Four restaurants owned by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) — Ocean Restaurant, Osia Steak and Seafood Grill, Syun, and Feng Shui Inn — have come up with their own festive menu this Chinese New Year (CNY).
Admittedly, Sentosa wouldn't usually be the first place on my mind when I think of dining places. Alas, we're living through some strange times, in the middle of a pandemic.
I'll take any excuse to pretend I'm on a vacay. And what better way to go on a Singapoliday than to get out of mainland Singapore?
Needless to say, I jumped on the opportunity to eat some yummy food at RWS — on company time too, may I add.
Psst, read till the end of this article for three promotions offered by RWS during this period.
As Singapore’s first aquarium dining experience, Ocean Restaurant is no stranger to Singaporeans.
I'm sure you've seen the restaurant's stunning aquarium backdrop all over social media, for every celebration — birthdays, anniversaries, proposals.
But did you know that Ocean Restaurant has a CNY menu as well?
This year, Ocean Restaurant is offering a modern take on traditional Chinese dishes, making the restaurant an ideal choice for both the young and old.
Made using sustainable ingredients, Ocean Restaurant's creations are ideal for the environmentally-conscious as well.
Dutch Hiramasa Yu Sheng
The Dutch Hiramasa yu sheng was, indeed, a refreshing twist to the usual yu sheng we have during CNY.
Instead of the shredded garnishes on traditional yu sheng plating, the Dutch Hiramasa was paired with daikon, yuzu, pomelo and honey to forge an elegant-looking platter.
The inventive dressing surprised me with a sublime splatter of citrus, adding a hint of acidity to this appetiser.
Amazingly, Ocean Restaurant's contemporary yu sheng still evoked memories of the rendition we're used to, by retaining elements such as radish.
All in all, Ocean Restaurant's novel yu sheng will certainly rouse diners of all generations.
Another cold appetiser I tried was the Scottish salmon.
Succulent and fresh, the Scottish salmon was served with a selection of embellishments — apple saffron emulsion, fish roe and petit salad — designed to create a burst of flavours at every bite.
This is definitely another dish that will be popular with most seafood-lovers.
Steamed Kuhlbarra Seabass
Steamed seabass is traditionally a must-have at CNY dinners as fish is a homophone for the Chinese word for excess. It is believed that eating fish will bring you prosperity in the new year.
Of course, Ocean Restaurant switched up the traditional dish in an unconventional manner, with their steamed Kuhlbarra seabass served as one of the choices for the main course.
Instead of a sea bass served on a hot platter, this well-seasoned dish was presented with bubbling clams emulsion, soy bean porridge and sugar peas.
Not only was the seabass juicy and tender, but its accompaniment of sugar peas also produced a new balance of flavours to the dish.
Call me a mountain tortoise, but it was my first time seeing a clams emulsion so I was rather amused by the foamy substance — its taste was reminiscent of the ocean, in case you were wondering.
Carbs wise, the soy bean porridge is bound to fill your tummy up.
Evidently, the chef put deep thought into this innovative plate, as the flavours blended with each other in perfect harmony.
Golden Mandarin Orange
Yay, time for my favourite part of the meal, dessert.
The golden mandarin orange consists of dense gula melaka coconut parfait topped with kumquat compote.
Sounds like a mouthful? Let me break this sweet dish down.
The gula melaka boasted a distinguished deep caramel-like taste, with a smoky note that hit the back of your throat and left me craving more. The flavour was further elevated by a light tinge of coconut.
Finally, the kumquat compote, along with the raspberries and blueberries, completed the dish by bringing about a refreshing, tangy bite.
Make your booking in advance to secure a meal against Ocean Restaurant's pretty backdrop.
Osia Steak and Seafood Grill
Modern Australian cuisine probably doesn't remind you of CNY, but Osia Steak and Seafood Grill begs to differ.
For CNY this year, the restaurant prepared a 'Big Fish' sharing platter, seeing that fish is a sine qua non of every CNY.
Diners can choose to indulge in the fish grilled over the restaurant's lava stone grill, steamed in parchment paper, or baked in a stone hearth oven.
You can select grilled dover sole, en papillotte New Zealand wild snapper or oven-roasted Australian freshwater rainbow trout for this platter.
A 'Big Fish' platter is good for three to four diners. If you've been waiting to dine out as a family of eight, you may consider ordering other signature items from Osia Steak and Seafood Grill's menu on top of the platter.
Each sharing platter also offers a selection of lemon butter sauce, béarnaise sauce, and mixed herb butter, which I'm sure would add a pleasant hint of tanginess to this dish.
To end off your meal, a watercress salad and a parmesan potato puree will be served.
Make your booking at Osia here .
Can't travel to Japan? No problem.
Inspired by cuisine from the Land of the Rising Sun, Syun's CNY menu boasts contemporary Japanese dishes made from ingredients air flown from Japan.
The Syun Style Special Yu Sheng — made of Kagoshima wagyu beef salad with sesame ponzu sauce — pays homage to Japanese new year customs, where families gather to eat osechi-ryōri, a bento box filled with an assortment of colourful Japanese dishes.
If you're exceedingly possessive of your food (I'm guilty as charged), you'll be pleased to find out that Syun serves their yu sheng in individual portions, or for two diners in their ala carte menu.
Wagyu beef is known for its tender, marbled texture that melts in your mouth almost immediately. Sounds yummy.
I can imagine sesame ponzu dressing delighting diners with a lovely splash of tart, creating an added dimension to the salad.
Make your booking at Syun here .
Feng Shui Inn
Chinese cuisine is a natural choice when we think of celebrating CNY.
