Indulgence is the point of every Lunar New Year feast. It’s the chance to ‘replenish’ all the good fortune to take on the year ahead with bounties of festive foods and ingredients, each imbued with auspicious meanings and associations. Say the abalone which has become a festive staple because of its resemblance to gold ingots. Or shark’s fin and sea cucumbers, luxurious ingredients that have once graced the dining tables of Chinese emperors.
Yet behind these optimistic fronts, these ingredients are in a more upsetting state of affairs. They’re largely harvested through unsustainable means, either from endangered species or threatened environments. While there’s more pressure on being environmentally conscious, the fact is that it is not the easiest thing to ensure an entirely sustainable reunion dinner.
At modern Chinese restaurant Yellow Pot, chef Sebastian Goh is committed to using only responsibly-sourced ingredients on its latest Lunar New Year menus. Housed in Six Senses Duxton, the restaurant upholds the hotelier’s sustainability policy which extends also to reducing wastage and supporting local producers.
It’s a tough route to go, but it doesn’t mean that traditional reunion dinners are at stake. Premium ingredients remain the highlights for festive menus at Yellow Pot, and diners can be assured that care is taken when sourcing them. Wellness is also considered when creating the menus. Focusing on preparation techniques and natural flavours, Yellow Pot avoids unhealthy additives such as flavour enhancers, lactose, gluten and sugar.
On the Lunar New Year menus, diners start with yusheng, the quintessential salad for the festive season. Yellow Pot’s take on the traditional dish sees organically grown vegetables and sustainably farmed seafood. Diners can choose to have the salad with fresh slices of King Ora salmon, or with hamachi.
Yellow Pot’s lunch menus offer a succinct range of meaningful dishes, best enjoyed with business associates or friends. Dishes include chestnut-stuffed chicken with shiitake mushrooms to symbolise unity and wealth, and red snapper with crispy skin served with a sweet and sour sauce to represent abundance.
On more premium menus for lunch and dinner, diners can enjoy a sumptuous range of dishes. There’s fresh barramundi, locally-sourced from Kuhlbarra, is steamed and served with a flavourful concoction of fermented garlic, wine and chilli. Diners can still indulge in abalone and sea cucumber as well, which have been responsibly sourced by the restaurant, braised together with mushrooms and sun-dried oysters.
So can sustainability and feasts go hand in hand? Yellow Pot’s Lunar New Year menus show a promising chance that it all still works out.
Yellow Pot’s Lunar New Year menus are available from 28 January to 19 February 2019.
(All images: Six Senses Duxton)