Where to eat during CNY

More Chinese restaurants are choosing to remain open during the Chinese New Year period to cash in on the festive cheer

Civil servant Soh Chee Peng, 58, remembers a time when most Chinese eateries were shuttered during Chinese New Year.

"If I wanted to eat out during the first two days, there was only Malay, Indian or fast food," he says.

Now, the situation is different. Instead of taking time off, restaurants, coffee shops and food courts are cashing in on the holiday cheer, staying open for business in what used to be a F&B black-out period: the first two days of Chinese New Year.

One newcomer cashing in on the festive period is Restaurant Home, which serves hearty, home-style Chinese dishes at Rail Mall in Upper Bukit Timah Road. The eatery will be open throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year.

Its owner and chef, Mr Tan Yong Kang, 44, says he has decided to remain open to maximise revenue in a time of economic slowdown.

During Chinese New Year, he reckons that revenue increases by 50 to 60 percent.

  • OPEN ON THE FIRST TWO DAYS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR

    CHINESE RESTAURANTS

    Canton Paradise

    • I12 Katong, AMK Hub, The Star Vista and Bedok Mall outlets; 10.30am to 10pm

    • Alexandra Retail Centre outlet; 10.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm

    Din Tai Fung

    • Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown Point, Jem, Junction 8, Jurong Point, Nex, Paragon, Parkway Parade, Raffles City, Resorts World Sentosa, Tampines Mall, The Seletar Mall and Waterway Point outlets; 11am to 10pm

    Hua Ting Restaurant

    • Orchard Hotel, tel: 6739-6666; 11am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Jiang-Nan Chun

    Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, tel: 6831 -7220; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm

    Jing Seafood Restaurant

    01-02 One Fullerton, tel: 6224-0088; noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant

    Sheraton Towers Singapore; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Majestic Restaurant

    New Majestic Hotel, tel: 6511-4718; 11.45am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm

    Min Jiang

    • Goodwood Park Hotel, tel: 6730-1704 ; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    • 5 Rochester Park, tel: 6774-0122; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Paradise Dynasty

    • Lot One, Westgate, One KM, VivoCity and Causeway Point outlets; 10.30am to 10pm

    • Changi Airport T3 outlet; 7.30am to 11pm

    Paradise Inn

    313@somerset, Marina Square and Suntec City outlets; 11.30am to 10pm

    • Bedok Point, City Square Mall, Thomson Plaza, West Coast Plaza, The Seletar Mall and Eastpoint Malloutlets; 11am to 10pm

    • Changi Airport T1 outlet; 11am to 11pm

    • Marina Bay Link Mall outlet; 11.30am to 9.45pm

    Peach Blossoms

    Marina Mandarin Singapore; noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Restaurant Home

    394 Upper Bukit Timah Road, tel: 6465-1698; 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 11pm

    Summer Palace

    Regent Singapore; noon to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm

    NON-CHINESE RESTAURANTS

    Carne & Caipirinha Brazilian Churrascaria

    106 Clementi Street 12, 01-50, tel: 6464-0478; 5pm to 11pm

    Ciao@Singapore

    8 Haji Lane, 01-01, tel: 6296-9688; 11.30am to 2am

    Gemmills

    110 Amoy Street, 01-02 (entrance from Gemmill Lane); tel: 6221-5564; 4pm to 11pm

    Gordon Grill

    Goodwood Park Hotel, tel: 6730-1744; noon to 2.30pm, 7pm to 10.30pm

    Jamie's Italian

    • 01-165 VivoCity, tel: 6733-5500; noon to 10pm

    • 01-04 Forum The Shopping Mall, tel: 6655-7676; 10am to 10pm

    Momiji Japanese Buffet

    05-04 City Square Mall, tel: 6509-1193; 02-02 Revenue House, tel: 6253-2469; 11.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm

    Moosehead Kitchen+Bar

    110 Telok Ayer Street, tel: 6636-8055; 6pm to 10.30pm

    NamNam Noodle Bar

    • Wheelock Place, Plaza Singapura and Raffles City outlets; 8am to 9.30pm

    • Suntec City outlet; 10am to 3pm, 6pm to 9.30pm

    Salt Tapas & Bar

    01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre, tel: 6837-0995; 11.30am to 11.30pm

    Sakura International Buffet

    Admiralty Park, Clementi Woods Park, Downtown East, Safra Jurong Club, Safra Tampines and Yio Chu Kang Stadium outlets; 11.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm

    The Steakhouse

    3B River Valley Road, 01-14, tel: 6332-1010; 6pm to 11pm

    RamenPlay

    • Bedok Mall, Jem and Novena Square outlets; 11am to 10pm

    • Resorts World Sentosa outlet; 10am to 10.30pm

    OPEN ON SECOND DAY (FEB 9)CHINESE RESTAURANTS

    Din Tai Fung

    •Bedok Mall, BreadTalk IHQ and Suntec City outlets; 11am to 10pm

    Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant

    Gardens by the Bay, below Flower Dome, tel: 6604-6604; 11.30am to 3pm, 5.45pm to 9pm

    Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant

    201 Keppel Road, tel: 6272- 8822/6272-8988; 10.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Red House Seafood

    • 68 Prinsep Street, tel: 6336-6080; 11am to 11pm

    • The Quayside, tel: 6735 -7666; 11am to 11pm

    NON-CHINESE RESTAURANTS

    Jack's Place

    Anchorpoint, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Panjang Plaza, Century Square, Great World City, Jem, Nex, OrangeTee Building, Parkway Parade, Safra Jurong Club, The Grandstand, West Coast Recreation Centre and Woodlands Civic Centre outlets; 5pm to 10.30pm

    Restaurant Hoshigaoka

    Safra Toa Payoh, The Grandstand and Woodlands Civic Centre outlets; 5pm to 10.30pm

    Tambuah Mas Indonesian Restaurant

    B1-44 Paragon, tel: 6733-2220; 11am to 10pm

"For a Chinese restaurant, this is the best period to increase your revenue. Nowadays, most people like to dine out."

Some restaurants, such as Hua Ting Restaurant at Orchard Hotel and Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin, have been staying open throughout the festive period for many years.

Mr Richard Ong, 56, Orchard Hotel's general manager, says: "We have maintained this tradition for more than 20 years to show appreciation, share happiness and usher in prosperous beginnings with our guests, many of whom are loyal supporters."

Ms Patricia Yong, 37, Marina Mandarin's director of marketing communications, says: "Many long-time customers have been taking their families - children and grandchildren - here to celebrate.

"There is no way we will not operate during Chinese New Year. It is our busiest time of the year."

This period will be tough for its staff, who are mainly Mandarin-speaking Malaysians, she acknowledges.

"But they have worked here a long time and professionalism is ingrained in them. The hotel will also ensure they can take the days off that they have accumulated during non-peak periods."

During Chinese New Year, Hua Ting hires more part-timers - and pays them a higher rate than usual - to cope with demand.

At Restaurant Home, all staff have their leave frozen for all 15 days of Chinese New Year, so the restaurant can operate at full strength.

However, Mr Tan assures that all staff who work during this period are paid a higher rate for working on a public holiday.

They will also get to take a break after Chinese New Year, when the restaurant closes for four days.

He says: "That will be the time for our staff to have a good rest and spend time with their family."

Correction note: An earlier version of the story gave the age of Mr Richard Ong, Orchard Hotel's general manager as 66. This is incorrect. His correct age is 56.  

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 31, 2016, with the headline 'Where to eat'. Print Edition | Subscribe