FOOD CAPITAL'S FESTIVE BUFFET
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore's buffet restaurant Food Capital offers a bounty of goodies for reunion feasting (from $68 for lunch).
Mark an auspicious start to the Chinese New Year with the restaurant's signature facai yusheng (from $68, available for dine-in or takeaway).
Then, have your fill of pencai, which is brimming with ingredients such as dried oysters, abalone, roast meats and dried scallops.
In line with the Year of the Rat, look out for the "song shu" sea bass ("song shu" means squirrel, or literally "pine mouse", named after the speciality dish of Huaiyang cuisine) with sweet and sour gravy. The expertly scored meat is crisp outside and moist inside.
I do not usually eat rice at buffets, but I recommend saving space for the fragrant lap mei fried rice with seaweed crumb.
Other dishes include stir-fried prawns with chilli and curry leaves, and yam paste with ginkgo nuts.
WHERE: Food Capital, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore, 392 Havelock Road MRT: Orchard WHEN: Till Feb 9, noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm TEL: 6233-1100 INFO: Go to celebrateatgcw.com/cny2020 or e-mail email@example.com
LUNAR NEW YEAR HIGHLIGHTS AT ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS
Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Royal Plaza on Scotts' Carousel restaurant, which offers special dishes in its buffet spread (from $48 for high tea) from today till Monday.
Highlights include creamy pumpkin soup with fragrant black garlic; baked halibut fillet with herbal sauce (dinner only); eight-treasure rice wrapped in bamboo leaves; and stuffed inari with abalone and dried oyster (dinner only).
End the meal on a sweet note with a golden chocolate bar and caramelised cheese popcorn dessert.
Yusheng sets (from $68) are available till Feb 8, with last orders to be made by noon on Feb 6.
WHERE: Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts, 25 Scotts Road MRT: Orchard WHEN: Today to Monday, noon to 2pm, 3.30 to 5.30pm, 6.30 to 9.30pm TEL: 6219-3780 INFO: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to carouselbuffet.com.sg
ROAST MEATS AT THE CARVERY
Roast meats take centre stage at The Carvery's carving stations for its Chinese New Year buffets ($48++ for lunch, $64++ for dinner).
Available for both lunch and dinner is the spit-roasted char siew chicken - chef Ian Hioe's take on the restaurant's signature roast chicken with a delicious char siew glaze.
Another highlight for lunch is the roast leg of lamb with cumin and coriander. It is left to marinate for eight hours in a mix of ingredients such as garlic, ginger, honey and yogurt, then cooked sous vide for eight hours before it is finished in a wood-fired oven.
For dinner, do not miss the porchetta stuffed with mushrooms, chestnuts and glutinous rice - complete with a crisp, crunchy crackling.
Add The Carvery's Golden Eight Treasure Yusheng with cured trout and abalone ($68++, available for takeaway), which includes citrus jelly pearls and a white balsamic and peach dressing.
WHERE: The Carvery, Level 7 Park Hotel Alexandra, 323 Alexandra Road MRT: Queenstown WHEN: Till Feb 8, noon to 2.30pm and 6 to 10pm. Three seatings today: noon to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 7.30pm and 8 to 10pm TEL: 6828-8880 INFO: parkhotelgroup.com/alexandra
For a healthier spin on Chinese New Year feasting, consider home-grown restaurant chain Cedele's catering spread.
Savoury dishes include juicy pork belly with crunchy crackling and ginger chilli sauce ($48); honey char siew ($48); and Szechuan roast chicken ($32). While I would have preferred a spicier chicken, this one is mild enough for those who cannot take the heat.
Add a pasta prawn kerabu salad ($48) with prawns, tempeh, tofu and egg floss tossed in desiccated coconut, chilli, herbs and a lime dressing. Or go for the japchae salad ($38), which includes Korean sweet potato glass noodles, ginkgo nuts, shredded carrots and red cabbage.
I have a tough time picking my favourite noodle salad - order both if you are having a big party, as each serving portion can feed about 10 people. The salads are light on the palate and help me feel less guilty about over-eating.
For bigger groups, go for the Celebratory Set Special ($368, right, good for 20 people). It includes assorted pastries, sliders, tartlets and mini cakes. The cakes include Cedele's new ondeh ondeh cake - my favourite version of the popular flavour, as it is not frighteningly sweet like others.
A whole ondeh ondeh cake ($63) can be bought online and in stores. It comprises a coconut gula melaka filling, pandan curd, pandan frosting and desiccated coconut.
WHERE: Selected outlets are open throughout Chinese New Year, including Great World City, Jewel Changi Airport and Marina Bay Sands MRT: Various WHEN: Till Feb 8 TEL: 6922-9716 INFO: Order online at cedelemarket.com.sg. Orders from today to Monday require a minimum spend of $200. For a list of outlets and opening hours, go to facebook.com/cedelesingapore
ABUNDANCE TAKEAWAY SET AT PARADISE GROUP
Don't feel like cooking or eating out? Go for this Abundance takeaway set ($328+), available at selected Paradise Group brands.
It comes with the quintessential Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng, Grandeur Treasure Pot and Fortune Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice. You get a generous portion of ingredients in the treasure pot or pencai, such as abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried oysters, fermented pork trotters and lotus root.
The showstopper dish is the Auspicious Black Truffle Kampong Chicken, which is steamed for 1½ hours with aromatic black truffle slices that perfume the meat.
The yusheng (from $46.80) and Grandeur Treasure Pot (from $258) are available as a la carte dishes for dine-in or takeaway.
WHERE: Paradise Group restaurants including Beauty in the Pot, Paradise Dynasty, Canton Paradise, Paradise Classic, and Paradise Hotpot outlets MRT: Various WHEN: Till Feb 9, 11.30am to 8pm, 11.30am to 3pm (today) INFO: For menus and outlet details, go to paradisegp.com