Food Review: Hai Tien Lo | Chinese New Year Festive Treats
The Place It would be an understatement to say that time flies but we would be ushering in the Chinese New Year next month. As one of the most important day of the year for most Chinese, some would choose to celebrate the occasion by having a good meal with their family during the festive occasion. I was fortunate to have the chance to have the first glimpse of Hai Tien Lo’s Chinese New Year offering this zodiac Goat year, which I promise would impress the folks.
The Food There are eight prix fixe menus (from $108 per person) at Hai Tien Lo crafted by Master Chef Lai Tong Ping (黎东平) for dine-in groups of at least two guests. Available from 2 February until 5 March 2015, some noteworthy signature dishes including flavourful and succulent Braised Whole Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Dried Oyster, Double-boiled Fish Maw and Dried Scallops in Premium Chinese Wine and Barbecued Crispy Whole Suckling Pig.
Symbolising abundance and good fortune, Hai Tien Lo’s selection of two Pen Cai is a real auspicious treat. The Pen Cai is made up of a premium range of fresh seafood and ingredients such as Whole Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Prawn and Fish Maw. Guests who select Blossoming Prosperity Pen Cai and Golden Opulence Pen Cai, designed for six and 10 guests respectively, will enjoy complimentary Koi Fish Nian Gao with every order. Priced from $368 for six guests, the pen cai is available for both dine-in and takeaway.
There is also a wide selection of Chinese New Year goodies and set menus for gatherings. Some of the all-time favourites include the Signature Homemade XO Chili Sauce or Koi Fish Nian Gao that symbolises abundance and surplus.
Other items to enhance the festivities include a diverse selection of Yusheng platters, assortment of barbecued items and convenient takeaway sets for heart-warming reunions and family gatherings. Guests purchasing takeaway set menus will enjoy a complimentary Koi Fish Nian Gao and Homemade Caramel Walnuts with Sesame with their orders.
And the awesome feasting begins!
Flourishing Prosperity Yusheng with Fresh Lobster, Alaskan Crab, Hokkaido Scallop, Norwegian Salmon, Salmon Roe and Japanese Kelp: 大顺齐捞起 (龙虾、阿拉斯加蟹肉、北海道带子、三文鱼、鲑鱼子、昆布)
Having Yusheng is almost a must during every Chinese New Year as it signifies prosperity. We tried the Yusheng at Hai Tien Lo during the Media tasting session, which was one of the most lavishly decorated I have had. The Flourishing Prosperity Yusheng comes with Lobster, Alaskan Crab, Hokkaido Scallop, Norwegian Salmon and Japanese Kelp. Personally, I like the mix of ingredients, especially the seafood components which were so fresh. There couldn’t be a better way to usher in the new year.
There is a range of six different Yusheng platters to choose from, priced between $38 and $228 and are available in both small and large sizes.
Double-boiled Abalone, Fish Maw, Dried Scallops, Sea Cucumber and Fermented Black Garlic: 糖心黑蒜鲍鱼海味盅
Chinese soup is almost a must in every Cantonese restaurant, which is always a pleasure to have for it. It must be the technique of preparing soup using the double-boiled technique by Hai Tien Lo’s Executive Chef Lai, as I sipped the thick soup in all richness to the last bit. While the huge abalone was no doubt the star highlight of the soup, I was also pleasantly surprised by the fermented black garlic in the soup, which is supposedly very nourishing and prized as well. My mum will definitely love this soup.
Chef’s Signature Trio of Treasure: 洋洋得意三宝点 (巧手小蜜蜂, 南乳脆皮乳猪件, 发财翡翠饺)
(Deep-fried Dumplings with Squids Paste and Salted Egg, Crispy Barbecued Suckling Pig with Fermented Taro Curd Sauce and Steamed Dumplings with Prawns, Vegetables and Black Moss)
It was not difficult for all our attention to be arrested when this platter was served, which we spotted the huge Crispy Barbecued Suckling Pig, a signature dish in every Cantonese cuisine. The suckling pig was succulently done, best to have without any sauce for me as this is the best way for me to appreciate the taste of the meat.
Accompanying the suckling pig was the Deep-fried Dumplings with Squids Paste and Salted Egg, creatively shaped like a cute honey bee which was so irresistible to have. The Steamed Dumplings with Prawns, Vegetables and Black Moss is the third instalment to the Chef’s Signature Trio of Treasure, which showcased the exceptional dim sum quality at Hai Tien Lo.
Steamed Sea Perch Fillet with Preserved Meat and Shredded Ginger: 丝腊味蒸白鲈鱼
While we like the steamed fish taste on its own, the overall taste of the dish taken together was significantly masked by the preserved meat (“Lap Cheong”). Personally, we thought that this combination of ingredients could have been better complemented and it would be perfect.
Stewed Inaniwa Udon with Lobster and Truffles Sauce in Supreme stock: 金汤龙虾松露酱焖稻庭面
Undoubtedly one of our favourite dish at Hai Tien Lo, the truffle smell was unmistakable as the dish was served before us. The supreme stock was as delicious as it sounds, which was truffle infused. The thick stock blended well with the stewed Udon, and credit goes to the firm yet chewy texture of the udon as well.
Double-boiled Imperial Swiftlet’s Nest with Maltose: 美颜桃胶炖官燕
And the best way to end off an already awesome meal with a bang? The Double-boiled Imperial Swiftlet’s Nest with Maltose came with rich and generous portions of the bird’s nest, done to a sweetness level just right for me. Traditionally regarded as an ingredient good for the skin, this would no doubt be the sweetest way to end off a good meal thus far.
Petit Homemade Pineapple Tart and Nian Gao: 旺来美点双辉
I also had the homemade Pineapple Tart, a twist to the usual version as the pineapple filling was contained within the crust instead. The petite version is certainly a plus for the calories conscious folks. As for the Nian Gao, it was tastefully wrapped with a crispy layer of peanut coating, which reminded me of the taste of Muah Chee.
Will I return again? With so much to offer, it is no wonder how satisfied I was after this session. It usually requires reservation weeks in advance for good Chinese restaurants during the Chinese New Year period, which I am sure you will leave feeling impressed after a meal at Hai Tien Lo. Time to pamper your folks for a good meal this new year.
Make your reservation instantly at Hai Tien Lo here.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
Hai Tien Lo
7 Raffles Boulevard, Pan Pacific Hotel Level 3
Tel: +65 6826 8240
Lunch – 11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner – 6:30pm to 10:30pm