Yu sheng (鱼生) is an especially popular dish to have in Singapore during Chinese New Year. While the raw fish salad was thought to have originated somewhere in China, the yu sheng that we know today is a primarily Singaporean / Malaysian innovation.
Yu sheng is an especially symbolic dish with each ingredient representing something auspicious for the coming lunar new year. Highly competitive yu sheng offerings by hotels and Chinese restaurants have led to somewhat innovative ingredients, but at its heart, yu sheng traditionally includes the following: raw fish (usually salmon), pomelo, pepper, oil, carrots, green and white radish, peanut crumbs, sesame seeds, dressing (usually plum sauce) and finally, deep fried golden pillows.
Auspicious phrases are supposed to be uttered while each ingredient is being sprinkled into the salad. Tossing of yu sheng is known as lo hei. I won’t go into the specifics of the phrases to be uttered as my main aim here is to show you the best selection of yu sheng for this year. Without further ado, here are the top yu sheng to have in 2023:
For folks who prefer not to eat raw seafood, check out Shangri-la Singapore’s Fortune Yu Sheng (from S$138.80). Instead of the usual raw fish, you get some decadent cooked lobster and smoked salmon instead.
Dates: 2 January to 15 February 2023
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay
Peach Blossoms’ yu sheng is available in portions for five or ten persons. Take your pick among five different yu sheng platters, including their signature Fortune Abalone Yu Sheng (from S$136.96) and Vegetarian Abalone Yu Sheng (S$83.46). Orders need to be made at least 3 days in advance.
Dates: 15th January to 5th February 2023
Order here (15% off)
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Jiang Nan Chun’s luxurious Prosperity Yu Sheng (from S$198) comes bursting with seafood. Think – lobster, abalone and salmon complemented by hand-shredded root veggies and crunchy pumpkin seeds, melon seeds and sunflower seeds.
Dates: Now until 5th February 2023
Pan Pacific Singapore
Hai Tien Lo at Pan Pacific Singapore presents no less than 4 yu sheng platters to choose from, available for dine-in or takeaway. These include the brimming Abundance Yu Sheng (S$288) with South Africa Abalone, Lobster, Scallops, Coral Clam and Ice Lettuce; the luxurious Vitality Yu Sheng (from S$138) with Lobster, Abalone and Smoked Salmon and the classic Double Blessing Yu Sheng (from S$78) with Smoked Salmon and Crispy Silver Whitebait.
Dates: 6 January to 5 February 2023
Conrad Centennial Singapore
Golden Peony’s rendition of the Fortune Gold Flakes Yu Sheng (S$198) features a medley of ingredients including Lobster, Abalone, Mock Bak Kwa, as well as plenty of fresh vegetables like Ice Plants and pickles ready to be tossed into a vibrant mixture.
Dates: 2nd January to 5th February 2023
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
Xin Cuisine at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium presents a number of yu shengs for CNY 2023. A new offering is their Japanese Unagi Yu Sheng With Roselle Sauce (from S$98) – mouth-watering and nutritious grilled Japanese unagi slices superbly paired with a brilliant concoction of roselle sauce to balance the toss with sweetness and a hint of fresh flower. For loyal customers of Xin Cuisine, the restaurant is also selling their classics such as the Xin’s Signature Salmon Yu Sheng (from S$88) and the Baby Abalone Yu Sheng (from S$88). The yu shengs at Xin Cuisine come in two sizes – small and large.
Dates: Now until 5th February 2023