Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Oxpicious Picks Part 2

Are we ramping up to CNY yet? Got your crisp new notes, gaudy collapsible plastic pineapple, and pussy willows? We’ve been combing through the cornucopia of competitively creative curiosities on offer from hotels and restaurants and here are a few more picks that caught our eye since our post last week.

While I’m sure we are waaay beyond trying to earn brownie points with relatives (close, tenuous or just plain imposed), this food-filled pastry ‘ingot’ from Peony-Jade and Quayside Seafood is bound to please any traditional-minded relative. The Prosperity Golden Ingot ($$138++, serves six) is filled with golden conpoy, dried golden oysters, pork knuckles, black moss and shiitake mushrooms encased in a crust and oven-baked for four hours. What’s more, it comes with a mallet so you can pound open the crust...just like an edible, Chinese piñata. What a hoot to have at your CNY spread!

By the way, if no one’s cooking for the reunion dinner but Grandma wants to stay home, the restaurant also offers takeaway set menus: an eight-course menu ($168) for three to four people; a nine-course menu ($268) that feeds five to six and a nine-course menu ($388) for 10 people. These menus all include a ‘yu sheng’ dish. Call the restaurant for details.

Available 18 Jan – 9 Feb at:
Peony-Jade, Clarke Quay (Tel: 65 6338 0305); Peony-Jade, Keppel Club (Tel: 65 6276 9138); and Quayside Seafood (Tel: 65 9181 8467)
(One day’s advance order required)

If you need to do your little CNY giveaways (they call it “nian huo”, don’t they?), I’d say something more elegant and lady-like is a more suitable reflection of the giver…even if your recipient likes them loud, glittering and gaudy (preferably with plastic please!). We like this very tasteful foursome by the Four Seasons Hotel – The Prosperity Box ($48++), which contains four pastries filled with water chestnut, pineapple, rose-flavoured lotus paste and black sesame. Isn’t it packaged just sumptuously? Then again, why give it away and deny yourself the treat? Goodness knows, we work hard enough!

Available 2 - 23 Jan at:
Jiang-Nan Chun
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Tel: (65) 6831 7220
(Three days’ advance order is advised)

Then there’s Goodwood Park Hotel’s Mandarin Orange Pound Cake ($48++)….if, for nothing else, the packaging alone. It's auspiciously round, sports two lucky fish and mandarin orange flavoured. Granny will like! 

According to the press release, it’s back by popular demand. Given its repeat performance, then, perhaps this little beauty is more than skin deep! I'll take one

Available 6 Jan – 9 Feb at:
Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Tel: (65) 6737 7411

Eight-treasures goose, eight-treasure soup, eight-treasure tea....all things eight-treasured is a Good Thing for the season. But struggling with the eight treasures in the kitchen may be a task we can do without. 

Min Jiang at One-North offers for takeaway a 2-kg braised Prosperity ‘Fa Cai’ 8 Treasures (boneless) Duck ($138++, serves six) stuffed with ‘eight treasures’ of barley, black moss, sea cucumber, dried scallops, flower mushrooms, Lingzhi mushrooms, fresh chestnuts and water chestnuts. Pretty impressive for your CNY spread at home.

Available 9 Jan – 9 Feb at:
Min Jiang at One-North
Tel: (65) 6774 0122

Crossing borders and blurring lines, they’ve now taken “lo hei” into the realms of Sunday brunch at The Greenhouse at the Ritz Carlton. At $145++ per head, it’s a pretty penny to pay, but then again, they’ve laid out a premium spread too. Aside from vintage bubbly, you’ve got a foie gras station, the loh hei station with abalone and fish, lobster station where you get Boston lobsters, Spanish tapas, oysters (two kinds at least), sashimi, roasts, a cheese spread with 65 varieties, the usual brunch offerings and hot dishes, desserts and a whole lot more...basically, a gargantuan spread with almost everything you might desire. Taking place only on 1 Feb (which falls on the 7th day of CNY and therefore symbolically ‘Everyone’s Birthday’), the Ritz Carlton’s Lo Hei Vintage Champagne Brunch is pricey, but hey, it’s ok to give in once in a while. (Having said that, 6-12 year olds have to pay a whopping $72.50 each, so I’d leave them at home!)

Available 1 Feb only at:
The Greenhouse at Ritz Carlton
7 Raffles Avenue
Tel: (65) 6337 8888


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