The most important annual affair in the Chinese cultural calendar has come around again. It’s time to don your best outfits, give (and receive) in abundance and best of all—enjoy some truly scrumptious traditional food. Gatherings may be more intimate this year with groups limited to eight, but that will not stop some of the best Chinese restaurants on our shores from doling out a mix of dishes that you may taste only once a year, but will spend the rest of it reminiscing.
Here, find Vogue’s picks of the best festive dinners to book this season, from classic staples to modern reinventions.
Yellow Pot at boutique hotel Duxton Reserve stands out for its sleek and modern interiors. Restored by acclaimed British designer Anouska Hempel, the contemporary Chinese restaurant is known for its liberal use of the primary colour—you guessed it—yellow. Newly reopened, the venue is serving up three eight-course set menus at different price points, all made with a health-conscious philosophy at their core. At $58, the meal lightest on your wallet features the restaurant’s signature steamed Barramundi with fermented garlic wine chili, made from locally and sustainably farmed fish. If you opt for the $88 or $108 menu respectively, you have dishes like a stunning abalone Treasures of the Sea or roast duck and iberico pork cheek to look forward to.
Must try: Made without MSG and artificial flavouring, the Double-Boiled Ginseng Chicken Soup is reduced for hours to build a nourishing and flavourful bowl of broth that warms you from the inside out.
Yellow Pot, Duxton Reserve, 83 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089540
Contact: 6914 1428
藝yì by Jereme Leung
Raffles Hotel’s elegant Chinese dining destination is putting up a plethora of options this Chinese New Year, available through an extensive à la carte selection or well-designed set menus. While the artful entrance and pristine decor at 藝yì lend a heavy dose of refinement, chef Jereme Leung’s opulent treatment of traditional, beautifully-plated dishes like his signature golden fried rice with preserved meats and a spicy baked lobster with XO sauce and cheese make for a hearty and memorable meal. If you are looking to impress your dinner guests this year, this is the feast to book.
Must try: Doused in a smoky sauce with plenty of tang, the tender Roast Pork comes with the most adorable, crispy-fried mini mantou—perfect for sopping up all that flavour with.
藝yì by Jereme Leung, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
Contact: 6337 1886
Opened in 2018, upscale Cantonese restaurant Madame Fan is known for its skilful fusion of the old and the new—and its Chinese New Year menus are no different. With its stellar service and plush décor that oozes old-school glamour, you can expect modern and elevated takes on classic dishes, like a braised abalone served in a moreish broth, or a Kurobuta pork belly served with a Bourgogne blanc & green pepper sauce that lingers on the tongue. Dessert, which looks like and is named after a firecracker, immediately lives up to the nomenclature when the first burst of fresh yuzu flavour hits, forming the perfect end to a sumptuous meal.
Must-try: The Treasures of Sea Yu Sheng is adorned with eight types of sustainably farmed, premium seafood: Alaskan king crab, Boston lobster, Hokkaido scallop, abalone, salmon, bluefin tuna, kombu and caviar, making for an extraordinarily luxurious Lo Hei experience.
Auntie’s Wok and Steam
The first thing you’ll notice walking into Andaz Singapore’s newly reopened Auntie’s Wok and Steam is the stunning skyline vistas visible through its sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows. Their Chinese New Year menu, which includes favourites like Fish Maw soup and a super-food packed, healthy yusheng, can be enjoyed in an eight-course dining experience or à la carte, mixed and matched with other dishes from the restaurant’s zichar-inspired regular menu. This is not your typical, formal Chinese New Year dinner—at Auntie’s, you can lay back, take in the view, and enjoy a leisurely meal.
Must-try: The Golden Egg Yolk Fried Rice is topped off with luscious flying fish roe and lump crab, resulting in a glossy, flavourful bowl.
Auntie’s Wok and Steam, 5 Fraser Street, Singapore, Singapore, 189354
Contact: 6408 1288
Having been around for over three decades, Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental is an institution for many. It is known for its vintage, oriental-inspired interiors and consistently delicious food—including its famed five grain fried rice. This year’s Chinese New Year set menu features an ultra-premium yusheng laden with caviar and black truffle, along with an elevated rendition of a textured traditional nian gao infused with Chinese wolfberries, osmanthus and chestnut. Their Chinese New Year dim sum menu is also worth a shout out for its wide selection of soups, dim sum and seafood and meat dishes. Best part? You can order as much as you fancy (only some items are limited to one order per table). Come hungry.
Must-try: The Luxurious Pen Cai includes a multitude of high-grade ingredients including a full head of abalone, scallops, king prawn and one rare addition—lobster.
CÉ LA VI Rooftop Restaurant
For a fresh and modern take on the usual Chinese New Year fare, turn to iconic sky-high restaurant CÉ LA VI. Each dish is unexpected and features fusion cuisine and delicate flavours—from the heirloom tomato salad and burrata served with yuzu-shiso vinaigrette and black sesame tuile, to the koi dessert which signifies prosperity, bringing together coconut koi jelly with chilled mango pomelo sago, crispy mung bean and pu-er bubble for a lively mouthful. Seated 57 floors above the city lights at the top of Marina Bay Sands, tossing yusheng amongst the clouds is not an experience to be missed.
Must-try: Embrace harmony with the sublime steamed Kühlbarra seabass dressed in lemongrass-coconut broth and served with sautéed squid and Thai basil.
CÉ LA VI, 1 Bayfront Avenue. Level 57, Tower 3, Marina Bay Sands, Hotel, 018971
Contact: 6508 2188
Located at Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, Cassia’s reunion dinner and festive dim sum lunch menus feature fresh, local ingredients prepared with great finesse. A range of traditional dishes like braised bird’s nest with caviar and double-boiled chicken broth with scallops are reimagined for 2021—resulting in a dining experience that draws from the past while looking to the future.
Must-try: Their succulent steamed prawn and dried scallop dumpling topped with gold for extra prosperity (and extra sophistication).
Cassia, 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, 098297
Contact: 6591 5045
Look forward to a host of lavish and traditional Chinese New Year dishes—including three types of yusheng—at Yan Ting at The St. Regis Singapore. From Boston lobster in homemade XO sauce to a double-boiled Eight Treasure Hashima Soup, each dish is crafted with refined Cantonese cooking techniques and served up in a sleek, fine-dining environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Must-try: The Exquisite Pun Choy with nourishing Pig Trotters features 13 luxuriant components layered upon each other and slowly simmered for hours on end to produce great depth of flavour.