With Chinese New Year just around the corner, there’s no time like the present to get started on gift shopping and reunion-dinner plans. Whether you’re keeping things traditional or want to put a contemporary spin on your gift-giving or dinner plans, here’s a selection of some of Singapore’s most beloved heritage brands and their special Lunar New Year offerings.
For the gift of good fortune
When it comes to Chinese New Year treats, few delicacies are quite as iconic as the pineapple tart. Since 1983, Kele has been crafting premium local treats including their signature pineapple tarts that have been voted “best pineapple tart in Singapore”. Called “ong lai” in Cantonese and Hokkien, it directly translates to “fortune come”, which makes it a popular seasonal gift that symbolizes luck and good fortune. Kele’s tarts are known for their remarkably buttery, melt-in-the-mouth pastry and rich, tart pineapple jam filling. The brand has also earned its “Made With Passion” thanks to their exceptional local snacks and treats.
Kwong Cheong Thye
For timeless flavours done the traditional way
Chinese cooking is the sum of all its parts, and quality soy sauce is the backbone of some of the season’s most iconic dishes. If you’re putting together a feast to impress your friends and family, build it upon Kwong Cheong Thye’s high-quality sauces. The brand’s dark and light sauces are naturally brewed with the finest ingredients using a family recipe that’s been passed down since the company’s formation. Their sauces are ideal for use in stir-frying, braising and as a condiment.
For festive sweets and savouries
No Chinese New Year celebration is complete without a spread of festive snacks. Handmade with love by Aunty Hong herself and her team, the brand’s festive treats are made using tried-and-tested family recipes and premium ingredients. Sweet tooths will enjoy the crispy and fragrant signature love letters as well as the handmade emping belinjau cookies which offer a harmonious bitter-sweet flavour. For something a little more savoury, opt for crowd-pleasing favourites like the premium prawn rolls, shrimp fries and the sweet and spicy belinjau keropok. For easy gifting, you can also order beautifully packaged gift sets with personalised messages for your loved ones.
Old Seng Choong
For timeless heritage snacks
Kuehs (pastries) and cakes are an essential part of any Chinese New Year spread. Baking quality heritage snacks since 1965 (the year of Singapore’s founding!), Old Seng Choong’s enduring popularity stems from its premium ingredients, adherence to tradition and intricately balanced flavours. All-time favourites include the original kueh lapis (layered, colourful cake) as well as the prune kueh lapis which features tart and tender slivers of prune. Another must-try is the delicately flavoured pandan chiffon with hints of gula melaka (palm sugar) which was a collaboration between Founder Daniel Tay and chiffon cake expert Susanne Ng.
For a traditional toast to prosperity
When you’re toasting to the coming year, you’ll want to have a quality baiju (Chinese liquor) on hand. One of China’s leading brands for strong, aromatic baiju, Shede, has pulled all the stops with its premium Founder’s Tribute edition. This expression of their baiju sacrifices 98% of the raw spirit leaving only the highest grade 2% to make up the bottle. What remains is aged for a minimum of six years, resulting in a crystal clear spirit with a delicate floral aroma and hints of pineapple, liquorice, pepper and anise. This special edition of the Shede Baiju comes in a Yin-Yang-inspired bottle and is available exclusively at Lotte Duty Free stores in every Changi Airport terminal.
Orchid Live Seafood
For a reunion dinner sans the stress
Reunion dinners are one of the highlights of the festive season, whether at home or your favourite restaurant. Founded in 1999, Orchid Live Seafood is a homegrown Teochew restaurant famed for its signature live lobster porridge, as well as other classics like Teochew cold crab, chilli crab (a Singapore favourite), and Steven Chicken – a sweet and savoury dish unique to Orchid Live Seafood with a 20-year old recipe. Live seafood is a highlight here so you can pick from a variety of lobster breeds including Australian lobsters, Boston lobsters and tropical rock lobsters. You can also opt for their special Chinese New Year menu which features a selection of their Chinese New Year exclusive dishes.
2 Yishun Walk, #03-01 HomeTeamNS Khatib. Make a reservation here.
Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
For decadent dine-in and takeaway dishes
Ring in the year of the dragon with a delightful feast from the acclaimed Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro. This year, the restaurant has put together an elegant dine-in and takeaway menu featuring Szechuan-inspired classics and gussied-up versions of classic Chinese New Year dishes. The restaurant will offer a selection of lunch and dinner set menus. along with a la carte options. Enjoy signature dishes like the crab roe foie gras chawanmushi with bird’s nest and the delightfully savoury braised pork ribs in red glutinous rice wine with red dragonfruit-infused mantous. Prefer a more intimate experience? You can also opt for a selection of set menus for just two people.
333 Orchard Road, Level 35 Hilton Singapore Orchard. Make a reservation here.
For a sumptuous buffet spread at home
If you prefer to host your reunion dinner at home but rather not deal with the hassle of cooking, Robert Catering is an excellent choice. The catering company offers a broad, varied menu that includes buffets, high tea, tingkat delivery and special festive menus for Christmas and Chinese New Year. They also offer convenient delivery right to your doorstep.