We suss out Chinese restaurants for your CNY feasting.
Price guide (nett)
$ wallet-friendly (below $50)
$$ just can’t resist a splurge ($50-100)
$$$ a special occasion ($100-150)
$$$$ indulgence galore (above $150)
Certified halal [Halal]
Does not serve pork or lard [NPNL]
Kid-friendly facilities [Kid]
Bao Today Rendezvous Hotel [$]
#01-02 Rendezvous Hotel Singapore, 9 Bras Basah Road. Tel: 6336 5258
At this outlet, relish a larger assortment of dishes from their menu of 31 items, with even more on their buffet table ($16.80++ Mon-Fri & $19.80++ Sat-Sun, 3-5.30pm; $19.80++ Mon-Fri & $22.80++ Sat-Sun, 6-9.30pm) in bite-sized portions. Go for the crispy supreme chicken wings, liu sha bao, sliced abalone, steamed sliced fish with homemade Nyonya sauce and pan-fried champagne sliced pork.
Crystal Café [$]
Level 1 Orchard Grand Court Singapore, 131 Kiliney Road. Tel: 6830 2020
A value-for-money find in the heart of Orchard, the Taiwan porridge buffet ($13.80++, Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm, Mon-Thu 6-10pm; $15.80++, Fri 6-10pm, Sat-Sun 12-10pm) serves up traditional home-style dishes to accompany your hot gruel. It’s a good spread that includes their highly-raved-about braised pig trotters and chicken feet, and assorted desserts like durian pengat. We can see why Crystal Café has been around for over a decade.
Hotpot Culture [$]
#04-102A Gallerie @ Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 6338 7873
Besides their signature hotpot buffet, the mini restaurant has a hearty lunch porridge spread ($8.80++, Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm & Sat-Sun 12-3pm) too. Have your fill of Teochew-style sweet potato porridge with 24 accompanying buffet dishes like mapo tofu, hairy gourd, chye poh egg and kong bak pao. Free-flow homemade barley is on the house too.
Take fine dining to a new level with their weekend a la carte dim sum brunch buffet ($38++, Sat-Sun 11am-12.45pm & 1.15-3pm). Soak up the rich heritage of your surroundings as you savour dishes like deep-fried taro paste with truffle and mushroom, braised pork knuckle with ginger and sweet vinegar, and steamed osmanthus flavoured barbecued pork bun.
Jin Shan Lou [$]
#01-05 Tower 2 Lobby Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Tel: 6688 7733
Helmed by master chef Huang Qing Biao who has been in the industry for close to 50 years, Jin Shan Lou’s high-tea a la carte buffet ($16.80++, daily 3-5pm) will delight your palette with Cantonese, Hunan and Sichuan flavours. Steamed black truffle pork siew mai, roasted duck noodles or rice, and traditional brown sugar sponge cake are just some of the items that will whet your appetite.
Lao Beijing [$]
#02-11/12 Velocity @ Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road. Tel: 6358 4466
It’s easy to spot this traditional-style establishment amidst the modernity of Velocity. Lao Beijing’s high-tea buffet ($16.80++, Sat-Sun 3-5pm) offers a limited but delightful range of northern Chinese food. Specials would include the zha jiang noodles, steamed juicy meat buns and the signature Lao Beijing popiah (only for 4 pax and above).
LEE’s Taiwanese [$]
#03-05 Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Road. Tel: 6694 1588
The a la carte buffet (lunch $16.90++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-5pm; and dinner $19.90++ Mon-Fri 5pm onwards) brings us a taste of authentic Taiwanese grub. Load up on favourites like pig intestines and Taiwanese bee hoon, signature Taiwanese beef noodle soup, sweet potato fries and crispy chicken chop. No MSG is used.
LingZhi Vegetarian [$][Veg-friendly]
#03-09 Velocity @ Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road. Tel: 6538 2992
A healthier option for hotpot and dim sum buffet fare ($22.80++, Mon-Thu and $24.80++, Fri-Sun daily 11am-3pm; $24.80++, Mon-Thu and $26.80++, Fri-Sun, 6-10pm). Sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms and vegetarian kelp, are just some of the delights on offer. For something lighter they also have the weekend high-tea buffet ($14.80++, Sat-Sun 3-5pm) that serves mainly dim sum like crisp fried yam croquettes and steamed siew mai.
Quality Café [$]
G/F Quality Hotel Marlow, 201 Balestier Road. Tel: 6359 6856
Be bowled over by their Taiwan porridge buffet ($20.80++, Mon-Thu and $22.80++, Fri-Sun 6-10pm; $12.80++, Mon-Thu and $14.80++, Fri-Sun 10.30pm-12.30am). It boasts 31 a la carte dishes like braised pork belly with dark soya sauce, fried omelette with chye poh and sauteed chicken with dried chilli.
