January 02, 2018

宴 Yàn Cantonese Cuisine @ National Gallery Singapore ~ A Wealth Of Lunar New Year Delights For CNY 2018

Even as Christmas is barely over, we're being constantly reminded that Chinese New Year (which falls on 16th and 17th February this year) is coming very soon! Malls are constantly playing the familiar tunes of "gong xi gong xi", and many restaurants have already rolled out their festive menus.

You might say... "it's still more a month away!" Well, it's always better to book earlier rather than later. I don't think anyone would want the stressful situation of not being able to secure a table at your intended restaurant, especially for the all-important reunion dinner.

For you who are in favor of Cantonese cuisine offering familiar flavors with modern presentation, 宴 Yàn Cantonese Cuisine at National Gallery would be a worthy venue to consider.

Located on the 5th floor of the iconic building, Yàn's spacious communal hall and its 3 private rooms are able to accommodate up to 150 guests.

Good for corporate luncheons, family dinners, and even intimate weddings. Definitely suitable for those "huat ah" CNY gatherings.

The restaurant's interior is contemporary and exudes very elegant vibes, but I find it quite a pity that the enclosed space doesn't offer any view of the city.

Food-wise, I've nothing to nit-pick about it. There is no good reason to, given the notable quality of the dishes that we've feasted on.

To welcome the lunar year of dog, Yàn has curated 7 set menus to cater to reunion of all sizes from couples, extended families to corporate gatherings.

Prices range from $118++ to $268++ per person.

Making an impression right from the beginning is the quintessential Lo Hei or prosperity toss.

Yàn offers presents two options: Salmon Prosperity Lo Hei, and the signature 'Shun De Style' Salmon & Yellowtail with Lobster Fillet Lo Hei featuring a tall base of crispy fried vermicelli shaped like a mountain.

Topped with slices of ginger, spring onion, capsicum, finely grounded peanuts and slices of fresh salmon and lobster fillet, the entire combination delighted with an amazing interplay of texture which was very well-complemented with a light, savory soy-based sauce that had a subtle citrusy touch. It was certainly memorable and an enjoyable change from the typical sweet plum sauce-based yu sheng.

Oh yes, the lo hei came with edible gold flakes!

The Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Sea Whelk was excellent as well, flavorsome every sip after being double-boiled in superior stock for 8 hours.

I would also recommend going for menu sets which offer the Signature Roast Crispy Suckling Pig served in 3-ways. My favorite is to just savor its perfectly-roasted thin and Crispy Skin on its own, and maybe another piece or two with housemade crepes and condiments.

This was followed by the Carved Shoulder which has a mixed of crispy skin and meat, and finally the Oven-baked Fillet with Lemongrass which showcased the pig in all its meaty pork fillet glory marinated in barbeque sauce and baked with lemongrass.

We also tried the Lobster Fillet with Egg White which can be ordered a-la-carte in addition to the CNY set menus. The dish pleased much with chunks of sautéed lobster meat coupled with silky, scrambled egg white. Its taste was delicate and easy on the palate.

Presented as an epitome of indulgence, the Braised Deluxe Seafood Platter (($38++ per pax) luxuriated with 9 premium delicacies including abalone, sea cucumber, dried oyster, fish lips, king grouper fillet, scallops, prawns, sea moss and conpoy.

It also has an auspicious name to match: 长长久久 – 'chiong chiong gao gao' – a play on the pronunciation of 'dog' in Cantonese, symbolizing longevity and enduring friendships, love and harmony.

This dish is available as an add-on to other set menus for a minimum of 4 persons, one day advance order required.

Our CNY feasting concluded with bowls of refreshing Chilled Peach Resin with diced honey dew and white fungus, and the housemade Pan-fried Nian Guo coated with aromatic grated coconut.

We left Yàn feeling impressed and highly-satisfied.

Yàn's Chinese New Year offerings are available from 1 February to 3rd March 2018, and now open to guest reservations. Best to plan ahead and book early to avoid disappointment.

宴 Yàn Cantonese Cuisine
Address: 1 St Andrew's Road, #05-02 National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957
Contact: +65 6384 5585
Website: http://www.yan.com.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YanCantoneseCuisine/
Operating Hours: Daily Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm & Dinner 6pm-10.30pm

Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST unless otherwise stated. Information is correct at point of published date.

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