese sausage and diced mushrooms, wrapped in fresh lotus leaf. Priced at $288. Get a 20 per cent discount if you order by Feb 17.
OCEANS OF SEAFOOD
Oceans of Seafood's Vibrancy Of Life yusheng comes with a Japanese twist. The yusheng, $128, comes with a whole boiled rock lobster, salmon and amberjack sashimi. The amberjack is flown in from Tokyo's Tsukiji market, and the lobster is from Britain.
The yusheng also has vegetables imported from Japan, such as the red and white radishes.
Just other ingredients with a Japanese slant are the edamame beans, and tobiko, or flying fish roe. For that extra luxe touch, the yusheng is garnished with gold flakes. Instead of an overly sweet sauce, the dressing here is sesame with a hint of wasabi.
LI BAI CANTONESE RESTAURANT
New to the range of festive offerings by Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant is the stewed "eight treasures" duck, which now comes with five-head abalone in addition to its eight ingredients: lotus seed, Chinese mushroom, sea cucumber, salted egg, barley, chicken, pork and chestnut ($388).
Also available are traditional favourites like Buddha Jumps Over The Wall ($568 for four people) with two-head abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, ginseng and dried scallops. One tip is to get a bottle of in-house XO sauce ($28+ per bottle) made with scallops from Japan, Chinese ham, salted fish and shrimp - it will be sure to add a nice kick to your meal.
If you're looking for a vegetarian option for your reunion dinner, try TungLok group's vegetarian take-home feast ($238 for six people and $328 for 10). It includes vegetarian yusheng, rice wrapped in lotus leaf, Thai-style deep-fried vegetarian fish, TungLok nian gao, and vegetarian pen cai featuring deep-fried beancurd skin rolls, chestnuts, vegetarian abalones, vegetarian lobster balls, braised tofu, taro, broccoli and bamboo fungus.
Regular options are also available, in the form of the heavenly ($468 for six people and $698 for 10) and royal ($368 for six people and $498 for 10 people) take-home feasts. These include salmon yusheng, signature TungLok treasure bowl (pen cai), fried glutinous rice with assorted preserved meat, herbal chicken and one of TungLok's nian gao options.
THE ORGANIC GROCER
Eat healthy this Chinese New Year with The Organic Grocer's newest range of Organic Prosperity Boxes, which come in two sizes: medium ($88) for three to four people, and large ($150) for six to seven.
Each box contains a medley of hot pot ingredients made up of organic produce and hormone-free meats, such as fresh green vegetables, Chinese cabbage, cherry tomatoes, Swiss mushrooms, tofu, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, natural pork from the north-western United States and 300g of wild-caught, all-natural scallops. A delivery fee of $15 will be waived with orders above $150.
XIN CUISINE CHINESE RESTAURANT
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium 6731-7173
Xin Cuisine's yusheng ($63 to $98) is a refreshing way to start the new year, with its sweet passionfruit sauce to go with either Japanese prawns or salmon. For a more luxurious meal, order the imperial pen cai ($999 for 10 people) and get premium items like a whole Australian three-head abalone, bird's nest, deer tendon, goose web and Mexico sea cucumber. Also available is the crispy-skinned roasted suckling pig ($298) and an eight-treasures duck ($198) stuffed with ingredients like fish maw, whole abalone, sea cucumber and sea whelk.
THE BUSINESS TIMES