To ring in the Year of the Monkey, some restaurants are going bananas to impress diners with their interpretations of the Chinese zodiac - yusheng style. At least four restaurants are serving yusheng (for dine-in only) crafted in the shape of a monkey, making them Instagram-worthy.
At Feng Shui Inn in Resorts World Sentosa, it can take up to 35 minutes to shape its Longevity Yusheng ($118++, till Feb 22, order a day in advance). Executive chef Li Kwok Kwong uses a peach dressing for the dish, along with banana nut crunch crackers and banana chips. Smoked salmon is used for the yusheng and diners can choose to add alternatives such as salmon sashimi, yellowtail amberjack sashimi, lobster sashimi, abalone or bird's nest.
Over at Peony Jade at Keppel Club, its Instant Enormous Windfall, Good Health and Longevity monkey-shaped yusheng ($388.88++, till Feb 22) is probably the cutest take on monkey yusheng.
Premium ingredients include Canadian lobster, two- headed golden abalone from Australia, geoduck, sashimi-grade tuna and salmon, crispy salmon fish skin, champagne jelly, lychee pulp-pops and edible 18K gold leaves.
Toss to good luck at The Fullerton Hotel's Jade restaurant. Its Eight Happiness Gold Rush Yu Sheng (from $68 to $138, till Feb 22, order a day in advance) features the artistry of master chef Leong Chee Yeng, who personally does the monkey calligraphy for the dish in just five minutes. Ingredients include preserved pickle, shredded green papaya, dried orange and winter melon, drizzled with peach dressing.
Taking inspiration from the monkey head mushroom (translated from its Chinese name) or bearded tooth mushroom, Royal Plaza on Scotts' Carousel restaurant focuses on a variety of mushrooms for its Mushrooms Mosaic Yusheng ($158 or $188, last order by noon on Feb 19, go to www.carouselbuffet.com.sg).
It is tossed with Hokkaido scallop sashimi, pumpkin, yam and sweet potato crisps as well as a seafood-based XO sauce to spice up an auspicious Year of the Fire Monkey.