Family, Festivals, Food reviews - Singapore, Living in... Singapore CHINESE NEW YEAR EATING 3 February 2012

So we didn’t have a mad banquet of never-ending food during Chinese New Year. It’s supposed to be really good (guess it shows you’re prosperous and fat?? Heh) to have helluva lot of food such that people can’t finish it.. but we were totally unprepared for it, since we were supposed to be on holiday for Chinese New Year! But it was cancelled at the very last minute since Mum was in hospital (and only discharged the day before), so we had to make do with pretty simple food.

Anyway, no regrets and I liked it that way.. because it meant that 1) Mum was safe and out of the hospital, 2) we were still celebrating as a family, 3) it was kinda nice having a relaxed and chill CNY.

Breakfast on CNY day itself was waffles with bananas, maple syrup and ice cream. It was because I had all the stuff already in my kitchen and so could whip it up for all of us. Plus, Dad LOVES waffles.. and I thought it would be nice to do breakfast and coffee together for CNY 🙂

The waffles were those pre-made ones that you simply pop into the toaster. Verdict? Crappy. They become pretty stiff and crispy, and SO not like the waffles that I like – all moist and soft on the inside, and light and crisp on the outside. In retrospect it was silly of me, since it’s super easy to make waffles from scratch since I’ve done it many times before. Duh..

Waffles with bananas, maple syrup and ice cream


Lunch was a very last-minute decision.. as we had to figure out which places were actually open, that weren’t fully booked. We ended up having Japanese at the Raffles Town Club, which was an awesome decision because the food there is fantastic!

Outside the Japanese restaurant. We're wearing RED cos it's meant to be good to for CNY!



I had Yu Sheng for the 1st time 2 nights prior (will blog about that later) and now I LOVE SALAD. Can’t believe just veggies and salmon sashimi can taste so good?!?!?!? It’s tasty, sweet, and utterly addictive. So this one at the Japanese restaurant was my 2nd time having Yu Sheng, and it was ‘Japanese style’… which basically meant it had a lot of sashimi of various types of fish. It was freakin’ awesome 🙂

Yu Sheng. Utter perfection.


So, the point of Yu Sheng is that you mix all these ingredients together (and there are a TON in the dish!). Each ingredient signifies something good…. I’m not sure specifically what they each signify, but it’s just meant to be all ‘nice sounding’!

AND, I remember hearing that it’s also supposed to be good to mix the ingredients hiiiiiigggghhhhh up in the air. I don’t know the exact reason why, but I think it’s something like the person that manages to reach the highest, is the person that has the best year ahead. Whatever. I’ll do whatever it takes just to get my hands on more Yu Sheng – yum yum yum!!

Quite annoyed that it took me 30 years (?!?!?!??!!!!) to discover this dish, because it actually ranks up there as one of my favourite dishes ever. Plus, I’m even more pleased that I like it, due to the fact that HELLO it is a salad! When ever in my life have I ever liked, let alone eaten, a salad dish?? My only regret is that this dish isn’t available year-round, which I reckon is quite unfair 🙁

Forced smile from me cos all I wanted to do was to eat it!


A few more photo ops with Hunter ensued.. mainly cos I think he looks spiffy in his CNY blue outfit 😛

Fascinated with the bronze horse


Outside the cafe at Raffles Town Club


Our CNY Eve dinner was the really random one, because Mum had just come out of the hospital and we didn’t have any dinner planned. Obviously couldn’t go out to eat ‘cos it’d be madness in the City, plus Mum wasn’t really in the position to go out for a dinner.

So we ended up with….. steamboat!

Funny thing is, I was realllllyyyyyy EXCITED about the thought of having steamboat, because we hardly/never have it, and I thought we were all rather cool to be doing a steamboat when everyone else was probably having CNY tradition food or something.

But later, I saw all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc etc… everyone was freakin’ having steamboat too!!!! So either everyone else stole our fabulous idea, or steamboat is actually quite common to have on CNY Eve. Pfffttt.

Anyway, Mum has a steamboat machine thingy.. and all it requires is just raw meat and veg to chuck in. It thus makes a very simple, little-preparation-required, meal. Plus, it’s fun cooking the bits of food in the bubbling broth 🙂

My fave part? Throwing in the instant noodles and an egg into the broth. SO YUMMY!

Our (not so unique) steamboat dinner for CNY Eve


I reckon CNY is equivalent to Thanksgiving in the USA.. where family get together and feast. There isn’t something similar in Australia though, oddly. I guess Christmas in Australia might be the closest, but it’s still quite different, because Christmas in Australia is also spent with friends and has a lot of partying involved, whereas CNY in Singapore is family-centric, in the home, and completely focused on food.

Anyway, hope you had a fabulous time celebrating (if you celebrate CNY)! And hope you didn’t gain too much weight 😛 I’ve put on around 2KG. Not too bad since I remember when we lasted celebrated CNY when we were 18 or 19 yrs old, Chris and I put on almost 5KG….. Each. Any improvement is an improvement, right? 😛



Let’s Chat!

Let's Chat!

Haha we too had steamboat (hot pot) in Canada and judging from the grocery shopping I did over the weekend, so did many other families!! Happy (belated) Chinese New Year, Beverly!

We Chinese can’t say no to yee sang, raw fish preferred as I never liked jellyfish.
ahh, simple foods… especially steamboat, always made my tummy smile with warmth… with close friends or family that is 🙂

hi, i’m very intrigued by the “yu sheng” dish. does it contain seaweed? it looks like it, maybe kelp and dulse?? what are all the flaky sprinkles on top? peanuts? it would be very interesting if you decide to re-create it at home and show us the results. 😀

I’m not very sure… but I don’t like seaweed, so if it DOES have seaweed then I guess the taste is disguised well haha. The sprinkes are peanuts and sesame seeds!

I LOVE steamboat ! My parents own the same steamboat machine your mum has 🙂 Last time we had it was several years ago when mum was overseas on christmas eve and my husband and I had dinner with dad, just the three of us. It was dads idea and we were having a laugh as steamboat didn’t seem very Christmassy (particularly for hubby who is French Canadian!) but it was one of the nicest dinners we had, particularly as my dad is such a hurried eater. That night he really relaxed and took his time eating and it always brings good memories. Looking at your pics makes me crave it now 🙂 especially as we are having a horrible Sydney summer all that rain I just want comfort food. great that your mum was discharged from hospital in time to celebrate new year.

Aww yeah, I think steamboat is nice cos it’s so communal and does take awhile so people don’t eat-and-run. I guess it’s a bit of a pain tho cos you do need a lot of various ingredients, so you have to go buy them all! but, at least not much preparation/cooking required since everyone does their own cooking 😉