Chinese New Year reunion dinner: 12 Chinese restaurant set meals under $60++/pax

Chinese New Year reunion dinner: 12 Chinese restaurant set meals under $60++/pax
PHOTO: Unsplash

We feel it too — that impending anxiety of what’s to come at a Chinese New Year (CNY) reunion dinner. After a two-year hiatus, nosy relatives are definitely all set and ready to conduct the traditional invasive interrogations.

Even if you haven’t gotten a partner yet or your kids’ end-of-year results were less than stellar, we’d like to think that there are still things to look forward to with this CNY.

For instance, what if we told you that you could enjoy your CNY reunion dinner at a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant for under $40 per pax? In this inflationary climate where we’re still reeling from a newly implemented GST hike, we call this a win.

If you’re not skipping the yearly festivities to catch Reunion Dinner the movie instead, here are our picks for the most affordable Chinese restaurant set meals this CNY. From zi char restaurants to vegetarian eateries, we’ve got you covered.

Kok Sen Restaurant ($38.80++/pax)

Chinese Restaurant Chinese New Year reunion dinner prices
Kok Sen Restaurant $38.80++/pax (8-10 pax)
Lai Huat Signatures $49.75++/pax (8 pax)
Xi Yan $49.88++/pax (minimum 4 pax)
Ban Heng $53.80++/pax (10 pax)
Dian Xiao Er $49.80++/pax (10 pax) to $58++/pax (6 pax)
Pu Tien $52.80++/pax (10 pax) to $59++/pax (2 pax)
Paradise Classic $58.80++/pax (8-10 pax)
Chin Lee Restaurant $58.80++/pax (8-10 pax)
Liang Kee Teochew Restaurant $57.80++/pax (8-10 pax)
Mouth Restaurant $59.80+/pax (10 pax)
Ling Zhi Vegetarian $49.70++/pax (6 pax)
Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant $49.80++/pax (10 pax); $49.50++ (4 pax)

Location: 4 Keong Saik Road

A CNY set menu for under $40 per pax? At a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant? Yes, you heard right. We’re starting off this list with the most affordable restaurant for CNY we never thought we’d find — Kok Sen Restaurant

A family-run operation, Kok Sen Restaurant is currently helmed by the third generation of the Wong family. This Cantonese-style zi char restaurant is a hot favourite among Singaporeans, with queues expected all day every day.

It’s also a regular feature in the annual Singapore Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand award—proof that good food doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag.

And in November 2022, Kok Sen Restaurant upgraded their premises from open-air eatery to slick, air-conditioned restaurant—well in time for your CNY reunion dinner. 

For CNY, Kok Sen Restaurant has two CNY set menus. Set A is the more affordable option, priced at $388++ for a party of 8-10 pax:

  • Prosperity Lo Hei
  • Deep Fried Soon Hock Fish
  • Crispy Roasted Chicken
  • Luo Han Vegetables
  • Salted Egg Prawn Balls
  • Sweet & Sour Pork Chop
  • Claypot Yong Tau Foo
  • Stir-Fried Noodle
  • Dessert

Lai Huat Signatures ($49.75++/pax)

Locations: 23 China Street, #01-01; 387 Guillemard Road; 17 Upper East Coast Road; 20 Jln Tampang

Ask any local to name a zi char buffet here in Singapore, and they’ll either look at you funny or name Lai Huat Signatures.

Although most famous for their 70-dish zi char buffet at their China Street outlet, Lai Huat Signatures also has some pretty value for money CNY set menus.

Each of their 4 outlets has slightly different menus. For groups of 5 or 8, the Geylang outlet is the most affordable. Their 5-pax menu is priced at $268+ ($53.60+/pax) and the 8-pax one at $398++ ($49.75++/pax). Both feature arguably the restaurant’s most famous dish — their Signature Lai Huat Sambal Fish, which they’re been serving since 1951. Here’s the 8-pax set menu:

  • Prosperous Yu-Sheng with Abalone
  • Signature Sambal Fish
  • Fish Maw Soup with Crabmeat Stock
  • Broccoli with Scallops
  • Emperor Chicken
  • Poached Live Prawns
  • Ee Fu Noodles Canto Style
  • Dessert

If you have a party of 10, Lai Huat’s Sembawang outlet offers the most affordable set menu at $49.80/pax.

Xi Yan ($49.88++/pax)

Locations: 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-12/13; 2 Paya Lebar Road, #01-06/07/08,  PLQ Parkside (below Park Place Residences)

Xi Yan originally started out as a private dining restaurant on Craig Road. It’s since expanded, and now helms 2 casual dining restaurants: Xi Yan @ Shaw Centre, and the newly opened Zing by Xi Yan @ PLQ Parkside. 

