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.