As the Lunar Chinese New Year 2016 draws closer, we are busying ourselves with spring cleaning, adhering to all the good old Chinese traditions and feeling excited about the festive season. Reunion dinner is an important part of all the feasting that will happen over the 15 days oh Chinese New Year and Summer Palace at Regent Hotel understands the significance of it all.
This year, in an effort to promote a more wholesome time within families, Summer Palace has come up with a different way in serving up their reunion dinner. Only for one night on 7 Feb 2016, the Imperial Feast Reunion dinner will take place in the ballroom instead of the restaurant itself, and there will be a selection of exquisite small plate bites ready to satisfy any hunger.
The rationale behind this concept is to encourage more interaction amongst the families, by having them actively walk up to choose what they want to have, hang around and have hearty conversations while they’re at it.
This is to lose the idea of being confined within the huge table that we are used to in Chinese restaurants during Lunar New Year meals, where we are restricted to our seats, making it inconvenient and near impossible to start conversations across the table, ultimately losing the essence of having a reunion.
Also, by having a spread where there are good old traditional dishes for the older generation and newer creative dishes for the youngsters, it allows for more versatility and the liberty for everyone to choose their own poison, or happiness.
The spread is split into a few sections: the Longevity Fountain serves Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk, Deep Fried Spare Rib with Red Wine Sauce and Crispy Mini Bun served with Chilli Crab Sauce. The Sea of Fortune offers Stir Fried Scallop with Broccoli in XO Sauce, Deep Fried Prawn with Mayonnaise and Mango, Glutinous Rice with Baby Abalone, Dried Shrimp and Cured Meat.
While the Prosperity Mountain corner is dedicated to desserts such as the Sweetened Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Rice Dumpling, Pan Fried Traditional Brown Sugar Glutinous Flour Cake, Chilled Pumpkin Cream With Aloe Vera and finally, two Koi – Shaped Agar Jelly in almond and lychee flavour respectively.
Of course there will still be a table in good old fashion manner, for your family to lounge at and enjoy four courses that will be served individually. These are the Yusheng, Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, Steamed Fish and Noodles with Crab.
In addition to these, there will be a selection of dim sum served, together with a station that is dedicated to peking duck. Oh yum. Other than their ever famous prawn dumplings, there are new additions such as the scallop dumplings, bird’s nest dumpling, abalone dumpling and also a squid ink mini bun with crab fillings.
Squid Ink Bun with Crab, Prawn Dumpling and Scallop Dumpling. The bun was soft and fluffy, the squid ink gives an interesting touch and upon the first bite, juices from the fillings flowed out, making it tantalising and an absolute joy. The prawn and scallops were both fresh, tender and sweet in flesh.
Peking Duck Stand. The peking duck is skilfully sliced, leaving the right amount of meat underneath the skin, giving the wrap a more substantial texture with the focus still remaining on the fragrant duck skin in combination with the traditional sweet sauce.
Yusheng. How can any Chinese New Year meal miss out on the much coveted yusheng. The cute slices of salmon sashimi were arranged into a shape of a rose petal, what a cute plate of yusheng. It is sweet, tangy and full on textures with the crispy flour crackers and fragrant from the sesame.
Definitely a more refreshing version where one doesn’t get too tired of the monotonous taste.
Buddha Jumps Over The Wall. Inside this pot of delicacy lies fish maw, scallop, goji berries, abalone and conch shells. Extremely nourishing and comforting, the broth remains clear though it is big on flavour. The essence of all the ingredients could be tasted and even the goji berries were bursting with sweetness.
Steamed Fish. The fish was smooth and savoury with the sauce complementing it.
Noodles with Crab. Though we were stuffed since we do not practise self control when there is a table laid out with delectable bites, the noodles were too enticing to reject. It is extremely savoury and chunky, topped with a good portion of tender crab meat.
The good thing about this is that nobody is going to stop you if you’re having desserts before the mains and that is exactly how I like my meal to be. I like my meal to start with desserts, interjected with desserts and also finished off with desserts because I’m really a sweets person. Amen to all of you out there sharing my sentiments.
That’s why it is no shame to make your way to Prosperity Mountain desserts, where the sweet things are. I quickly grabbed one portion of every dessert and indulged in them way too fast. The red bean was thick, sweet and you could taste the essence of the beans, unlike the watered down sugary syrup we have elsewhere.
The glutinous flour cake was chewy and delectable while the chilled pumpkin cream was velvety and comforting. Do not miss out on the Prosperity Jelly, ‘Fatt Cai Yu’, such fun to look at and eat.
A novel twist to the usual reunion dinner, Summer Palace’s Chinese new year dishes get a thumbs up from us. The buddha jumps over the wall soup and Peking duck are our favorites you won’t want to miss.
The Imperial Feast Reunion dinner is only on 7 Feb 2016 and starts at 6:30pm and costs $138++ per person. Other than the reunion dinners, there are ten other specially curated menus running from January 25 to February 22.
The menus range from $998++ to $3,988++ for 10 pax, a party pax for four to six are also available. In addition to these, there are prosperity hampers and festive gifts ready for takeaway, such as their “Nian Gao Fish ($32), a traditional brown sugar glutinous flour cake infused with red dates.
The customised hampers start from $200 onwards and do look out for their festive goodies on sale at the Chinese New Year Lobby booth.