If you’re feeling fancy, they also have a modern dining and bar concept at Maxwell (but its prices are way out of the scope of this article!).

One good thing about Xi Yan is that their CNY set menus start at a minimum of 4 pax, and can be easily adjusted to accommodate additional diners at the same rate. So if you’re having reunion dinner as a small family or have an odd number in your party, this is a good option.

The cheapest set menu is the Happiness 6 Course Set, which is available at both the Shaw Centre and PLQ outlets. At $49.88++/pax (minimum four pax), here’s what you’ll get:

  • Xi Yan Signature Salmon And Ikura (Salmon Roe) Prosperity Yu Sheng
  • Triple Loaded Ginger Chicken
  • Lion’s Head (Pork, Prawns, Water Chestnut In Consomme)
  • Prawns In Fermented Bean Curd Miso Sauce With Korean Nian Gao
  • XO Fried Rice XO
  • Handmade Ice Cream

Psst, while you’re there, don’t forget to pick up their Handmade Gula Melaka Nian Gao ($16/cake). You’ll have to pre-order your cake at least two days in advance, but judging from their already sold out pineapple tarts, it’ll be worth the forward planning.

ALSO READ: Chinese New Year 2023 takeaways: Lo Hei, pen cai and sweet treats to enjoy at home

Ban Heng ($53.80++/pax)

Locations: Boon Keng, Orchid Country Club

A crowd favourite for their economical Teochew-style buffets, Ban Heng also has a reasonably priced CNY reunion dinner set menu at their Boon Keng outlet.

Boasting Shark’s Fin Soup and Steamed Live Sea Garoupa, Menu AA is their most affordable set menu at $538++ for 10 pax ($53.80++/pax). Despite being the lowest cost, it looks pretty sumptuous:

  • Good Luck & Prosperity Yu Sheng
  • Shark’s Fin Soup with Shredded Dried Scallops & Crab-meats
  • Steamed Live Sea Garoupa Fish in Hong Kong Style
  • Braised Chicken with Chinese Herbs
  • Braised Whole Abalone (10-Headed) with Seasonal Vegetables
  • Poached Live Prawns in Superior Stock
  • Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage in Lotus Leaf
  • Sweetened Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts

This year at Ban Heng, reunion dinner isn’t just about the food. If your family is ok with having reunion dinner a day early (20 January 2023), book a table at the Boon Keng outlet’s Alfresco Reunion Dinner Hall to enjoy a Dragon & Lion Dance show while you eat. On top of that, you’ll get 10% off your total bill. Feast your eyes on that!

Don’t care for any lion dance entertainment? If good food at reasonable prices is all you ask for, consider ordering home delivery from Ban Heng instead. Starting at $49.80++/pax (10 pax), their home delivery menus are even more affordable than their dine-in menus. And unlike their 10-pax dine-in menus, Ban Heng’s home delivery sets also have options for 5-pax groups.

Dian Xiao Er ($49.80++/pax)

Locations: Jurong Point, JEM, Lot One, Hillion Mall, VivoCity, Marina Square, Northpoint City, Junction 8, Nex, Waterway Point, Bedok Mall, Tampines 1, Causeway Point, Jewel Changi Airport, City Square Mall, Downtown East

Walk into any two malls in Singapore and we bet at least one of them will have a Dian Xiao Er outlet. You’re bound to have heard of this affordable Chinese restaurant, but what you may not know is that Dian Xiao Er has some really value for money CNY set menus as well.

All their CNY set menus include their Signature Herbal Roast Duck and Braised Abalone. Their most affordable one is the 8-course Celebration Set:

  • Prosperity Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng
  • Signature Herbal Roast Duck
  • Spinach with Conpoy and Mushrooms
  • Prosperity Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs with Pine Nuts
  • Fish Maw Thick Soup with Seafood and Conpoy 
  • Braised Abalone with Egg Tofu in Special Miso Sauce
  • Steamed Fish Slices in Soy Sauce
  • Braised Sea Cucumber and Mushrooms with Fish Maw

Starting at $498++/10 pax ($49.80++/pax), this set menu will cost you up to $58++/pax for a party of 6—which is still within our $60/pax requirement.