If you're just craving for some good ol' Chinese food, don't fret. Feng Shui Inn's CNY reunion set menus are made for this occasion.
I was presented with their 'Everlasting Happiness' set menu, which consists of six courses.
Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng with Crispy Pearl Rice and Crispy Kailan
First up, Feng Shui Inn's smoked salmon yu sheng was quite an indulgence.
The smoked salmon, smoked perfectly with a subtle sweetness, was an exquisite delicacy while the crispy kailan added a new texture to the dish.
Speaking of textures, Feng Shui Inn designed their yu sheng to generate an extra crunch in every bite with the addition of crispy fish skin (my favourite element!) and cornflakes.
The most exciting component of this course is its dressing. Other than the usual plum sauce found in yu sheng, Feng Shui Inn also offers a healthier option — strawberry sauce — to be added to the concoction.
I confess that I was a little hesitant about mixing sweet and savoury flavours together but I soon realised that I should have never doubted the head chef.
I never thought that a simple mixture would be able to revitalise a dish.
This unique yu sheng is bound to be popular with diners during the festive season.
Double-boiled Lotus Root Soup with Dried Oyster, Sea Whelk and Bamboo Piths
Did you know that lotus root is a Cantonese homophone that signifies abundance every year?
Best known for their double-boiled — a Cantonese method of cooking soup — nourishing soup, Feng Shui Inn transformed a common home-cooked soup during CNY into a delectable dish.
Instead of the usual lotus root, peanut and pork — which imparts sweetness to the soup — the double-boiled lotus root soup was balanced with umami as well, with the addition of dried oyster, sea whelk and bamboo piths.
Feng Shui Inn was generous with their ingredients; I found a huge sea whelk and chunks of bamboo piths along with a giant oyster in my soup.
Wok-fried Rice with Flying Fish Roe, Egg White and Prawn
Fried rice may seem like a simple dish, but it's difficult to perfect, with the chef having to balance between a smoky flavour and keeping the ingredients from being burnt.
Harmonised with flying fish roe, egg white and prawn, Feng Shui Inn's wok-fried rice boasts a heartwarming and comforting taste.
As accompaniments, the egg white bits and prawns were rich in flavour and fresh.
The flying fish roe, salty and sweet in flavour, were an eye-catching integral part of the dish
— its distinct texture added a subtle crunch to boot.
Put together, the wok-fried rice was certainly a memorable dish.
Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Osmanthus and Tang Yuan served with Golden Ingots Coconut Nian Gao
Classic Chinese menus usually feature a refreshing soup as part of the dessert course, and Feng Shui Inn's CNY menu is no different.
As opposed to the rich double-boiled lotus root soup, the purple sweet potato soup was a light, detoxifying soup that ended my meal with something warm and nourishing.
The soup included elements of ginger, which is said to have anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. I could see why this soup was served as the last course.
Filled with sesame, the tang yuan had a mochi-like texture with a bouncy and chewy texture.
After being stewed in the soup for hours, the purple sweet potato cubes — which gave the soup its rich colour — were full of fragrance and soft to bite into.
I was amazed by how restoring a warm and flavourful antioxidant soup dessert could feel.
Factoring in its vibrant colour, the purple potato soup was definitely a showstopper.
The second part of Feng Shui Inn's dessert, nian gao, is a staple delicacy every CNY because it symbolises increased prosperity year after year.
Feng Shui Inn's golden ingots nian gao (also available for purchase ala carte) was served as dessert along with purple sweet potato soup with osmanthus and tang yuan.
Paired with freshly grated coconut bits to give the dessert a soft aroma, the warm nian gao was chewy and sweet.
While most nian gao I had during CNY are usually cloying, Feng Shui Inn's nian gao presented just the right amount of sugar. Pretty addictive.
As the only Chinese-centric restaurant participating in RWS' promotions, Feng Shui Inn is bound to be popular with Singaporeans so remember to make your bookings early.
Takeaway and delivery goodies
If you're planning to have your reunion dinner in the comfort of your home, Feng Shui Inn has takeaway reunion sets, the premium wealth treasure pot — a classic Cantonese favourite — and yu sheng, prepared for you too.
Feng Shui Inn's treasure pot is truly a treasure trove filled with scrumptious delicacies that represent abundance and wealth that will definitely please your elders this CNY.
Better yet, send your loved ones a hamper from Feng Shui Inn to impress them.
Pre-order your goodies by Feb. 20, 5pm here .
Is your stomach growling yet? Before you rush down to the restaurants, remember that there are three ongoing promotions at RWS during this period.
Mastercard® Exclusive: Early Bird Takeaway Promo
Date: Now to Feb. 10
Mechanics: Enjoy 30 per cent off all festive items with no minimum spend. For a limited time, enjoy free delivery with a minimum spend S$500.
Mastercard Exclusive: Early Bird Dine-in Promo
Date: Now to Feb. 10
Mechanics: Enjoy 30 per cent off all Chinese New Year dishes and menus at Feng Shui Inn, Syun and Osia Steak & Seafood Grill. To secure discounts, enter promo code: RWSMC30 when making your online reservations .
RWS Invites Members Special CNY Rebate
Date: Now to Feb. 10 (Dine-In) and Now to Feb. 26 (Takeaway)
Mechanics: Enjoy a 20 per cent rebate for CNY reunion dining at Feng Shui Inn, Syun and Osia Steak & Seafood Grill, as well as all festive takeaways, no minimum spend required. For dine-in, enter promo code: RWSINV20R when making your online reservations.
Terms and conditions apply for all three promotions.
Now go make your bookings .
Top image via Pek Yi Tsing.
The writer of this article sponsored by Resorts World Sentosa genuinely loved everything she ate above.
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