Chinese New Year feasts: Alternative options for your reunion meal

Not to fret if the popular Chinese restaurants have already been booked; some of these dining options offer that requisite yu sheng (fish salad) platter too.

Planning for that reunion dinner meal with your family need not be that stressful. While the most popular Chinese restaurants may already be nearly fully booked for the Lunar New Year, these dining options could prove to be a hit with your loved ones.

If you’re throwing a huge party …

Try: Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens

The yu sheng dish at Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Image: Halia restaurant group

It’s that time of the year when everyone in your large extended family gather together. Should your annual Lunar New Year reunion meals tend to be this huge, check out this buffet deal which requires a minimum of 40 diners to book.

The fine dining restaurant will proffer a buffet meal featuring a mix of cold and hot dishes such as Norwegian salmon with salted black bean and turmeric, wok-fried striploin beef, as well as sweets like salted caramel and chocolate tartlet and apple crumble. The yu sheng dish is part of the deal too; toss to prosperity and a healthy year ahead with the cured salmon yu sheng included in this buffet package.

Prices: $98 per diner for the Chinese New Year buffet, inclusive of the yu sheng and free flow of selected drinks

When and where: 1-22 Feb, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Tel: 6287 0711 or email banquet@thehalia.com.

If your family prefers dining at home …

Try: Happypot Steamboat

Save yourself the hassle of preparing a meal from scratch, by ordering home delivery for your family gathering. This steamboat delivery service will bring all the steamboat ingredients that you would need from the chicken broth to the meat and vegetable platters.

Portable gas stoves can also be rented for $20. Other steamboat accessories such as gas canisters, ladles and even kitchen knives can be purchased from the website. However, do be prepared to order at least one to two days in advance if you’re ordering in a large quantity or on weekends.

When and where: Daily; open ‘til 8pm on 7 Feb, closed during Chinese New Year. Online at http://steamboatdelivery.com.sg, Tel: 91712821, email: Admin@SteamboatDelivery.com.sg

Prices: $10 flat delivery fee, family hotpot packages start from $68.60 for a group of 4 to 5 diners

Try: Hai Di Lao

This steamboat delivery service gets a notable mention for covering really everything you need, even the clean-up crew that comes to collect the utensils and clear the mess after the festive meal.

The hotpot cooker and induction oven are available on loan at no additional cost and the delivery staff will help lay out the ingredients and set up the steamboat pot for your feast. After your meal, simply phone the hotline to arrange for collection of cooking equipment, cutlery and garbage; the assigned staff will also clean up your dining area for you.

The only caveat: you will have to be more flexible with your reunion dinner date, as the restaurant will close from 7-9 Feb. Orders for weekends and public holidays have to be made at least one to two weeks in advance.

When: 12pm to 9pm daily; the restaurant will close from 7-9 Feb. Delivery orders accepted only via hotline at 6509 4111.

Prices: Minimum order of $98, with delivery charges starting from $4.

If your family wants to throw a barbeque party …

Try: EZBBQ

Your reunion dinner need not be a fussy, sit-down affair, should your family love having that occasional outdoor barbeque..

This halal-certified delivery service offers all the popular Singaporean barbeque staples, be it satay, otak otak to meats and seafood for the grill. Additional items that you may need such as charcoal, barbeque tongs, aluminium foil and disposable cutlery can be purchased from the website.

When and where: Daily, except for 7 Feb where the service will end at 3pm. The barbeque delivery service will also be closed during Chinese New Year. Call the hotline at 6392 8392 or order online at http://www.ezbbq.com.sg.
Prices: From $4.30 for garlic bread to $125 for 3kg of fresh crabs on the a la carte menu, plus an additional $15 delivery charge for purchases under $119.99; free delivery for orders of $500 and up.

If your family loves seafood and sashimi …

Try: Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi & Dining

Maguro Donya Prosperity Yu Sheng ($88.80). Image: 
Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi & Dining

Besides its regular menu, the requisite yu sheng platter from this restaurant will be a treat for fans of sashimi. The Maguro Donya Prosperity Yu Sheng ($88.80) features maguro tuna, salmon, salmon roe, flying fish roe and is accompanied with a sweet plum sauce.

The restaurant group that owns this particular Japanese foodie spot has its own fleet of fishing trawlers, from which fish are caught and flown directly to Singapore, so you can be assured of getting the freshest catch of the day.

When and where: 1-22 Feb for the yu sheng platter. Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10.30pm; the restaurant will be closed for dinner service on 7 Feb (Lunar New Year eve), 3 Temasek Boulevard Suntec City North Wing, #03-314

Prices: $88.80 for yu sheng; individual set meals available from $17.80 for the grilled mackerel set.

If your family loves meats …

Try: Carne & Caipirinha Brazilian Churrascaria

The grilled meats at Carne & Caipirinha Brazilian Churrascaria. Image:  Carne & Caipirinha Brazilian Churrascaria

This Brazilian restaurant serves charcoal-fired grilled meats, with up to 15 types of chicken, beef, lamb, pork and fish available. You won’t miss out on the symbolic lo hei tossing either, with the restaurant’s Brazilian Lo Hei (from $12 per diner), which features roast beef, farofa, parmesan cheese, carrot and other vegetables tossed with zesty chimichurri sauce.

Another must-try: The Carbonara Pasta in Cheese Wheel, where freshly cooked pasta is tossed in a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese bowl, available from 7-14 Feb, with one complimentary plate per table.

Prices: From $39.90 to $49.90 per adult diner, $18 to $24 per child (from 5 to 12 years old)

When and where: 7-14 Feb, 106 Sunset Way, Clementi Street 12, #01-50, Singapore 120106, Tel: 6464 0478, opening hours: 5.30pm to 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays, 5pm to 11pm on Sundays and Public Holidays including Chinese New Year.

If your family is doing a small, cosy meal …

Try: Bakerzin

Spring salad ($15.80) for two at Bakerzin. Image: Bakerzin

If most of your relatives tend to be overseas tend to be away during this festive period, why not celebrate with a cosy, intimate meal instead with your loved ones.

Not to worry about over-ordering; this Singapore restaurant and dessert cafe will serve a festive a la carte menu, as well as a salad for two, inspired by the yu sheng dish. The Spring Salad ($15.80) features shelled prawns, carrots, purple cabbage, winter melon and pricked ginger, sprinkled with crispy golden puffs, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds and a blood orange dressing.

Other seasonal dishes such as the chicken mousseline with curry foam and quinoa ($18.80) and white miso grilled salmon with soba ($16.80).

When and where: The festive menu is available from 25 Jan until further notice. All Bakerzin outlets will close at 3pm on 7 Feb; all except the Gardens by the Bay outlet will be closed from 8-9 Feb. Outlet locations can be found here.

Prices: From $15.80 for the Spring Salad for two