. festive gourmet food trail .

Let me take you on a gastronomic journey!

Gong Xi Fa Cai Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant
Ngee Ann City

Started our meal with a cup of refreshing Honey Ginseng Tea (the Chinese equivalent to Amuse Bouche) to cleanse our palette so that it will be easier for us to appreciate the distinct flavours of the multi-course meal. 

The auspicious Pen Cai (also know as 盆菜 in Mandarin) is 1 of the most popular Chinese dishes for families during the Chinese New Year reunion dinner. It is, essentially, a pot filled with premium food 

bearing auspicious meanings (black moss signifying wealth; dried oyster indicating happy news). As such, there is no better way to usher in the Lunar New Year than to feast on this pot of Pen Cai together with your family and receive good blessings and happiness for the year ahead.Stewed to perfection, the Pen Cai from Crystal Jade was extremely tasty and a gastronomic delight! Costing just under $500 for this pot of Pen Cai (which can feed up to 10 pax), this dish doesn’t come cheap but considering the fact that it is brimming with delicacies and all the goodness, it is definitely worth the money for the yearly affair. 

For those who love seafood and Chinese delicacies 
1st plate consisting of abalone, preserved oyster, mushroom, fish maw and dried scallop
Meat Lovers Galore
2nd plate consisting of roasted duck meat, black fungus, sea cucumber and pork knuckle

Veggie Paradise
3rd plate consisting of yam, cabbage, bean curd skin and radish

Catch the renown Chefs in action

Those who know me well enough would know that I’m a sucker for sliced fish soup! To many, they wouldn’t be caught having a bowl of sliced fish soup
unless they were sick (aka a “sick food”). Well, they might just change their minds after tasting this bowl of sliced fish that was cooked to perfection right in front of our eyes. The soup was flavourful from all the wholesome goodness that has been boiled over several hours.

Eight Treasures Glutinous Rice

As the name states, this dish is made up of 8 different ingredients (all carrying auspicious significance). 

Western-Eastern fusion dessert 

Having visited many Chinese restaurants, I must admit that this was the very first time that I’m actually seeing a Western-influenced dish in an Oriental restaurant! The dessert was served in a fashion that’s very similar to what you might expect in a tasting menu at French and Italian restaurants. At one end, we have a “hot” dish – A sesame ball filled with custard; One the other side, we have a “cold” dish – An exotic fusion of Pulot Hitam and fruits. Yin-Yang combi, a stimulating sensory dessert for our taste buds!

A creamy mix of white chocolate and champagne oozing out of the sesame ball

My new found tasting buddy, fellow blogger Jeanine and me

Feasting aside, trust OMY and Wanbao to come up with a range of interactive activities (competitions and games) to keep the crowd going! We were encouraged to let our imagination run wild and get creative during the lantern making competition, which brought back memories of my primary school years!

Jeanine with our super impromptu hand-made “DURIAN” lantern. Honestly, we were pretty clueless about making a lantern (as you can tell, I didn’t pay attention during my Primary school arts & craft classes! lol) and were simply sticking the red packets together to form something. Truth to be told, we were almost embarrassed to parade our ridiculously shaped lantern on-stage when we took a quick glance at everyone else’s beautiful lanterns. Nonetheless, Jeanine managed to convince the judges that we are true blood Singaporeans as our lantern is designed after a durian thus giving it a unique design. Creativity rules and in the end, we won the 2nd spot! Can you believe that? We were speechless! 



It’s Christmas Time

Swissotel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road

Now that we were done with our CNY feast, it was time to bask in the Christmas atmosphere at Swissotel Merchant Court! Party poppers!! 🙂


Starting our Christmas meal with a fruit salad. An interesting mix of vegetables and fruits (pears, strawberries & raspberries) with honey roasted walnuts (love them!). An ideal dish for the health and weight conscious! 

What’s a Christmas meal without turkey? 
We were served a dish of turkey with cranberry & apricot stuffing for our main course. 

Love the fact that the kitchen crew had gone the extra mile to decorate the dish with garnishes like these carved carrot & radish.

All things must end with something sweet 
Fruit cake, served with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream

Jacqualine, Ah Lun, Jeanine and Yours truly

* Both group pics credit to Jeanine

Want to savour an array of mouth-watering dishes at a deal? Well, you’re in luck! Over the next few Saturdays, veteran food writer, Ah Lun, will be bringing a group of foodies to sample Christmas and Chinese New Year festive cuisines at several famous restaurants – From Sze Chuan Court @ Fairmount Hotel to Mandarin Hotel. 

Price: $108/pax or $88/pax for registration of 2 or more pax at a go
Click here for more details!

Upcoming Sessions for the month of November

12th Nov: Shin Yen Restaurant & Sze Chuan Court @ Fairmount Hotel
19th Nov: Thai Village Restaurant & Rendezvous Hotel
26th Nov: Tien Court @ Copthorne King’s Hotel & Mandarin Hotel

* Thanks to Alvin from OMY and Wanbao for extending this invitation to me to join them on this special festive food trail! 🙂 

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