Pu Tien ($52.80++/pax)

Locations: Kitchener Road, VivoCity, Marina Square, Tampines Mall, Jurong Point, Parkway Parade, Holland Village, NEX, Resorts World Sentosa, Raffles City, ION Orchard, Northpoint, SingPost Centre, Jewel Changi Airport, Great World, Marina Bay Sands, Westgate, Causeway Point, Waterway Point

Michelin-starred casual dining Chinese restaurant Pu Tien doesn’t need any introduction. And with more and more outlets popping up in shopping malls across the island, dining at Pu Tien has become as convenient as it is delicious. 

For CNY, you have 2 set menus to choose from: The more affordable Prosperity Set Meal, and the fancier Fortune Set Meal.

The Prosperity Set Meal will cost you $52.80++/pax ($528++/10 pax) if you dine in a group of ten, and $59++/pax ($118++/2 pax) if you’re dining as a couple.

Here’s the sample menu for 10 pax:

  • Prosperity Yusheng (Abalone)
  • Braised Abalone with Pork Belly
  • Yellow Croaker in Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • Prosperity Prawns
  • Deep-fried Chicken with Garlic
  • Homemade Bean Curd with Prawns
  • Scallop & White Beech Mushroom in XO Sauce
  • Stew Muscovy Duck Soup with Black Garlic
  • Longevity Noodles
  • Peanut Soup with Glutinous Rice Balls

Do note that smaller groups get fewer items and/or substituted dishes, so it’s best to go in a group of 10 if you can.

Paradise Classic ($58.80++/pax)

Locations: Jewel Changi Airport, Marina Bay Link Mall, Resorts World Sentosa, Suntec City Mall

Paradise Group has a host of different restaurant concepts, each offering their own unique CNY reunion dinner set menu. Most don’t come cheap, with many of their CNY set meals easily costing over $100++/pax.

The most affordable set menu we found is the Success set menu (page 4) at Paradise Classic. It’ll cost you $588++ and feeds 8 to 10 diners. Assuming you’re all light eaters and come in a group of ten, that’s $58.80++/pax. Here’s the menu:

  • Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng
  • Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Cordyceps Flower
  • Deep-fried Marble Goby with Supreme Soya Sauce
  • Crisp-fried Crystal Prawn with Broccoli
  • Imperial Pork Rib with Almond Flakes
  • Pickled Ginger Chicken
  • Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage
  • Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Lemonade

The only issue is that this set menu isn’t available on the eve of CNY. So unless your family is willing to have reunion dinner a day or two off the mark, you’ll have to spend more on their other set menus. The next most affordable option is the Fortune set menu (page 4), priced at $65.80++/pax (8-10 pax).

Still want a taste of paradise without incurring the biggest restaurant bill of the year? Pick up Paradise Classic’s 5-course Prosperity set menu (scroll to the last page). A takeaway-only option, this set menu is suitable for a party of 5.

Chin Lee Restaurant ($58.80++/pax)

Location: Blk 115 Bedok North Road, #01-285; 33 Canberra Plaza #02-01~03

If your family is all Teochew nang and won’t accept any other aberrations variations of Chinese cuisine, reunion dinner is going to be a challenge. Teochew restaurants don’t really come cheap.

Not only is Chin Lee restaurant one of the most well-known Teochew restaurants in Singapore, it’s also one of the most affordable.

Tucked away on the ground floor of an HDB block, this Bedok eatery’s delicious, no-fuss Teochew fare has won the hearts of Singaporeans from East to West. Buoyed by the support of its loyal customers, Chin Lee has also opened a second outlet at Canberra Plaza.

Their CNY set meals start at $58.80++/pax for 10 pax:

  • Fa Cai Yu Sheng (Teochew Style)
  • Conpoy & Fish Maw with Crabmeat Thick Soup
  • Steamed Red Snapper Teochew Style
  • Roasted Chicken Flavour with Golden Garlic
  • Braised 10 Head Abalone with Garden Green
  • Poached Live Prawns in Superior Soya Paste Sauce
  • Fried Ee-Fu Noodles
  • Dessert of the Day

Liang Kee Teochew Restaurant ($57.80++/pax)

Location: 556 Macpherson Road, Singapore 368231

Another popular spot for Teochew fare is casual dining concept Liang Kee Teochew Restaurant. This restaurant was started by Teochew immigrant Ng Bak Liang, a vegetable seller who pivoted to become a chef and restaurant owner in 1974. Originally located along Tew Chew (Teochew) Street near the historic Ellenborough Market, Liang Kee has now found its home at Tai Seng.

Liang Kee has 3 CNY set menus for you to choose from. If you opt to dine at home, they also offer pick-up and delivery options for all 3 menus.

