As the Year of the Rabbit comes to an end, it’s time to bid adieu and welcome the Year of the Dragon. Next year, we will celebrate Lunar New Year on 23 January 2012, less than a month after Christmas. Restaurants are already taking dining-in bookings for the Lunar New Year season!
For their 2012 Lunar New Year menu, the fine-dining restaurants of the Crystal Jade brand is offering a spectacular mix of dishes that marry classic Chinese delicacies with local and regional touches.
At a recent media luncheon, we were given a sneak preview of this exciting festive menu. The most eagerly anticipated dish was definitely the Pagoda of Eight Treasures, inspired by the traditional Indonesian Nasi Tumpeng that’s served at celebrations and festive occasions.
The centerpiece of this platter is a cone of fried glutinous rice with conpoy, dried shrimp and mushroom.
Seven surrounding “treasures” complete this dish — marinated octopus, French bean fritters, preserved sausage, preserved liver sausage, chicken fillet nuggets, deep-fried quail eggs, and sauteed shrimp with mushroom.
Not only did it wow us with its presentation, we were also impressed taste-wise. The various components are a thoughtful and winning combination of flavors and textures.
Visually stunning and pleasing to the palate, this communal dish is guaranteed to be an impressive centerpiece for your home or office celebrations!
The Pagoda of Eight Treasures is also available for takeaway. It will be served in a dish with compartments. The rice will stay in the middle, with a plastic cone to help hold the rice in shape during transportation.
Of course, no Lunar New Year celebration in Singapore is complete without lo hei. What I like about Crystal Jade’s yu sheng is that it tastes very fresh and natural.
And look at the artistry of the raw salmon slices, beautifully carved and arranged into a rosette and delicate leaves!
Highly recommended is the double-boiled quail soup. Slow-cooked for hours, the clear consomme is both nourishing and intensely flavorful.
For Lunar New Year, a fish dish is a must as the Chinese word for “fish” is a homophone for “surplus”.
For this rustic and elegant dish, moist and delicate sea bass is complemented with sweet-salty mui choy. Excellent as a course on its own or with rice.
And of course, no Chinese meal is complete without a vegetable dish. Sweet, luscious pea sprouts with strips of braised abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber and dried scallop, this dish is very easy to like.
A little less sticky than the usual nian gao, this glutinous rice cake tastes rather similar but uses grated coconut, coconut juice, and white sugar to replace brown sugar. There’s also added crunch and aroma from the coating of roasted sesame seeds.
The fried glutinous rice dumpling is like a peanut tang yuan, but coated in sesame seed and deep-fried.
All 6 dishes in this post will be available only for the 2012 Lunar New Year season beginning 26 Dec 2011 to 6 Feb 2012 (15th day of CNY in 2012). They will be served at:
- Crystal Jade Dining IN, VivoCity #01-112, tel: 6278-5626
- Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant, Takashimaya Shopping Centre #04-19, tel: 6735-2388
The Pagoda of 8 Treasures will be available at the two restaurants above, as well as Crystal Jade Golden Palace at Paragon (tel: 6734 6866) and Crystal Jade Kitchen at NEX (tel: 6634 4920).
All dishes featured are available for dine-in or takeaway.
Many thanks to Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holding and linea Communications for the invite.