The sheer number of goodies available each Chinese New Year can overwhelm. To help you cut through the noise, here are five recommendations:
1. Treasure Pot from Racines
Racines is having an impressive first Chinese New Year. There are two standouts: The Treasure Pot ($198, good for six to eight people) and the slow-cooked French corn-fed chicken (only available with the set menu, from $780 a table).
The Treasure Pot is laden with ingredients such as abalone, Hokkaido scallop and roasted French duck breast, simmering in an umami brown sauce. It is also available for takeaway. The chicken is the opposite – it is light, tender, aromatic and makes a pretty Instagram post.
Racines is at Sofitel Singapore City Centre, 9 Wallich Street, Tel: 6428 5000. Visit www.sofitel-singapore-citycentre.com/gastronomy/racines/
2. Soups from Folklore
The food served at the Tok Panjang at Folklore is so yummy that you’ll be tempted to book your return right after. The dishes served here are what you would find in a Peranakan home. Do not miss the soups (Bakwan Kepiting, Itek Teem and Fish Maw Soup), Grandma’s Chicken Curry and Sambal Belimbing.
The Tok Panjang is available for dinner from February 15 to March 2, at $68 a person. Don’t bother trying for a walk-in, make a reservation. The a la carte menu will not be available during this period.
Folklore is at Destination Singapore Beach Road, Tel: 6679 2900. Visit www.parkhotelgroup.com/en/destinationbeachroad/folklore
3. Marinated Fortune Chicken with Eight-head Abalone from Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
It is no surprise that Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant delivers. It is one of the most reliable restaurants and ups its game during the festive season.
The new offering – Marinated Fortune Chicken with Eight-head Abalone ($245) – is great for those tired of the usual pen cai. This has abalone and chicken in superior stock. This dish calls for rice, so it is good for filling up the stomach too.
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant is at Carlton Hotel Singapore, 76 Bras Basah Road. Tel: 6311 8188. Visit www.carltonhotel.sg/wah-lok
4. Yam Cakes from Old Seng Choong
Old Seng Choong offers one of our favourite yam cakes ($24.80). Everything works beautifully together: The texture (firm yet soft, with bits of yam), the aroma and the taste. You can grab one from the new outlet or order it online.
They’ve also got heritage goodies like nian gao and pineapple tarts, and a range of amazing cookies inspire by local fare like laksa and satay. Be sure to try them if you visit the store.
Old Seng Choong is at #01-48, Clarke Quay Central, Eu Tong Sen Street. Visit www.oldsengchoong.com
5. Hebi Hiam from Oui Ooi
The Hebi Hiam from Oui Ooi ($16 a bottle) is a must-try. We love the subtle yet persistent taste of the dried shrimp and the mild saltiness. It is the perfect one-bite treat, though you will find yourself taking many bites!
The Chinese New Year flavours include Pineapple, Sesame, and Peanut ($16 each). It is also sold in sets, starting from $48 for three bottles.