With the arrival of Spring comes the season for festive celebrations, to come together with good company over a wondrous feast, with hopeful anticipation for a splendid year ahead.
This year, Yàn at the National Gallery Singapore celebrates joyful reunions with a bounteous spread of six set menus, with classic Cantonese fare curated by Head Chef Ng Sen Tio.
Yàn’s take on the obligatory yu sheng this time of year, is the savoury Kaleidoscope of Prosperity. A signature at Yàn, the Shunde-style yusheng presents a mountain of crispy vermicelli adorned with shreds of purple and yellow sweet potatoes, kailan, and pickled ginger. It is encircled within a vibrant medley of vegetables, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, and youtiao, as well as slices of fresh yellowtail, and topped with gold flakes and crunchy coils of mee pok. Sweet potatoes (fan shu) pay homage in a playful twist on the Chinese word for rat (shu). The crispy fried vermicelli, when drizzled with dressing at the table, lets out a crackling sound reminiscent of firecrackers popping.
Festivities continue with a bountiful spread of Cantonese fare to foster togetherness. Offering wellness with every spoonful is the nourishing Double-boiled Peru Maca Soup with Dried Seafood; maca, a Peruvian plant reputed to boost energy and reduce blood pressure, is masterfully brewed for hours with sliced sea whelk, a whole chicken, and pork ribs to extract the essence of every ingredient.
Happiness and luck are multiplied when in pairs, and so it is with the Sautéed Prawns with Vegetables accompanied with Deep-fried Mango and Scallops Roll is an auspicious nod to this longstanding Chinese belief.
Ushering in ample surplus every year is the Steamed Star Grouper with Yunnan Preserved Vegetables and Cordyceps Flower. The dish brims with well-wishes for auspiciousness and good health; wild-caught fish is filleted and arranged in the shape of a dragon to symbolise power, strength, and good luck.
Wok-fried Local Lobster with Spring Onion, Ginger and Ee Fu Noodles offers the well- loved bright red crustacean paired with flavoursome egg noodles. Lobsters are considered symbols of good luck, while Ee Fu noodles convey wishes for a long life.
Usher in a year of abundance with Yàn’s hearty Harvest Pen Cai, a grand claypot of eighteen ingredients set to be the highlight at all reunion tables. Delicacies from abalone to whole conpoy, roast pork to fish maw, and sea moss to sea cucumber, are each individually prepared before being brought to simmer in a flavourful braised duck gravy.
Complete the celebrations on a sweet note with the Hot Purple Sweet Potato Cream with Bird’s Nest, Ginkgo and Mini Glutinous Rice Balls and Pan-fried Nian Gao. The mini glutinous rice balls representing togetherness, while the Nian Gao reflects an auspicious wish for a better year ahead.
Yàn’s Lunar New Year six festive set menus are available from 1 January 2020 to 8 February 2020.