If you appreciate the burn from mala, this is the first place you should try (60 dishes deluxe feast: $40++, Mon-Thurs & $45++, Fri-Sun, PH and PH eve. Lunch: 11.30am-2.30pm and dinner: 6.30-10.30pm). The signature spicy-sour flavours are prevalent in most dishes, though there are exceptions like steamed bird’s nest prawn dumpling and deep-fried potato fritter with minced meat. For that numbing kick, try the Chong Qing diced chicken with dried chili and the signature mapo tofu. Don’t miss out on the skilled tea masters’ performance as they serve you hot teas from a long spouted kettle.
Swatow Seafood Restaurant [$]
#02-602 Block 181 Toa Payoh Lorong 4. Tel: 6363 1717
For Hong Kong style dim sum, opt for the high-tea buffet ($24 nett, Mon-Fri; $27 nett, Sat-Sun, 3-5pm), where you’ll order from retro roving pushcarts. Must-tries are their custard buns, char siew puffs and century egg porridge. Kueh pie tee, shark’s fin soup and duck meat roll are also part of the buffet, but are only limited to one serving per person. Reservations recommended.
TungLok Seafood [$]
Various locations including #11-05 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road. Tel: 6834 4888
Located in the heart of Orchard, you’ll be glad to find a hearty a la carte dim sum buffet spread ($26.80++, Sat 11.30am-3pm and Sun 10am-3pm, $38.80++, daily 6-10.30pm) which includes cold cuts like salmon sashimi and mini octopus, as well as salads on top of the usual dim sum fare.
Xin Man Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant [$][Veg-friendly]
#03-32 People’s Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street. Tel: 6438 0048/ 6536 5517
Here’s another vegetarian dim sum place you should stop by for lunch ($18.80++, Mon-Fri and $23.80++, Sat-Sun 11am-2.30pm). Gather your like-minded ‘kakis’, minimum four diners, and nosh on delicious chestnut siew mai, mushroom and spinach dumpling, and authentic Asian noodle dishes.
Picture traditional push carts, wooden chairs, and friends and family gathered with food and tea around marble tables. This Chinatown establishment’s weekday high-tea buffet ($23.80++, Mon-Fri 3-6pm) showcases over 60 Cantonese dim sum dishes. Staples such as har gao and siew mai are excellent, but do order new items like colourful seafood with pea shoot dumpling. The crispy red bean paste with banana filling, mini egg tarts and fried spring rolls are also not to be missed.
If you’re looking for traditional Cantonese cuisine with a modern twist, Hai Tien Lo’s dim sum lunch buffet ($56++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm) fits the bill. Indulge in deep-fried taro balls with minced chicken and quail egg, and steamed pork and prawn dumplings with fish roe. Finish your feasting on a sweet note with the complimentary chilled homemade beancurd with
Jing Seafood Restaurant [$$]
#01-02/03 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road. Tel: 6224 0088/ 6224 0033
As you walk in, the art installation Panorama of Jing (2008) will catch your eye with its use of acrylic, fabric and wood. But what really draws you to the restaurant is their weekend a la carte brunch buffet ($48++, Sat- Sun 12-2.30pm including free-flow Chinese tea). Fill your table with assorted dim sum, deep-fried soft shell crab in salted egg yolk, and ee-fu noodles with golden mushrooms. Don’t forget the chef’s recommendations of Monk Jumps Over the Wall with black truffle and stewed half Boston lobster (additional $18++ for each portion).
The first dim sum and mixology tasting of its kind, Mitzo’s a la carte dim sum buffet brunch ($118++ with free-flow cocktails, wines and beers, or $68++ for just food, Sat-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm) reinvents the conventional Chinese dining experience by pairing Cantonese delights with cocktails. Intricately plated dishes like the black custard bun, wasabi-infused baked fish and crystal vegetable dumplings are all worth a mention. Not forgetting the carbs—try their braised truffles udon and fried rice with egg, char siew and vegetables. Reservations recommended.
Yan Ting [$$$]
Level 1, The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road. Tel: 6506 6887
Have a fine affair at Yan Ting’s sumptuous a la carte dim sum brunch buffet ($108-168++, Sat-Sun 10.30am-12.30pm & 1-3pm). From steamed pork and shrimp dumpling with black truffles to double-boiled bamboo fungus consomme with cabbage and mushroom, as well as other traditional seafood and delectable desserts, your cravings are all covered with their spread. The pricier buffet includes free-flow “R” de Ruinart Brut champagne.