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All The Cool, Unconventional Spots For Reunion Dinner This 2020

There’s no escaping the good luck, yusheng prosperity toss, so this year make sure your reunion dinner's at least in cool digs to ring in the Year of the Rat.
Thoughtful dining. While this is an oxymoron for the Chinese New Year feasting period, Kausmo’s culinary style using re-purposed aesthetically filtered fruits and vegetables will give your less woke family members something to think about. For the Chinese New Year period (available 25 Jan-8 Feb), two CNY specials are included as part of the usual six course menu ($75). On the cards is a yusheng using chrysanthemum leaves, star fruit and a homemade plum sauce inspired by chef Lisa Tang’s Teochew heritage. Instead of the typical shredded carrot or turnip, as per Kausmo’s policy, available seasonal fruits and local native edibles will make up the rest of the dish. Otherwise, there’s the main course of duck brined hojicha and soy, served with homemade mandarin kosho dressing (repurposed from the pith and pulp of mandarin oranges) and a medley of overgrown baby leaves and odd-sized cresses.   #03-07 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, Tel: 8126 8538; Chopsuey
Trust the people behind Chopsuey to come up with a healthier version of yu sheng. The Chopsuey Lucky Lunar ‘Lo Hei’ ($28++ for half, $48++ for full) is a lighter version of the festive food, made with fresh kale, celeriac, sprouts, red radish, blueberries and wild rice with fresh trout and a piquent homemade dressing combining fresh calamansi, lemon juice, plum sauce, marmalade and Japanese vinegar. We know where we’ll be heading to at some point of the CNY period.   #01-23 10 Dempsey Rd, Tel: 6708 9288; Alma
Even 1-Michelin starred Alma by Juan Amador has jumped on the yusheng bandwagon. Their version ($88++, available 24-31 Jan), Juan Amador style uses prized cuts of melt-in-your-mouth chutoro, seaweed from the coast of Brittany, and a full flavoured plum and black truffle vinaigrette. Good for two to four diners, we reckon keeping the dining group small so you’ll have more chutoro each. Pre-order one day in advance.    22 Scotts Rd, Goodwood Park Hotel, Tel: 6735 9937; Candlenut
As if we need another reason to gather at Candlenut, this season they’re doing a Peranakan inspired yu sheng ($68++, available 23 Jan-8 Feb) where all the traditional ingredients are intact but creative add-ons – dried orange peel, candied winter melon, golden pillow crackers and pomelo – are sprinkled on liberally for extra crunch and bite. And instead of the usual plum dressing, they’re giving theirs a twist including gula melaka and ginger flower in their dressing.   17A Dempsey Rd, Tel: 1800 304 2288; yi by Jereme Leung
It’s been a good year so why not treat the whole family to a feast at yi by Jereme Leung. Till 8 Feb, the restaurant offers the Prosperity Set ($138++ per person) and the Opulence Set ($168++ per person) featuring Lunar New Year favourites liked a steamed grouper, claypot rice with Chinese sausage and cured duck. For an auspicious and sweet 2020/2021, the yu sheng ($168++ with smoked salmon; $198++ with live lobster) will be tossed with a special Yunnan rose dressing crafted by MasterChef Leung himself.     #03-02 Raffles Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road, Tel: 6412 1331; COMO Cuisine
At COMO Cuisine, their Prosperity Toss Salad ($24++, available 26 & 27 Jan) yu sheng is a pared down version of the festive favourite. Made of carrot and zucchini spirals, julienned beetroot and carrot with shaved white and red cabbage, daikon and all the other usual ingredients, homemade dressing of plum sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, orange juice and lemon juice is a tad less sweet (where most of the calories are) than typical yusheng sauces so you can enjoy with a little less guilt.   18A Dempsey Rd, Tel: 1800 304 6688; Crystal Jade Palace
Sometimes it pays to play safe, especially over the Chinese New Year period. Michelin-starred Crystal Jade Palace’s Prosperity Golden Lobster Yusheng ($98 or $169, available till 8 Feb) does not disappoint. The traditional festive dish gets a lift from kaffir lime leaves with red dates, walnuts and succulent lobster and ikura. Instead of a plum sauce, theirs is a subtle olive oil-based dressing with flower blossom syrup, plum sauce and sesame seeds.   #04-19 Takashimaya Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road, Tel: 6735 2388;    Violet Oon Singapore At Jewel
Jetting off for the Chinese New Year break doesn’t excuse you from a pre/post-flight reunion meal. Instead of the usual yusheng toss, gather the family for a popiah meal that’s almost as good as grandma’s without all the hassle of chopping, slicing and cleaning up. At Violet Oon Singapore’s Jewel outlet, the Nyonya Poh Piah ($58) offers six pieces of handmade popiah skins and 12 different fillings and condiments (e.g. braised bamboo shoots, Jicama, steamed prawns, Chinese bombs etc) to be wrapped and rolled to personal preferences. Supplement the meal with the classic nonya chap chye dish and some crisp, fried ngoh hiang. Best of all, the six-seater table is round, so no sharp edges (aka bad fengshui) will be encountered over this Chinese New Year meal.    Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Blvd, Level 1, #01-205 / #01-206, Tel: 9834 9935;