Last Updated: January 8, 2020
Chinese New Year is just around the corner—I can almost hear the crashing cymbals and drumbeats of the lion dance troupes, and the lively music playing on loop.
But one of my favourite parts of this festive season still has to be the indulgent feasting. Besides the endless snacks that magically appear in our houses, there’s always the reunion dinners to look forward to.
Some families prefer to dine out, gathering in restaurants and paying a pretty penny for their meals. Others enjoy homecooked food in the comfort of their houses, and the whole process is a labour of love from family matriarchs.
For those who want the best of both worlds, you should turn to Neo Garden 粱苑 for your festive feast.
You might think catered meals means a fixed menu according to the caterer, but veteran brand Neo Garden has come up with an ingenious way to provide you with choices. On top of the usual Chinese New Year menus, Neo Garden has also introduced a super-customisable Potluck Menu.
Choose from over 38 dishes, and you can mix-and-match mains, appetisers, desserts and more to create your very own unique Chinese New Year potluck menu. To help you with your choices, we tried out a few of the dishes available.
Chinese New Year just isn’t complete without the classic yusheng, so you’ll want to pick one of the yusheng platters available. The classic Prosperity Salmon Yu Sheng 三文鱼发财鱼生 (S$41.52/medium for six pax, S$52.22/large for eight pax) also comes in super-sized versions: the SURE HUAT XL Salmon Yu Sheng (S$73.62 for 15 pax) and SUPER HUAT XXL Salmon Yu Sheng (S$136.96 for 28 inches).
If you’re looking for something more unique this Chinese New Year, opt for the Nonya Style Yu Sheng 娘惹好运鱼生 (S$179.76/set).
This Peranakan take on the classic yusheng comes with a sweet and spicy dressing that reminded me more of sweet chilli than anything truly tongue-numbing. The addition of dried cranberries and apricots gave each mouthful a sweet finish, while the coriander and chilli added aromatics and spice.
Corporate celebrations can go for the jaw-dropping Heng Heng 30” Big Yu Sheng 大吉鱼生 (S$318.86 for 发/兴/余/升, S$361.66 for 吉/旺/福/顺). Each yusheng platter comes with a hand-crafted Chinese character in the middle, though pricing differs depending on which character you choose. You can also customise your very own Chinese characters (from S$388), or a zodiac animal (from S$588).
Moving on to the main dishes, the all-new Prosperity Fortune Platter 五福临门拼盘 (S$179.76/set) comes with a selection of bites including the Happiness Prawn Salad, Asparagus With Pacific Clam, Smoked Duck, Ngoh Hiang, Golden Gyoza and Fortune Garden Greens.
This is the perfect menu addition for those who can’t seem to decide just which dish they’d like to try. Fried food fans would go for the fried gyoza and crispy ngoh hiang, while there are still enough greens to satisfy your health quota for the day.
Another must-try is the new DIY Canton Roasted Duck With Crepe Platter (S$72.76 for 15 pax). Slices of roasted duck are served with paper-thin crepe skin, and cucumbers strips, leeks and sweet sauce for garnish.
It’s surprisingly fun and addictive to wrap a duck crepe on my own, because I get to pop it in my mouth immediately afterwards. The best part? You can put as much of each filling as you like!
For those who want an easy bite, try the Oriental Scallop With Vermicelli (S$3.75/pax with minimum 30 pax). Strands of vermicelli are piled atop succulent scallops in the shell, giving a wholesome mouthful of seafood and chewy carbs.
If you like spicy dishes, get the Sichuan Fragrant Chicken (S$2.68/pax with minimum 30 pax). You can expect crispy morsels of chicken piled high and accompanied with Sichuan chillies, so get ready for a mouth-numbing good time.
Aside from the exciting dishes, I found that the Braised Ee Fu Noodles 新春伊府面 (S$4.15/pax with minimum 30 pax) was a good staple dish to include. Prawns, squid rings and mushrooms dotted the bed of silky-smooth noodles. Each strand was coated well with the savoury sauce, and I just couldn’t stop myself from slurping up an entire bowl!
End off the meal with the traditional Teochew orh nee, or Yam Paste With Gingko Nut 芋泥白果 (S$4.15/pax with minimum 30 pax). This is always my favourite part of every Chinese dinner, and I’d swipe any unwanted bowls from my dining companions. Thick and creamy, this is the perfect dessert for a (not-so-)sweet finish.
If you’re still stumped on Chinese New Year dinner options, you just might want to consider Neo Garden for a catered buffet meal. You’ll get to enjoy a sumptuous spread right in the comfort of your own home!
Expected Damage: From S$20 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Neo Garden.
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Neo Garden 粱苑
1 Enterprise Road, Singapore 629813
1 Enterprise Road, Singapore 629813