Like a big and bright bowl of salad, yee sang is designed to balance out all that holiday richness on the table. Greens is the theme but not the rule, so if you are still tossing around ideas for your Chinese New Year dinner, consider these options that will lift a festive staple from simple to sublime.
Prosperity Yee Sang with Locally Harvested Mantis Prawn and Sliced Black Truffle
Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Nothing motivates one to eat the rainbow more than a generous topping of shaved truffles. A standout platter is all about contrasts, in flavours and textures, and Yun House delivers with the help of a umami powerhouse. These tiny medallions contribute to the whole picture without necessarily stealing the show the same way a hefty seafood would. Of course, you don’t always need protein to make a yee sang memorable — there is a vegetarian superfood option with avocado and snow pear for a refreshing change.
Other toppings include Mexican Two Head Wild Abalone, locally-sourced caviar by T’lur, salmon fish belly and marinated jellyfish. Until Jan 24. Half portion from RM198. Book here.
Golden Prosperity Yee Sang with Bak Kwa
Four Points by Sheraton
From the original recipe to a slew of exciting new riffs, the secret of a yee sang’s success is its adaptability. And an update that never goes out of favour? Bak kwa. Smokier than bacon but chewier in texture, the pork jerky is a familiar addition to any dish that needs a flavour boost. The combination with vegetables and fruits does not exactly leap off the page but it is reliably delicious and decidedly festive.
RM118+ for half set; RM188 for full set. From Jan 27 to Feb 14. For reservations, WhatsApp 012 507 3327 or email [email protected].
Canadian Lobster and Jellyfish Yee Sang
The St Regis Kuala Lumpur
A triumphant yee sang is not aggressively seasoned or complicated in any way. With a little effort (and expense), it is possible to impress your boss and the discerning foodie in your life. Canadian lobster, its meat sweet and barely hinting of the sea, takes centre stage in this colourful appetiser that can easily transition into a celebratory main. The flavours could not be more straightforward — it is a dish that showcases freshness in its best light.
RM554+ (large portion, serves 10); RM309+ (medium, serves six). Until Feb 24. Call 03 2727 6696 or email [email protected] for reservations.
Alaskan crab, Hokkaido scallops yee sang
EQ Kuala Lumpur
EQ KL’s annual Golden Phoenix Pop-up Restaurant makes a comeback with new Cantonese and Szechuan dishes for the festive season, but the luxurious yee sang selections alone are worth securing a table. At the top of the list is EQ’s Premium Australian lobster yee sang dotted with fish roe pearls, but premium seafood lovers would also adore the Alaskan crab and Hokkaido scallops yee sang. Feel free to pile on the toppings (priced by portions) if you wish for an extra bountiful toss. After all, the Year of the Wood Dragon is expected to bring added prosperity and good fortune.
Premium Australisn lobster yee sang, RM488 for half set; RM888 for full set. Alaskan crab and Hokkaido scallops yee sang, RM228 for half set; RM448 for full set. From Jan 29-Feb 24. Book here.
Yee Sang with Shredded Roasted London Duck
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
If you are a fan of London-style roast duck (made famous by the likes of the city’s Little Four Seasons and Gold Mine), Tao Chinese Cuisine’s star platter is a must-try for the Lunar New Year. Make it a proper protein-rich salad by topping up the duck with either half of or a whole bird, or add other ingredients, such as abalone heads or scallops, to make it unique to your tastes. On a different note, vegetarians or those adamant about their health goals would be happy to know that the Chinese restaurant also offers a yee sang with dragon fruit, star jelly and chia seeds.
Yee Sang with Shredded Roasted London Duck, RM138 for half set; RM238 for full set. Yee Sang with Dragon Fruit, Star Jelly and Chia Seeds, RM118 for half set; RM208 for full set. From Jan 15-Feb 24. Book here.
Sea Urchin and Tobiko Yee Sang
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Underscored with a luscious blackcurrant dressing, Lai Po Heen’s prosperity salad is chock-full of the traditional shredded and pickled ingredients you know and love. While the MO Signature Yee Sang boasts succulent pieces of Australian lobster and caviar, the one crowned with sea urchin and tobiko (fish roe) offers a unique minerality that will stand apart from all the auspicious tosses you will take part in this year. Lai Po Heen’s festive menus have always been a perennial favourite for reunion dinners, so if you are there on Feb 9 or 10, look out for Choi San Yeh or the “God of Wealth” as he will make a special appearance with red packets in tow.
MO Signature Yee Sang, RM888 for full set. Sea Urchin and Tobiko Yee Sang, RM260 for half set; RM520 for full set. Jan 28-Feb 24. For dining reservations, call 03 2330 8798 or email [email protected].