The year of the dragon is just days away and this is the time when restaurant spaces are quickly snapped up by families hosting their reunion dinner in joyous festivity! At Xin Cuisine Holiday Inn Atrium for this 2012 Lunar New Year, 9 different set menus have been crafted to cater for groups of 2 all the way to 10 persons. And with each set rich with lively names such as Double Happiness, Joyful Treasures, Bountiful Harvest to the grand Imperial Dragon Feast, there is almost something for everybody to celebrate in with intricately designed signature dishes.
The classic Yu Sheng this year takes on a more traditional form of a dragon bearing auspicious greetings all around. In the Bountiful Harvest menu, there is the Xin’s Gold Leaf Australian Lobster, Canadian Geoduck Clam and Salmon Yusheng. For presentation, the “Yu” and lobster were served up in a grand ice sculpture
The Dragon Breathing Fire!
Topped with lots of Gold Nuggets
The Yu Sheng was very well mixed after the dinner group tossed it for over 30 times as each one grabbed a photo of the delightful event. This gave the shredded vegetables a very thorough mix with the sauce being more evenly spread out. Sweeter and a little heavy, the Yu Sheng was fine in all its prosperity!
The second dish for the night was the Pan-Fried Scallop with Eggplant in Japanese Miso Sauce. Wholesome scallops topped with a sweet savoury miso sauce while being placed on a lightly seasoned pan fried tender eggplant. Comforting textures, with accented gold richness in slightly heavier proportions.
Shark’s Fin is available upon request at Xin Cuisine and for this night we had the Double-Boiled Shark’s Fin and Baby Cabbage in Chicken Broth. The broth is presumably boiled over the burning fire for over a day to develop the umami sweetness and richness specially meant for the shark’s fin.
The Shark’s Fin with Chicken broth is certainly unique with a lighter flavour in an almost clear essence, balancing the palate throughout. It was good though personally I felt the dish should have come in richer and stronger flavours with more impact to the sip.
Fish is always a must at any reunion dinner, so a classic take on the method of serving has led to Chef Kwan crafting the Steamed Garoupa Fillet with Beancurd in Light Soya Sauce. Light tasting sea freshness placed atop a chestnut tofu base with a slightly sweet disposition and textured crunchiness.
The Xin’s Prosperity Pen Cai ($398 Big Portion for 10) comes with an assortment of Lobster, Abalone, Shark’s Fin, Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Dried Oyster, Dried Scallop, Wolf Berry, Fresh Scallop, Jelly Fish, Mushroom, Sea Moss, Fish Maw, Bamboo Pith, Radish, Sea Whelk and Chinese Cabbage. Talk about a bountiful harvest all in a giant claypot!
This seafood based Pen Cai is lighter tasting in flavour with a more even spread of savoury richness. As compared to last year’s Imperial Pen Cai (available this year for $999), I preferred the variety which contained the more complex flavours of 3-head Abalone, Superior Shark’s Fin Deer Tendon, Sea Cucumber and Goose Web. It is just something about the ingredients that really meld together to bring out a flavour unforgettable.
The Fried Sesame Balls with Red Bean and Chocolate Liqueur Filling make its appearance again in its full classic glory. Always good with that burst of champagne at the beginning all so fulfilling.
The menu for the night is made closer to a delightful end with the Bird’s Nest with Almond Cream. I really liked the soothing textures and neutral slightly sweet flavours accentuated with textures from the bird’s nest floating about.
And as all traditional cakes should come, there is the Deep Fried Xin’s Nian Gao. Slightly oily yet crispy and oh so soft and chewy, the Nian Gao is not cloyingly sweet and with it’s simplicity, a great way to end the day.
The menu line up for this Lunar New Year features classics and signatures of the restaurant. With a bountiful array of sets to choose from and an even wider range of a la carte dishes to tickle your tastebuds with, Xin Cuisine could very well be your next choice for that reunion dinner to come. Located at the crossroads of Chinatown and Outram, the ambience of Xin Cuisine provides for a contemporary classic dining experience away from the city yet in the heart of all the festivities!
For even more pictures of the restaurant and a spread of what was offered during last year’s Chinese New Year, do check out the article available here.
Many Thanks to Holiday Inn Atrium for the invitation.
Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore
317 Orchard Road
Enquiries and Reservations : 6731 7173
Opens from :
Weekdays 12pm-3pm, 6:30pm-11pm