Jan 13, 2014

    Where to eat and be merry this Horse Year

    FOR many Chinese restaurants, the start of the Chinese New Year is a time to "rest the wok". But there are still many that choose to remain open during the first two days of the New Year.

    Chinese restaurants, such as those in hotels, for example, will be open. These include Summer Palace at The Regent Singapore, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Atrium and Cassia at Capella Singapore (see sidebar).

    Others - such as Pu Tien, with eight restaurants islandwide - will also be open throughout the 15-day festive period.

    Some of Imperial Treasure's outlets - including those at Marina Bay Sands, Resorts World Sentosa and Changi Airport Terminal 3 - will be open, but most of the group's other outlets will be closed.

    Diners seeking other options can have everything from French fare to international buffet spreads.

    Bar-roque Grill, a French restaurant at Amara Singapore in Tanjong Pagar, will be open to offer more dining options during the Chinese festival, said co-owner Kori Millar.

    Traditionally, Chinese restaurants are closed on either the first day or the first two days of the New Year to let their employees spend time with their families. Non-Chinese restaurants also take the chance to give their staff a well-deserved break during the season.

    Sushi Tei's outlets islandwide, for example, will be closed from 3pm on New Year's Eve, and will remain shuttered on the first and second days.

    Japanese restaurants Akanoya Robatayaki and Akashi at Orchard Parade Hotel will be closed from the eve to the second day of the New Year.

    A spokesman for Majestic Restaurant in Bukit Pasoh, which will be closed on the first day of the New Year, said: "The woks in the kitchen have been fired up for almost the entire year. In Chinese culture, we believe in resting the wok. Hence, we decided to give everyone a break on the first day."

    Those that remain open throughout the festive season also say it is important to recognise and reward their employees for working during the New Year.

    Mr Sebastien Lim, Pu Tien's brand vice-president, said staff who work during the Chinese New Year holidays will get a day off in lieu.

    He added: "We also arrange an after-hours hot-pot party for staff and their families to make up for the time spent working, so they can usher in the New Year together."