If you’re already planning for the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities (it takes place literally a month from now, after all), why not try something new and take it up a notch at this relatively newer Chinese restaurant, Ya Ge, in Tanjong Pagar?
Tucked away at Orchid Hotel in Tanjong Pagar, the upscale modern Chinese restaurant, which officially launched in May 2022, is a go-to for both intimate meals and large group gatherings.
It doesn’t specialise in cuisine from a specific region (e.g. Cantonese, Sichuan, Teochew), but instead puts a modern spin on traditional Chinese flavours, taking guests on a journey from the past to the future.
The interiors draw inspiration from the Song Dynasty (AKA the cultural pinnacle of China), with stylised mountainscapes, a feature wall, and a colour palate underscored by celadon, teal, and calming neutrals.
The restaurant’s Chinese New Year offerings (“Spring In Your Step”) consist of seasonal menus and gourmet takeaways that serve as a nod to the celebratory fanfare of the season.
From now till 5 February 2023 (11.30am–3.00pm for lunch, 5.30pm–10pm for dinner), you can choose from a selection of specially-curated six and eight-course menus, with prices starting from S$78++ per person. Each set menu comes with Chinese tea, a pair of mandarin oranges, and a deck of hongbaos per table.
Here are some of the contemporary Chinese dishes you can expect when you dine in at Ya Ge this festive period:
No celebratory CNY meal can commence without the time-honoured tradition of tossing to wealth and abundance with yusheng.
Ya Ge’s signature Prosperity Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng, which comes with either Abalone or Crispy Fish Skin, features a unique line-up of ingredients like strawberries, jackfruit, carrots, crispy lotus root, radish, and fried yam, just to name a few.
Instead of the usual plum dressing, the yusheng is dressed with a tangy, antioxidant-rich roselle and hawthorn dressing.
Interestingly, this yusheng is served with a bevvy of bunny mango puddings — not simply enjoyed on the side, but tossed together with all the other ingredients!
The end result? A well-balanced, fruit-forward “salad” with a myriad of fun textures and flavours.
I’d still prefer to eat the bunny jellies on their own, though.
Clean, comforting flavours take centre stage in the Double-boiled Pork Rib Soup with Starfruit & Winter Wheat, a nourishing soup with a mild sweetness that’s sure to sit well with your elderly grandparents.
There’s also a chicken version in the form of Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Morel Mushrooms, Dendrobium Stem, Conpoy, Fresh Chinese Yam, and Wolfberries.
Chinese New Year is never complete without a dramatic centrepiece, such as the magnificent Steamed Fragrant Lotus Leaves Chicken with Pork Belly, Assorted Mushrooms, Chestnuts, Red Dates, and Wolfberries.
The chicken is wrapped in lotus leaves, encased in a salt dome, and then oven-baked, yielding exceedingly tender meat bathed in a rich and umami abalone sauce.
No grand gourmet affair is complete without the Steamed Lotus Leaves Rice with Smoked Duck and Abalone Sauce, which features ingredients such as diced chicken, smoked duck, and abalone sauce.
A fitting end to any celebratory meal is the tangy and refreshing Chilled Roselle Jelly with Aloe Vera, a palate-cleansing dessert that aids digestion, accompanied by aromatic Nian Gao with Shredded Coconut.
For those who prefer to entertain guests at home, or purchase gifts for family, friends, and business associates, Ya Ge has also launched a line-up of exquisite handcrafted festive goodies.
Usher in good fortune with the savoury and umami-laden Steamed Radish Cake with Conpoy and Chinese Sausage (S$26.80+), perfect for your reunion lunch or dinner.
I must, must highlight the Ya Ge Fortune Pot (Pen Cai) brimming with 18 premium ingredients: 10-head abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, black moss, oyster, dried fish maw, dace fish, celery, radish, Chinese cabbage, roasted duck, steamed chicken, dried scallop, Chinese sausage, pork trotter, mushroom, fresh prawn, and yam.
Think of this as an extravagant, flavour-packed collagen bomb of a pen cai. Naturally, a pot filled with delicacies like these comes at a higher price point — you can enjoy this in the comfort of home for S$348+ (6 persons) or S$688+ (10 persons).
Those who place their pre-orders in advance from now till 15 January 2023 can enjoy a 10% discount.
Ready to kickstart the Chinese New Year festivities? Reservations and pre-orders can be placed here.
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