Tag Archives: yu sang

Gong Xi Fa Cai !

Yu sang – prosperity salad

Happy Lunar New Year !  This post is dedicated to the star of our Chinese new year dinner – yu sang, or prosperity salad, which we started our dinner with at the Red House at Robertson Quay.

Yu sang (also called lo hei in Cantonese) is essentially a raw fish – usually salmon or mackerel – mixed in a salad of shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments.  As with most special Chinese dishes, the dish is named after the key ingredient – in this case, fish – which, when pronounced, has another meaning – abundance.  So the serving of yu sang during Chinese new year is to wish everyone an abundance of prosperity, vigour, health…all the good things to start a new year with.

Steamed razor clams with garlic and glass noodles

The salad ingredients are presented and as the server proceeds to add ingredients such as the fish, the crackers and the sauces, they say auspicious wishes as each ingredient is added, typically related to the specific ingredient being added. For example, the sweet sauce they add is meant to wish all at the table sweetness and harmony in their lives, the oil that is added wishes a smooth year ahead, and the fish wishes abundance.

All the diners at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying their own wishes for the year out loud. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner’s growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically.

It’s such a fun way to celebrate the lunar new year.  And it helps that the salad is delicious !

Braised tofu topped with seaweed and mushrooms

Red House is quite unique in it’s interior design – it felt as if we had walked in to a restaurant that was housed in a large warehouse and that had started to fit it with the usual Chinese restaurant design – lanterns, wooden tables and chairs etc, but had only completed the fish tanks and the private rooms.  The main dining area felt almost unfinished with industrial steel fans on the ceiling.  The acoustics of the place are not great for the large tables they have in there, meaning you have to really shout and also making hearing your friends/family difficult.  The food is not bad – I think there is a pretty decent standard for seafood restaurants and the dishes they prepared were good, but no greater than any other Chinese seafood restaurant available around Singapore.

Lobster noodles

We ate the set menu on offer, which consisted of stir-fried asparagus, steamed razor clams with garlic and glass noodles, steamed prawns, chilli crab, braised home-made tofu topped with seaweed and mushrooms and lobster noodles.  All good.  Although nothing that stood out.

The benefit of eating at Robertson Quay is all of the bars that have popped up around that area, where you can take a slow stroll by the river to get to.  If you’re lucky like we were last night, there will be a lovely cool breeze, making it even more pleasant.

All in all a wonderful way to herald in the lunar new year.  Gong xi fa cai everyone !

Red House at The Quayside
#01-13/ 14 The Quayside
60 Robertson Quay
Tel: +65 6735 7666


Chinese New Year at Jade

Much to my embarrassment, this year, my Western friend had to remind me that perhaps we should go out this Chinese New Year to celebrate by eating.  Shocking, I know.  I was quite keen to go back to Jing again, as D had not yet been, but that was closed for the new year, so we made a reservation at Jade at the Fullerton, which, to my surprise, offered the same buffet-style dim sum.

I didn’t have any real expectations, but I suppose I would have equated it to the level of Jing, and I was disappointed in both the quality of the food as well as the service.  It didn’t seem to me to be of the level I’d expect from the Fullerton.  The whole setup seemed like there was not enough staff to take the orders of patrons and serve as well – all the wait staff looked harrassed and stressed.  There was a very limited dim sum menu, and a fairly extensive non dim sum menu – all the food took a while to come, and was served luke warm to cold and the food itself was quite average.  Add to that, there are two seatings on Sundays, 11.30 – 1.15 and 1.45 – 3.00 which made it an even more rushed affair.

The one good thing was that we were able to order an extra dish which was not included in the buffet – yu sang, or loh hei, a fresh salmon salad made up of ingredients that each represent good fortune for the new  year.  The waitress who served it actually took the time to explain what each meant (which we did noticed was mostly about prosperity) which we happily tossed at the table, making a mess, and celebrating the beginning of the new lunar year.

Nothing much else to say other than Gong Xi Fa Cai ! (and happy Valentine’s Day !)

Jade

1 Fullerton Square
The Fullerton Hotel

Tel: +65 6877 8188