If you’ve been hearing people shouting from across the restaurant with a lot of arm gestures, it’s definitely an yee sang tossing going on.
Everything that is used during auspicious Chinese New Year has a symbolic meaning. It could be something as simple as colours, clothing patterns or even the food we eat. Yee sang symbolises good fortune, abundance, prosperity, and vigor but it mainly represents the desire to see our fortunes rise. That’s the reason behind the tossing gesture: the higher the toss, the better.
Yee sang is served at the beginning of any Chinese New Year meal. And before it becomes an edible mess, each ingredient is actually placed strategically on the plate. The traditional yee sang usually starts with the fish (commonly salmon), followed by pomelo, pepper and cinnamon powder, oil, carrots, green radish, white radish, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, and lastly, crackers.
The yee sangs in KL that we’ve picked are a little different from the norm. A traditional yee sang usually consists of raw fish and shredded vegetables, each with their own symbolic meaning. You may see different ingredients added such as scallops and whole fish but they don’t stray far away from traditional yee sangs. Here’s seven to take note of.
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Wan Chun Thing at Sofitel Damansara Kuala Lumpur has quite an extensive list of yee sangs. This includes soft shell crab, 2-head abalone, Australian lobster and scallop. This yee sang is our favourite from the list as the scallop gives a unique texture when eaten with all the crunchy bits.
RM106 (half portion), RM216 (full portion). Wan Chun Thing at Sofitel Damansara Kuala Lumpur, 6, Jalan Damanlela, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Shanghai Restaurant at JW Marriott has a long list of unique yee sang delicacies such as abalone, jellyfish, salmon, lobster, geoduck. But the one that caught our attention is the one with fresh fruit. Instead of vegetables, fruits like mango, dragon fruit and kiwi are used to give this yee sang a refreshing flavour.
RM108 (small) and RM188 (large). Shanghai Restaurant at JW Marriott, 83, Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2715 9000
Nobu Premium Prosperity Platter is as premium as it sounds. A whole Renkon Dai (baby snapper) is featured as the centre piece of the yee sang, accompanied with an array of mixed seafood, pomelo, jicama and gari sushi.
RM288++. Nobu Kuala Lumpur, Level 56, Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2164 5084
Be more gentle when it comes to tossing this yee sang for it has some pretty tiny bits. As if sliced abalone is not a delicacy on its own, Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur took their yee sang to another level of luxury by adding caviar topped with gold flakes.
RM248 nett (small) and RM496 nett (large). Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 11, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2074 3904
Yee sangs are always a signature at the St. Regis Kuala Lumpur. Abalone and soft shell crab yee sang are laid on top of finely chopped and sliced salad, accompanied with assorted nuts, seeds, and sauce.
RM208 (medium), RM386 (large). St. Regis Kuala Lumpur, No 6 Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2727 1111
Sometimes, nothing can beat the traditional salmon yee sang. Order it on its own or have it together with any of their three exquisite set menus named Fortune, Prosperity and Wealth. The Fortune and Prosperity menus require a minimum of four diners, while each dish in the Wealth menu are individually plated and requires a minimum of two diners.
Starting price at RM98. Lai Po Heen at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre 50088 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2179 8885
The salted egg trend has appeared on the Chinese New Year table by way of Ruyi & Lyn which incorporated it in their yee sang this year. Here, the traditional vegetable yee sang is topped with golden salted egg yolk crispy fish skin and Atlantic salmon.
RM168++. Ruyi & Lyn, 4th Floor Bangsar Shopping Center, No. 285, Jalan Maarof, Wilayah Persekutuan, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2083 0288