All 3 sets can feed anywhere between 4 to 10 people, and all serve a maximum of nine courses. However, you only get the full 9-course experience if you order the 8-10 pax set. Parties of four or five only get menu items one-seven, and parties of six or seven only get items one-eight.

The most affordable CNY set menu from Liang Kee is the Hundred of Fortune one. With a group of 8-10 pax, here’s what you’ll get for $578++:

  • Liang Kee Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng
  • Sea Cucumber Fish Maw Thick Soup
  • Steamed Pomfret / Marble Goby (diners’ choice)
  • Teochew Braised Duck 
  • Teochew Braised Fa Cai Cabbage
  • Braised Fried E-Fu Noodle 
  • Yam Paste With Pumpkin & Gingko Nuts
  • Teochew Cold Sweet Prawns
  • Creamy Salted Egg Pork

ALSO READ: What to eat on the 1st and 2nd day of CNY that's not hotpot, McDonald's, KFC or Malay food

Mouth Restaurant ($59.80+/pax)

Location: 38 Maxwell Rd, #01-01/02 Airview Building

Mouth Restaurant is a popular spot in Maxwell that boasts handmade Hong Kong-style dim sum, Peking duck, and classic Cantonese dishes.You’ll see some of these signature dishes in its 2023 CNY reunion dinner menu.

What’s unique about Mouth Restaurant is that they cater to halal and vegetarian diets as well. So if you have a multi-racial, multi-religious family, Mouth Restaurant is definitely worth checking out.    

They’re always fully booked on the eve of CNY way ahead of time, and 2023 is no exception. However, if your family is alright with having reunion dinner on another day, their CNY menus are available from now to 5 February 2023.

At $59.80+/pax for 10 pax, Set C is their most affordable CNY menu. There’s also no 10% service charge, so you only have to add the 8% GST surcharge to your total bill. Here’s what you can expect from Set C:

  • Prosperity Duo Fish Yu-Sheng Fried White Bait Fish & Fish Skin
  • Mother’s Dim Sum Combination
  • Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Fish Maw
  • Deep Fried Soon Hock with Blended Soya Sauce
  • Braised Abalone with Mushroom and Vegetable
  • Roasted Sakura Chicken
  • Sakura Prawn Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausages
  • Double Boiled Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Ball

Ling Zhi Vegetarian ($49.70++/pax)

Location: Liat Towers #05-01, 541 Orchard Road

Don’t worry about missing out if you go vegetarian for your reunion dinner—Ling Zhi Vegetarian puts its own spin on classic Chinese dishes and doesn’t skimp on premium ingredients. Truffle mushroom bisque, any one?

Their most basic CNY set menu, Set Menu C, is priced at $298++/6 pax, which works out to around $49.70++/pax. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Prosperity Vegetarian ‘Yu Sheng’
  • Truffle Mushroom Bisque served in Stone Pot
  • Sautéed Honey Beans and Mixed Fungus
  • Monkey Head Mushroom served with Marmite Sauce
  • Bag of Treasures
  • Steamed Glutinous Rice with Wild Rice
  • Red Bean Paste with Lotus Seeds and Glutinous Rice Ball
  • Pan-fried ‘Nian Gao’

Not a party of 6? You can consider Ling Zhi Vegetarian’s CNY Set Menu A. Featuring vegetarian shark’s fin and mushroom balls in truffle sauce, this set dinner is priced at $58++/pax with no minimum pax restrictions.

Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant ($49.80++/pax)

“Meatless does not mean tasteless,” affirms Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant. With a 4.4 star rating on Google based on almost 400 reviews, they seem to be holding up to its promise.

For CNY, Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant has 3 CNY set menus. These range from a sumptuous six-course set for three - four pax to a nine-course feast for eight - ten pax. All set menus are below $60/pax, but you’ll get to enjoy a larger variety of dishes if you go in a bigger group.

Their most value for money set menu is the eight-ten pax one. At $498++, it’ll set you back by $49.80++/pax if you dine as a party of ten. Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Happiness Yu Sheng
  • Prosperity Vegetarian Sharks’ Fin
  • Happy Reunion Yam Ring
  • Teochew Steamed Vegetarian Fish with Cloud Fungus
  • Ginseng Herbal Vegetarian Chicken
  • Vegetarian Abalone with Mushroom and Seasonal Greens
  • Creamy Pumpkin Vegetarian Prawn
  • Vegetarian Ham, Edamame, Mushroom Truffle Rice
  • Red Bean with Sweet Lotus Seeds

This article was first published MoneySmart.

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