Yan Ting's Chinese New Year 2014 Specials
Last month, I was invited to try highlights from Yan Ting's Chinese New Year 2014 menu. An award-winning Cantonese restaurant located on Level 1U of St. Regis Singapore, Yan Ting's Chinese New Year menu was specially created by Executive Chinese Chef Mak Kip Fu. Prior to joining Yan Ting, Chef Mak was Executive Chef at Lung King Heen in Hong Kong and Executive Sous Chef at Zi Yat Heen in Macau - both of which are Michelin-starred restaurants.鴻運發財魚生 Prosperity Yusheng with Norwegian Salmon @ S$68 (M) & S$88 (L) (As there were so many of us at this tasting dinner, abalone was added)
Tossing a plate of Yu Sheng has become a tradition in Singapore. Diners try to toss the ingredients as high as possible as it's supposed to augur success and an auspicious start to Chinese New Year. Hence it's also referred to as 'Lo Hei' 捞起 which means 'toss up'. This year, Yan Ting is offering a vegetarian Yu Sheng in addition to 'Prosperity Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon'. We sampled the latter. Yan Ting's Prosperity Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon includes Fish Roe and contains snow pear instead of shredded radish for a more refreshing and fruity flavour. I wasn't a fan of the Yu Sheng as the dressing was still a little too sweet for my liking.
If you’d like to know more about the auspicious phrases that are recited during the assembly and tossing of the salad, refer to my old blog post here: CNY – How to Lo Hei Yu Sheng 捞起魚生Braised Superior Bird’s Nest Broth with Crab Meat @ S$78
Available as part of a set menu and a la carte, this dish contained a generous portion of gelatinous Bird's Nest and firm crab meat braised in a delicate tasting superior stock-based broth. As Bird's Nest is touted to have anti-aging effects and is a Chinese delicacy, this is served as a symbol of long life and youthfulness. Try this if you like Bird's Nest.Braised Whole 5-Head African Abalone with Seasonal Greens @ S$52
Another staple during Chinese New Year, Abalones are frequently served because the Chinese name 鮑魚 (bao yu) is a homonym which implies a guarantee of abundance. The tender and juicy braised abalone was served with an aromatic brown sauce. The braised mushroom was firm and tasty as it had absorbed the rich, oyster sauce-based flavour of the brown sauce. The sauteed greens offered a refreshing touch to the dish. This dish is a Must-Try if you love abalone.Hong Kong-Style Steamed Coral Trout Part of a Chinese New Year 2014 set menu. No ala carte pricing available
Fish is a must-have during Chinese New Year as the Chinese word for fish 魚 (yu) implies abundance. Served in a bamboo steamer that's usually used to steam Dim Sum, the perfectly steamed chunks of coral trout were tender, juicy and sweet. A Must-Try!Prosperity Oyster with Moss and Conpoy @ S$42
This is another traditional Chinese New Year dish that consists of ingredients with auspicious symbolism. Dried Oysters 蠔豉 (dark brown pieces encircling the mound) are symbolic of good things to come. Dried Scallops 干贝 (top of the mound) are symbolic of family unity and prosperity due to its' round shape.
The black hair-like substance behind the dried scallop (aka conpoy) is Black Moss 髮菜 (fa cai) is symbolic of wealth. The brown Cloud Ear Fungus 云耳 (yun er) at the back of the plate is symbolic of good luck while the Lettuce 生菜 at the bottom of the plate represents prosperity. I'm not a fan of Dried Oysters but I love Black Moss, an ingredient that has become increasingly rarer and more expensive through the years. This dish was well-executed as the dried seafood were tender and tasty from the braising liquid.Baked Rack of Lamb with Chef’s Signature Coffee Glaze Part of a Chinese New Year 2014 set menu. No ala carte pricing available
The pièce de résistance was Chef Mak's Signature dish, Baked Rack of Lamb with Coffee Glaze. The tender lamb chop was pink in the middle with seared edges that added a smoky flavour to the dish. The coffee glaze added a kick and fragrance without being bitter or sour. The fried Basil Leaves on the side added a lovely herb flavour to the dish. Definitely a Must-Try at Yan Ting!Braised Ee-Fu Noodles with Seafood in XO Sauce Part of a Chinese New Year 2014 set menu. No ala carte pricing available
Though this dish might not look impressive, it was well-executed as the noodles were thoroughly infused with the robust flavours of the XO Sauce and fresh seafood. In spite of how full I was feeling, I finished a whole rice bowl serving of the noodles. Noodles signify longevity and thus most Chinese New Year menus will feature a noodle dish at the end. This is also a Must-Try!Fragrant Home-Made Almond Tea with Hashima & Glutinous Rice Cake Part of a Chinese New Year 2014 set menu. No ala carte pricing available
Almond Tea 杏仁茶 (Xing Ren Cha) is supposed to help with digestion and was thus a fitting end to a substantial meal. To up the luxe factor, Hashima 雪蛤 (fatty tissue from a frog) was added to the Almond Tea. Touted to have medicinal properties that include improving skin condition, Hashima is a more affordable alternative to Birds Nest and a popular ingredient for desserts (albeit a little pricey). Almond Tea is one of my favourite Chinese desserts, especially when it is made from scratch and not too starchy. The one here was excellent as the flavours were well-balanced and not too sweet. The fried Glutinous Rice Cake 年糕 (nian gao) on the right symbolises increasing prosperity through the years. Even though I'm not a big fan of sweet food, I love eating Glutinous Rice Cake as my mother would usually pan fry egg-coated slices of nian gao during Chinese New Year. The Almond Tea and Hashima Dessert here is a Must-Try!
Click through this link for more information on Yan Ting's Chinese New Year promotions: http://www.yantingrestaurant.com/cny2014
Yan Ting The St Regis Singapore Level 1U, 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911. Telephone: +65 6506-6866 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating Hours: Daily: 11.45 am to 2.30pm & 6.30pm to 10.30pm
PS: Thank you, Jackson Sim from The St. Regis Singapore for the kind hospitality.