At times, just a single ingredient can make even the simplest yee sang shine. Though the quintessential Chinese New Year must-have is traditionally eaten as an appetiser before hearty mains, it can also be a crunchy and calibrated dish — a paradigm of balanced flavour. Pick from any of the options below as you toss to an auspicious new year.
Casual Japanese eatery PapaSan has transformed the idea of a seafood plateau — usually served on a monolith of shaved ice – onto an ornate platter. Aptly named Rainbow Yee Sang, this colourful showstopper still evokes joys of the sea and festive dining no less perfectly with generous portions of sashimi, octopus, honey baby prawns, baby octopus, jellyfish, salmon fish roe, chicken jerky, pomelo, pear, strawberries, mandarin oranges and grapefruit slices. A squeeze of fresh lime adds a bright acidity, while the drizzle of homemade sesame peanut mayonnaise rounds off the flavours of the mélange of ingredients. Go ahead and invite your A-list – even the most jaded foodie will be impressed with this dish ideal for entertaining.
Kuchai Lama outlet at 18-G, Jalan 2/114; Cheras outlet at 181-g, Jalan Lancang, Taman Sri Bahtera. See more here. From RM248.
The Fat Fish
The Mont Kiara eatery thrives on a simple philosophy: The freshness of its ingredients is top priority, with service coming in second. No wonder its signature yee sang, anchored by a thickly-cut salmon rosette in the centre, has become a staple among those in-the-know every time Chinese New Year rolls around. Raw fish may be a safe choice when it comes to selecting a topping but it’s the accompanying ingredients that deserve special mention. Pickled vegetables and crackers aside, a smattering of fried lotus roots adds extra crunch to an appetiser that’s filling to be a full meal.
GF-06, 163 Retail Park, 8, Jalan Kiara. Book here. RM55.
The Chow Kit
What screams Malaysian more than a yee sang made from a bouquet of local vegetables? A medley of daun pegaga, celun, sengkuang and ulam raja creates the perfect canvas for the flavourful ingredients piled on top, namely sliced red dragon fruit, wild-caught smoked salmon, yam and sweet potato crisp and succulent grilled Hokkaido Scallop. As you can already tell, an ordinary sweet-tangy salad, this is not. To complete this savoury dish, The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar uses kerisik rendang sauce and signature house-made chili oil to bind the ingredients while lending some heat. This Golden Prosperity yee sang is also part of a four-course Chinese New Year menu, available until Feb 5.
Call 03 2778 6688 or order here. Half portion, RM98 (serves six); full portion, RM148 (serves ten).
Nobu Kuala Lumpur
While those with a sweet tooth will have undoubtedly secured their spots at Nobu KL for their festive Osusume desserts, may we suggest ordering the Lobster Prosperity Platter to start? Suitable for two to four people, the yee sang is assembled with the freshest produce from Japan and topped with chunky pieces of lobster meat. Drizzled with a tangy sour plum sauce, it does a good job whetting the appetite for dishes to come. Also, sample Nobu’s cocktail of the month for a touch of luck — Golden Hop is concocted with Tanqueray Gin, Dom Benedictine, Triple Sec, Cointreau, and lime juice.
L4A-05, Level 4A Shoppes at Four Seasons Place, 145 Jalan Ampang, KL. For reservations, Whatsapp 019 289 5085. RM288+ for two to four pax. Until Feb 5. More info here.
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Toss to abundance, good fortune, success and health with Lai Po Heen’s selection of premium yee sang. The signature this year features a unique combination of bird’s nest and salmon eggs — priced at RM1,000 for a full set — but other choice toppings include sea urchin and tobiko, Australian abalone, silver whitebait and the perennial favourite combination of salmon, butterfish, tuna and chuka hotate.
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, KLCC. For reservations, call 03 2179 8885 or see here. RM168-RM1,000 for five to ten pax. Until Feb 5.