Hai Tien Lo in the Pan Pacific Singapore remains to be one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in Singapore. The food's good, the staff is always amazing and honestly, it has the perfect balance between price and quality. For the upcoming Lunar New Year (2016) ahead, Chef Lai Tong Ping has worked together with his team of culinary chefs to create a special menu (set and a la carte) for your indulgence.
The Wealth Happiness Yu Sheng is one of the most delicious yu sheng I have tasted this year. This simple looking yu sheng has the right levels of sweetness, crunch, savouriness and zest. The yu sheng is also filled with delicious seafood like the Boston Lobster, Norwegian Salmon, Surf Clams and Hokkaido Scallops before finally topped with luxurious gold and silver flakes. The fortunate thing is that even if you are not dining at Hai Tien Lo this Lunar New Year, you will be able to bring these home!
S$148+ (serves four) | S$198+ (serves eight)
Wealth Auspicious Yu Sheng (with Boston Lobster, Norwegian Salmon, Surf Clams, Mushrooms, Gold and Silver Flakes)
S$168+ (serves four) | S$238+ (serves eight)
ealth Happiness Yu Sheng (with Boston Lobster, Norwegian Salmon, Surf Clams, Hokkaido Scallops, Mushrooms, Gold and Silver Flakes)
When I had a sneak peak of the "Buddha Jumps over the Wall" with Matsutake Mushroom during the Hairy Crab tasting at Hai Tien Lo last year, I fell in love with the dish and have been looking forward ever since. This truly comforting dish is filled with delicious and nutritious prized ingredients like the abalone, bamboo pith, dried scallops and chicken (amongst other things). This dish right here for me, is the best "Buddha Jumps over the Wall" I have tasted this year - that's two points for Hai Tien Lo already!
The next dish sampled during the Chinese New Year tasting at Hai Tien Lo is the Cantonese Steamed Grouper in Superior Soya Sauce. Steamed and then dressed lightly and elegantly in a superior soya sauce, this freshly prepared grouper was a delight to eat. Steaming is also a test to quality ingredients as the Chinese often believe that it is blasphemous to cook a fresh fish otherwise.
The Classic Auspicious Treasure Pot is available in two sizes - S$238+ for six and S$398+ for ten. This was an interesting alternative to the usual Pen Cai - you will find a deliciously braised chicken in this treasure pot instead of the usual medley of expensive seafood. While I do love my seafood, I thought that this dish was brilliantly executed. The chicken is braised through to soak in all the delicious flavours and the tenderness is something you will have to try for yourself. I guess not all chickens are made (and cooked) equal! Apart from the Eight Treasures Whole Chicken, you will also find whole abalone, sea cucumber, dried oysters, Chinese mushrooms, bean gluten, black moss and Chinese baby cabbage.
These adorable looking pumpkins are filled with delicious steamed rice with preserved meat. Don't mistake them for a halloween dish because there is nothing scary about it at all. Actually, if I truly had to pick one, I guess it is scary that this dish is only available during the Lunar New Year period and I will not be able to enjoy them until 365 days after. In all seriousness though, I loved this dish - the presentation is beautiful and the execution is smart. The contrast between the naturally sweet flesh of the pumpkin, the rice and the bite of the preserved meat is a beautiful harmony of flavours.
The desserts were probably the weakest link in the whole lunar new year menu. Don't get me wrong, they are not bad but in comparison to everything else on the menu, there is truly a vast difference.