Chinese New Year survival guide: Where to eat

Civil servant Soh Chee Peng, 58, remembers a time when most Chinese eateries were shuttered during Chinese New Year.

"If I wanted to eat out during the first two days, there was only Malay, Indian or fast food," he says.

Now, the situation is different. Instead of taking time off, restaurants, coffee shops and food courts are cashing in on the holiday cheer, staying open for business in what used to be a F&B black-out period: the first two days of Chinese New Year.

One newcomer cashing in on the festive period is Restaurant Home, which serves hearty, home-style Chinese dishes at Rail Mall in Upper Bukit Timah Road. The eatery will be open throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year.

Its owner and chef, Mr Tan Yong Kang, 44, says he has decided to remain open to maximise revenue in a time of economic slowdown.

During Chinese New Year, he reckons that revenue increases by 50 to 60 per cent.

"For a Chinese restaurant, this is the best period to increase your revenue. Nowadays, most people like to dine out."

Some restaurants, such as Hua Ting Restaurant at Orchard Hotel and Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin, have been staying open throughout the festive period for many years.

Mr Richard Ong, 56, Orchard Hotel's general manager, says: "We have maintained this tradition for more than 20 years to show appreciation, share happiness and usher in prosperous beginnings with our guests, many of whom are loyal supporters."

Ms Patricia Yong, 37, Marina Mandarin's director of marketing communications, says: "Many long-time customers have been taking their families - children and grandchildren - here to celebrate.

"There is no way we will not operate during Chinese New Year. It is our busiest time of the year."

This period will be tough for its staff, who are mainly Mandarin- speaking Malaysians, she acknowledges.

"But they have worked here a long time and professionalism is ingrained in them. The hotel will also ensure they can take the days off that they have accumulated during non-peak periods."

During Chinese New Year, Hua Ting hires more part-timers - and pays them a higher rate than usual - to cope with demand.

At Restaurant Home, all staff have their leave frozen for all 15 days of Chinese New Year, so the restaurant can operate at full strength.

However, Mr Tan assures that all staff who work during this period are paid a higher rate for working on a public holiday.

They will also get to take a break after Chinese New Year, when the restaurant closes for four days.

He says: "That will be the time for our staff to have a good rest and spend time with their family."

bang@sph.com.sg

OPEN ON THE FIRST TWO DAYS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR

CHINESE RESTAURANTS

Canton Paradise

- I12 Katong, AMK Hub, The Star Vista and Bedok Mall outlets; 10.30am to 10pm

- Alexandra Retail Centre outlet; 10.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30 to 9.30pm

Din Tai Fung

Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown Point, Jem, Junction 8, Jurong Point, Nex, Paragon, Parkway Parade, Raffles City, Resorts World Sentosa, Tampines Mall, The Seletar Mall and Waterway Point outlets; 11am to 10pm

Hua Ting Restaurant

Orchard Hotel, tel: 6739-6666; 11am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Jiang-Nan Chun

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, tel: 6831 -7220; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm

Jing Seafood Restaurant

01-02 One Fullerton, tel: 6224-0088; noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant

Sheraton Towers Singapore; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Majestic Restaurant

New Majestic Hotel, tel: 6511-4718; 11.45am to 2.30pm, 6 to 10pm

Min Jiang

- Goodwood Park Hotel, tel: 6730-1704 ; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

- 5 Rochester Park, tel: 6774-0122; 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Paradise Dynasty

- Lot One, Westgate, One KM, VivoCity and Causeway Point outlets; 10.30am to 10pm

- Changi Airport T3 outlet; 7.30am to 11pm

Paradise Inn

- 313@somerset, Marina Square and Suntec City outlets; 11.30am to 10pm

- Bedok Point, City Square Mall, Thomson Plaza, West Coast Plaza, The Seletar Mall and Eastpoint Mall outlets; 11am to 10pm

- Changi Airport T1 outlet; 11am to 11pm Marina Bay Link Mall outlet; 11.30am to 9.45pm

Peach Blossoms

Marina Mandarin Singapore; noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Restaurant Home

394 Upper Bukit Timah Road, tel: 6465-1698; 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30 to 11pm

Summer Palace

Regent Singapore; noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm

NON-CHINESE RESTAURANTS

Carne & Caipirinha Brazilian Churrascaria

106 Clementi Street 12, 01-50, tel: 6464-0478; 5 to 11pm

Ciao@Singapore

8 Haji Lane, 01-01, tel: 6296-9688; 11.30 to 2am

Gemmills

110 Amoy Street, 01-02 (entrance from Gemmill Lane); tel: 6221-5564; 4 to 11pm

Gordon Grill

Goodwood Park Hotel, tel: 6730-1744; noon to 2.30pm, 7 to 10.30pm

Jamie's Italian

- 01-165 VivoCity, tel: 6733-5500; noon to 10pm

- 01-04 Forum The Shopping Mall, tel: 6655-7676; 10am to 10pm

Momiji Japanese Buffet

- 05-04 City Square Mall, tel: 6509-1193; 02-02 Revenue House, tel: 6253-2469; 11.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30 to 10pm

Moosehead Kitchen+Bar

110 Telok Ayer Street, tel: 6636-8055; 6 to 10.30pm

NamNam Noodle Bar

- Wheelock Place, Plaza Singapura and Raffles City outlets; 8am to 9.30pm

- Suntec City outlet; 10am to 3pm, 6 to 9.30pm

Salt Tapas & Bar

01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre, tel: 6837-0995; 11.30am to 11.30pm

Sakura International Buffet

Admiralty Park, Clementi Woods Park, Downtown East, Safra Jurong Club, Safra Tampines and Yio Chu Kang Stadium outlets; 11.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30 to 10pm

The Steakhouse

3B River Valley Road, 01-14, tel: 6332-1010; 6 to 11pm

RamenPlay

- Bedok Mall, Jem and Novena Square outlets; 11am to 10pm

- Resorts World Sentosa outlet; 10am to 10.30pm

OPEN ON SECOND DAY (FEB 9) CHINESE RESTAURANTS

CHINESE RESTAURANTS

Din Tai Fung

Bedok Mall, BreadTalk IHQ and Suntec City outlets; 11am to 10pm

Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant

Gardens by the Bay, below Flower Dome, tel: 6604-6604; 11.30am to 3pm, 5.45 to 9pm

Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant

201 Keppel Road, tel: 6272- 8822/6272-8988; 10.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Red House Seafood

- 68 Prinsep Street, tel: 6336-6080; 11am to 11pm

- The Quayside, tel: 6735 -7666; 11am to 11pm

NON-CHINESE RESTAURANTS

Jack's Place

Anchorpoint, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Panjang Plaza, Century Square, Great World City, Jem, Nex, OrangeTee Building, Parkway Parade, Safra Jurong Club, The Grandstand, West Coast Recreation Centre and Woodlands Civic Centre outlets; 5 to 10.30pm

Restaurant Hoshigaoka

Safra Toa Payoh, The Grandstand and Woodlands Civic Centre outlets; 5 to 10.30pm

Tambuah Mas Indonesian Restaurant

B1-44 Paragon, tel: 6733-2220; 11am to 10pm


This article was first published on January 31, 2016.
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