The festive celebrations of Chinese New Year are nearly on us, so it is no surprise that Chinese cuisine takes the spotlight this month.

For Chinese families, the approaching weeks will be packed with grand reunion dinners, guilty snacking, in addition to delectable treats following house visits, and perhaps leftover chocolates from Valentine’s Day. From traditional pen cai to experimental lo hei, this month’s selection is here to spice up CNY dining and usher in 2018 with flair.

Din Tai Fung Tosses to Prosperity

Steamed Custard Buns

Din Tai Fung’s renowned xiao long baos and egg fried rice hold a special place in our hearts. In conjunction with their newest outlet at Northpoint City, the Taiwanese restaurant chain will be ushering in the new year with two special dishes: Prosperity Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng, as well as the Steamed Layered Red Date Cake. Fried salmon skin and smoked unagi slices will also be available for those who are looking to accentuate the yu (fish) component of their lo hei.

Their Steamed Custard Buns also make the perfect door gift for families who are entertaining. Available only at Paragon and Northpoint city, each pillow bun is generously filled with steaming golden lava custard and finished with a gleaming 福 (prosperity) stamp. Best eaten while piping hot, so perhaps it can be the Chinese substitute for breaking bread?

When? Now till 4 Mar for Chinese New Year dishes
Prosperity Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng from $32.80 onwards
Available at Din Tai Fung restaurants islandwide

An Abundance of Innovation at Mitzo

Kanpachi Kingfish Yu Sheng

When deciding on a location to dine out during CNY, it can be tough when deciding on a restaurant to satisfy the palates of all three or four generations — until now. At Mitzo Restaurant and Bar, familiar Cantonese dishes get a modern makeover with something extra. Their Lunar New Year menu features a marriage between incredible food and innovative artisanal cocktails specially designed to complement the dishes.

Look out for their Kanpachi Kingfish Yu Sheng, a fresh take on the standard fish slices by upgrading it to the luxurious Kanpachi sashimi, paired with lychee caviar, crispy salmon skin, and Chef Nicky Ng’s Chu Hou sauce, prepared and served in a shiny cocktail shaker. We recommend sipping on Twist of Tradition as you enjoy the food, and not just because the clay pot and foamy presentation is especially Instagrammable. The tropical, citrus combination cuts through the chrysanthemum-infused gin to whet your appetite, saving you more stomach space for the rest of the meal.

When? Now till 28 Feb
Mitzo Restaurant & Bar, Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Road, Singapore 238857

Kanpachi Kingfish Yu Sheng from $78 onwards
Chinese New Set A from $108 onwards per person (for 2 persons or more)
Chinese New Year 8-Course Yu Sheng Set from $498 for table of 4
Chinese New Year 6-Course Peng Cai Set from $698 for table of 4

Dragon Bowl Serves Up Good Value

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It is no easy task trying to prepare enough food for house gatherings. Fortunately, Dragon Bowl’s Fortune Package offers one of the most value for money sets with four premium dishes already cooked and available for takeaway. Available in servings for five pax onwards, the package features the Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng with Fish Roe, Herbal Kampong Chicken with Cordyceps, Yuan Yang Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf with Waxed Meat and Sakura Shrimp, and the Dragon Bowl Prosperity Fortune Treasure Pot. Customers will also get a $30 or $50 cash voucher that can be used in their restaurants island wide.

Instead of using raw fish slices, their yu sheng features mini abalones instead, along with fish roe and the usual medley of vegetables, crackers and condiments. It transforms the lo hei experience into something like a folk tale of discovering gold taels as the abalones will eventually be hidden after all the vigorous tossing.

When? Now till 2 Mar
Available at Marina Square, Greenwich V, and Aperia Mall

Yu Sheng from $38.80 onwards
Dragon Bowl Prosperity Fortune Treasure Pot from $238 onwards 

Eat Like Royalty with Imperial Feast

imperial feast guo yan popspoken

Those who are looking for something beyond pen cai, how about an option fit for an emperor? Imperial Feast’s Guo Yan (国宴) offers an exquisite banquet option once only enjoyed by esteemed members of Imperial China, politicians, foreign ambassadors, and even Bill Clinton himself. A six-course meal helmed by award-winning Chef Wu Hai Feng, his distinctive knife skills are recognised to be delicate, refined, and precise. With two Chinese World Chef Championships under his belt, his preparation of the Chrysanthemum Tofu Soup shows just how finely honed his technique is: silky tofu finely sliced into 3,600 strands to form the shape of a chrysanthemum floating on clear chicken broth.

The standout dish for us is the Fried Cod Fish with Green Puree. The fish is pan-fried until the outer layer achieves a light caramelisation, yet the inner flesh still retains its natural, melty sweetness. Paired with a puree blend of soy sauce, spring onions, and ginger, the overall result is reminiscent of French techniques, but with strong Cantonese flavours. For CNY, the restaurant also offers a pen cai option with their Golden Abalone Treasure Pot.

When? Now till 9 Feb for 1-for-1 Guo Yan promotion
Imperial Feast Restaurant, The Chevrons, 48 Boon Lay Way #03-06, Jurong East, Singapore 609961

Guo Yan from $88 onwards per person for a six-course menu
Chinese New Year menu from $228 onwards for table of 6

Give the Golden Gifts of OLLELLA

OLLELLA salted egg yolk popspoken

The salted egg yolk trend has followed us into the new year as OLLELLA introduces the first Salted Egg Yolk Kue Lapis. Just in time for CNY, it signifies as a pretty auspicious gift as it is layered with chunks of salted egg yolk bits between buttery layers of kue. The rest of OLLELLA’s pastries, such as almond cookies and pineapple pillows, will also be an instant hit among younger fans with their alluring minimalistic take on traditional packaging. The snacks can be purchased at their physical stores, including the newest outlet at Ngee Ann City, or online through their website.

When? Now till otherwise specified
Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya Basement 2 Food Hall, #B208-4

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