Monday, January 16, 2012

Xin Cuisine CNY Highlights

Tossing for good luck
Familiar faces, familiar places.

I was glad to be able to have an early lo-hei with some fellow blogger friends at Xin Cuisine. We had good memories of the food from last Chinese New Year at this Holiday Inn Atrium restaurant.

Imagine this bugger charging at you!
So are you ready to charge into the new Dragon year?

This lobster certainly looks so!

It's the star in Xin’s Gold Leaf Australian Lobster, Canadian Geoduck Clam and Salmon Yusheng, which is part of its most lavish Bountiful Harvest set (S$3,999++ for 10). They use a whole lobster for this.

Xin’s Gold Leaf Australian Lobster, Canadian Geoduck Clam and Salmon Yusheng
Side view of the impressive ice tower upon which the various sashimi slices nest. I first saw this last year, and was totally blown away.

This year's yu sheng comes in the shape of a dragon
This year's yu sheng comes assembled in the shape of a dragon. There's more of the pickled and sweetened vegetables in order to provide the vibrant colours. But last year's pyramid-shaped offering tasted more refreshing because it didn't have so much of these.

HUAT AH! Yusheng for lo-hei
But it makes for a festive-looking dish nonetheless. Later on, we asked for extra crispy fritters. More symbolic "gold" too!

Pan-Fried Scallop with Eggplant in Japanese Miso Sauce
Xin Cuisine has also included in its festive menus certain customer favourites that are on the regular menu. Pan-Fried Scallop with Eggplant in Japanese Miso Sauce is one of those - each bite of these is somehow very comforting, like a homemade dish.

Steamed Garoupa Fillet with Beancurd with Light Soya Sauce
Steamed Garoupa Fillet with Beancurd with Light Soya Sauce - this dish has a very nice name in Chinese ending with 老少平安 (old and young peacefully safe). It somewhat alludes to the fish and beancurd as similar to parent and child in terms of colour and texture.

Prosperity Pen Cai
And here is the Prosperity Pen Cai (S$398 for 10 pax, S$298 for 6 pax). It features a whopping 17 ingredients: Lobster, Abalone, Shark’s Fin, Fish Maw (two kinds - 花胶 and 鱼肚), Sea Cucumber, Dried Oyster, Dried Scallop, Wolf Berry, Fresh Scallop, Jelly Fish, Mushroom, Sea Moss, Bamboo Pith, Radish, Sea Whelk and Chinese Cabbage.

This is more of a delicate seafood-based pen cai. If you prefer something more robust and meaty, they have other versions like the Imperial Pen Cai, which has deer tendon and goose web among its ingredients.

Deep Fried Xin’s nian gao
And what's Chinese New Year without some nian gao? These were nice, because they weren't too sweet or sticky.

Sesame coated glutinous rice balls with red bean paste and champagne
The dessert you do have to try is the Fried Sesame Ball with Red Bean and Chocolate Liqueur Filling. Inside this innocuous exterior is a champagne-infused truffle. Very potent!

Bird’s Nest with Almond Cream
Or soothe your satiated tastebuds with this Bird’s Nest with Almond Cream. Your skin will also thank you for it.

If you are still looking for a restaurant to celebrate Chinese New Year at, well, you shouldn't tarry. Xin Cuisine itself is almost fully booked. There might be a couple more tables for New Year's Eve, but that's about it.

Wherever you decide to celebrate - have a wonderful feast and fabulous reunion with friends and family!

Level 4, Holiday Inn Atrium
317 Outram Road
Singapore 169075
Tel: +65 6731-7173

Thanks to the lovely team at Holiday Inn Atrium for hosting this dinner!


  1. Hello there! I love your blog! I don't mean to be ignorant or rude, but while reading, I was just wondering, in your Prosperity Pen Cai, are there two different types of fish maw under the 17 listed ingredients? It seems to be repeated. :/

  2. Ah yes, thanks for pointing that out. There are actually two kinds of fish maw in this - 花胶 and 鱼肚. I will amend accordingly.

  3. Ah okay cool, by the way, I just wanted to say, (at the risk of sounding terribly patronising, I assure you, totally not!) that I loveeee your blog it makes me feel so much like being home! I'm currently studying in England so it's a bit tough sometimes food wise. lol! Thanks for the lovely pictures and posts!
    Btw, don't really know any chinese hehe. :) but no worries :)

  4. Hi, I'm a real big long time silent fan of yours : ) But recently I've seen so many invited tastings and promotional features on your blog that I'm feeling a bit uncertain about them. My sense is that if it's an invited tasting, the food tends to be made with more care. Just my 2 cents - I think the photos are lovely but it's tough to be objective about quality. I'd love to see more independent reviews, just like what you used to do.

  5. Thanks, anonymous 1. I can't really read what the first fish maw is in Chinese, so I can't translate, but the second one sounds like "fish stomach". Glad to know you're enjoying the posts!

    Hi anonymous 2: Thanks. You worded this so nicely, and I absolutely agree with you. I used to religiously have a 50-50 mix of invited and independent reviews. But I have not gone out to explore food as much during the past 2-3 months because my family and I have been sick. And the food that I did try was not either blogworthy or eaten when I didn't bring my camera along.

    In terms of invites, I have also been declining most of them because I just had less energy, and I only took on the more interesting ones. But moving forward, once I feel better, I'd love to do more independent reviews too for 2012. Thanks for following the blog all this while.


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