The Lunar New Year festivities aren’t really complete without a little too much snacking, drinking or feasting in general – especially when every household you meet comes with a fully stocked pantry.
How about gifting something other than the typical traditional goodies this season? We’ve rounded up our picks that range from the luxe to the novel, perfect for gifting your family, friends and colleagues this year.
1. Blue Lotus and Tuck Lee
Critically-acclaimed Chinese restaurant Blue Lotus has collaborated with Tuck Lee to create a sumptuous Signature Norwegian Smoked Salmon yusheng dish you can gift to your loved ones or even your boss this year.
The beautiful red box falls open to reveal auspicious sayings all around the edge — no more having to refer to your phones for what to say during lo hei (though we must remind you that it should be a quiet affair this year).
Inside, the contents are no less luxurious. Tea-smoked salmon and deliciously crispy salmon skin take the dish to a whole new level, accompanied by walnuts, finely-diced almonds, and ten types of herbs and vegetables. Wild honey yuzu dressing adds a sweet finishing touch.
Order online here.
For this festive season, Penfolds has designed a Year of the Ox edition of its Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, with the auspicious symbol of a charging bull in red and gold.
“Bin 389 hits the synergistic sweet spot of red wine quality & price. It’s the wine that is often the exception in the cellar of those who usually only buy French, or boutique, or single-vineyard,” says Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago.
With notes of ripe dark chocolate and underlying new oak, it’s a fresh and buoyant blend, one of the most popular in the Australian market.
Available at 1855 The Bottle Shop and at major supermarkets. For purchases at 1855 The Bottle Shop, you’ll also receive limited-edition Penfolds red packets and a gift.
3. Noel Gifts
With 45 years in the hamper business, Noel Gifts has got their game down pat. Whether you’re looking for something special for business associates, or want to turn up to your Chinese New Year gathering with something grand in hand – they’ve got you covered.
Their Fortune Gift Hamper, for example, comes with premium goods like cans of abalone, wild ginseng, ready-to-drink bird’s nest, and Japanese dried scallops. The bundle is also chock full of festive treats – from Godiva chocolates to bak kwa coins for easy snacking.
Order online here. Tel: 6255-1155
4. Shang Palace
Executive chef Mok Kit Keung marks the half-century anniversary of the Shangri-La group and Chinese New Year with a red bean nian gao, graced by the inclusion of a rare 50-year aged tangerine peel which lends the dish a layer of sophisticated fragrance.
That, along with five other nian gao flavours including a three-layered nian gao comprising of purple sweet potato, Japanese pumpkin and traditional niangao, make for an auspicious and indulgent CNY celebration indeed.
Glenfiddich has revealed three Chinese New Year special-edition packs inspired by how people return to their homes during the period to celebrate with their families.
The vibrant, gorgeously designed boxes make great gifts and the whisky makes a great pairing for traditional Lunar New Year snacks like bak kwa and pineapple tarts.
Available with the Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask, plus the 12, 15 and 18 Year Old expressions. To sweeten the gifting experience, the brand has also created an Augmented Reality (AR) platform where you can create a personalised message to send together with the whisky.
Visit www.GlenfiddichAR.com to create your AR message.
6. Seriously Keto
We can’t leave non-carb eaters out of the fun (at least not too often). Seriously Keto, our island’s first bakery that’d pass muster for anyone on the ketogenic diet, can help with that.
They’ve de-carbed some New Year classics like cashew cookies and kueh bahulu, and added another decidedly non-traditional dessert with a magnificent pecan coconut tart. Naturally, it’s all gluten-free with zero added sugars – some could even say you’re eating healthy.
7. Feng Shui Inn
For traditional festive goodies, Chef Li Kwok Kwong’s Cantonese classics can’t be beat.
Whether its nian gao with a signature golden-ingot-shaped twist, or a handcrafted carrot cake with taro and golden oysters; as well as a healthful water chestnut cake suffused with lily bulbs and wolfberries that’s equal parts New Year delight and fortifying nosh.
8. Janice Wong
Sweets and goodies abound with Janice Wong’s latest collection of handcrafted treats. These include quintessential pineapple tarts and love letters, as well as noveau options like choc-bakkwa cookies – all available across a bevy of CNY hampers.
And, grandest of all, a showstopping centrepiece – chocolate koi, sold in pairs, that are hand-painted to look like, well, actual koi, coated with Equateur 76 per cent dark chocolate and filled with Praline Feuilletine and candied orange, all packed into a resplendent gold box.
Available here or at their two outlets.
9. Chiak Patisserie
Chef Chiak Seah Yang, who first started his journey at Antoinette before seeking tutelage from acclaimed culinary school Ferrandi Paris, has returned from abroad to continue doing what he does best – haute French desserts and pastries.
That includes New Year goodies – like fan favourite pineapple tarts, melt-in-your-mouth soft-ish coffee cookies (fashioned to resemble coffee beans) and mandarines – a longstanding visiting tradition turned trompe l’oeil dessert, where mandarin gel, flesh, love letter crumble and a Valrhona opalys shell are combined into a lifelike mandarin orange.
10. Marmalade Pantry
Homegrown brand Marmalade Pantry is offering a selection of perennial favourites, all packaged in gorgeous wineberry-pink containers.
Their Grand Treasures set comes with a selection of snacks including small, individually-wrapped portions of chicken bak kwa, as well as hand-rolled pineapple tarts and honey mustard roasted crackers.
There’s also something quite special to wash it all down: a bottle of Sandara Chardonnay & Sake, a hybrid drink that combines Valencian chardonnay grapes and the rice wine.
Available until Feb 26.
Order online, or purchase at any of Marmalade Pantry outlets.
Timeless Belgian chocolate expertise meets spring-style flavours with chef chocolatier Jean Apostolou of Godiva.
Limited-edition flavours include Bresilienne dark chocolate and strawberry milk chocolate squares, which come wrapped in red and gold (naturally); meanwhile, a trio of white chocolate raspberry orange, milk chocolate Piedmont praline and dark chocolate almond mousse get embossed with an ox motif.
Selections of these chocolates across a variety of sizes are available at any of Godiva’s five boutiques, or here.