Chinese New Year is the time of the year for families to get together to usher in prosperity and happiness – this time in the year of the boar. While diners are busy looking for the best Chinese restaurants to satisfy their cravings for classic Chinese cuisine including must-have dishes like pun choy (braised assorted seafood and meat dish), steamed fish (just for extra luck – symbolically) and any prawn dish which represents happiness.
Superstition aside, chefs are also looking at creative ways to present an interesting array of food to tantalise the demanding appetites of diners. Just looking at the types of yee sang designs in Chinese restaurants around KL this year — you’ll be amazed by the level of creativity and effort that is being put into conceptualising each dish.
If you’re still trying to decide where to have those reunion dinners with family and friends, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a list of tried-and-trusted Chinese restaurants in town that offers their best signature dishes this Chinese New Year.
Chef Weng brings traditional home-style cooking with a contemporary approach this Chinese New Year. Choose from four set menus that comprise signature dishes like Pun Choy, Stewed Money Bag with Sea Cucumber, Sea Moss and Abalone Sauce, Szechuan Poached Star Grouper Fish with Preserve Vegetables and Green Pepper Corn and Steamed Layer Nian Gao with Organic Beans and Coconut. Yen promises familiar flavours that remind you of home.
Yen Restaurant, W Kuala Lumpur, 121, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2786 8888
Ruyi & Lyn is known for innovative dishes that push all boundaries. This year, Chef James Ho has put together novel creations including ‘Ruyi Star Grouper’ cooked with arrow and lotus root, ‘Longevity Lamb’ which is a lamb schnitzel served with local radish cake, and the ‘Koi Fish Nian Gao’ with red bean filling. Expect the theatrics and drama in their presentation, especially the signature 28K Golden Koi ‘Yu’ Sang that comes with a pair of koi fish design, served with salted egg yolk crispy fish skin, kuih kapit and sea grapes.
Ruyi & Lyn Restaurant, Bangsar Shopping Center, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2083 0288
Chef Ricky Thein takes things seriously at Lai Po Heen. This year, he has prepared a selection of unpretentious dishes that celebrate the freshness of carefully sourced ingredients. There are three set menus available — Fortune, Prosperity and Wealth. Enjoy the comforting double-boiled fish maw soup with wolfberries and ‘Tian Zi’ flower (from the Prosperity Menu) and roasted duck roll with eight treasure stuffing (from the Wealth Menu). There is also a dim sum set that is created exclusively for this festive season.
Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2179 8885
Sheraton Petaling Jaya has prepared a full line-up of performances on Chinese New Year alongside three scrumptious set menus at Yue Chinese Restaurant. Some of its standout dishes include the steamed cod fish with asparagus, braised pumpkin soup with egg white and the duo of scallops.
Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel, Lorong Utara C, PJS 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +603-7622 8888
Red celebrates traditional Chinese culture and nostalgia with dining experiences that take you back to your childhood. Enjoy Red’s yee sang that is tossed with fresh fruits, dehydrated pumpkin and sweet potato chips and garden greens, served with a choice of fresh salmon, crispy soft shell crab or sea urchin. Highlights include double-boiled sea whelk soup with matsutake mushroom and conpoy, Fujian-style seafood fried rice with whole abalone and the irresistible pan-fried Chinese pudding and sweet purple potato.
Red Chinese Cuisine, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residence, 4 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2170 8888
Be surprised by the Hilton PJ’s authentic Chinese cuisine filled with an assortment of mouth-watering dishes to savour. Feast on signature dishes at Toh Yuen, with highlights including deep fried tiger prawns, braised seafood, steamed orange roughy fish and the ever quintessential dish – the Yee Sang platter that will be tossed to usher in a new year filled with prosperity, good health and wealth. For dessert, enjoy a unique combination of nian gao and pomegranate.
Toh Yuen, Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel, 2 Jalan Barat, PJS 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +603-7955 9122
While there may not be one particular Chinese restaurant in St Regis KL, the hotel is turning its private dining rooms and The Brasserie into the best place for reunions and family gatherings. What’s unique is the introduction of traditional secret recipes (from the owners) including the Prosperity Yee Sang with a special sauce as well as homemade ‘jiao zhi’ or Chicken and Chive Dumpling. With home-style cooking in mind, diners will enjoy a hearty meal that feels like home.
St Regis Kuala Lumpur, No 6, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2727 1111
Celebrate Chinese New Year with an auspicious 8-course menu at THIRTY8 curated by Guangdong-born executive sous chef Byron Zhang. Start off with the salmon or soft shell crab yee sang and followed by scrumptious offerings of steamed grouper in Sichuan style, wok-fried prawn with lemongrass and spicy sauce and braised bird nest broth with abalone and morel mushrooms. Best of all, you get to also enjoy the sweeping views of Kuala Lumpur while enjoying your reunion dinner.
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, 12 Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2182 1234