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Photo: The Fullerton Hotel

One of the gastronomic highlights of the Chinese New Year season in Singapore — apart from tucking into everything from lavish celebratory feasts and hearty takeaway poon choi platters to traditional cookies baked at home by mum — is the slew of themed dishes that play on the zodiac animal of that year.

With 2024 being the Year of the Dragon, this means that the auspicious mythical beast will be gracing festive yu sheng platters, Instagram-worthy bakes, and other convivial treats with its majestic presence. We highlight some of the dragon-themed dishes from hotels and restaurants in Singapore worth getting for friends and family this Chinese New Year 2024.

1. Jade: Premium Dragon Dance Yu Sheng

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Photo: The Fullerton Hotel

Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore makes a strong first impression with two dragon-themed yu sheng platters for dine-in and another for takeaway. The first and grandest of these is the Premium Dragon Dance Yu Sheng (cover photo), featuring a medley of auspicious vegetables uplifted by fresh abalone marinated in rose wine, king prawn, and Norwegian smoked salmon artfully arranged to resemble an oriental dragon, bushy beard and all.

Housemade champagne jelly “gold cube”’ and an aromatic shallot oil and kumquat dressing finish the ensemble, which requires an advance order of at least three days.

The restaurant’s Gold Rush Dragon Yu Sheng, on the other hand, takes on two forms depending on whether you’re ordering the traditional platter for dining in or at home — either presented in-restaurant on a grand platter with a dragon and auspicious calligraphy greeting made from cinnamon powder, or with the Mandarin character for dragon, long, recreated with vegetables when packed to go.

For reservations, visit Jade’s website or email jade@fullertonhotels.com. Place takeaway orders here.

2. Shang Palace: Auspicious Dragon Yu Sheng

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Photo: Shangri-La Singapore

More dragon-themed tidings can be found at Shangri-La Singapore’s Shang Palace, presenting for Chinese New Year 2024 their rendition of an extravagant dragon yu sheng to usher in the season of spring with aplomb.

The Auspicious Dragon Yu Sheng, available for dine-in only for a group of six to eight, pairs smoked salmon with chewy jellyfish on a bed of greens, making for a festive salad crowned with a fearsome dragon staring straight at revellers as they prepare their chopsticks. Toss if you dare.

For reservations, call +65 6213 4398 or email dining.sls@shangri-la.com. Place takeaway orders here

3. Man Fu Yuan: Dragon’s Wealth Yu Sheng

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Photo: InterContinental Hotel Singapore

Man Fu Yuan at the InterContinental Hotel Singapore ushers in the Year of the Dragon with a gloriously posh yu sheng platter laden with sea urchin, ikura, shredded dried Hokkaido scallops, salmon sashimi, and crispy fish skin.

The magnificent 60-inch plate, in recognition of the dragon’s associations with leadership and prosperity, is suitably adorned with a golden dragon head and tail — as well as four lucky numbers to portend a bountiful year ahead. The Dragon’s Wealth Yu Sheng is available for dine-in only and feeds up to 10 guests.

For reservations, call +65 6825 1008 or email intercontinental.dining@ihg.com. Place takeaway orders here.

4. Si Chuan Dou Hua: Prosperity Fugu and Salmon Roe Yusheng with Fresh Greens

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Photo: Si Chuan Dou Hua

Si Chuan Dou Hua, Singapore’s first Chinese restaurant to serve fugu — more commonly known as pufferfish, deadly unless meticulously and exactingly prepared — is starting the Year of the Dragon with a bold take on classic yu sheng centred around none other than the perilous pufferfish.

Their Prosperity Fugu and Salmon Roe Yusheng with Fresh Greens (available at both Si Chuan Dou Hua outlets for either dine-in or takeaway) feature slices of raw fugu sourced from Shimonoseki, a city on the westernmost tip of Honshu island famed for its pufferfish, and artfully arranged into the shape of a dragon for a Lunar New Year dining experience with an undercurrent of adventure.

For reservations, call +65 6535 6006 or email top@sichuandouhua.com. Place takeaway orders here

5. Goodwood Park Hotel: Dragon Boat of Bountiful Blessings

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Photo: Goodwood Park Hotel

Looking for some dragon-themed goodies for the dessert table? The Deli at Goodwood Park Hotel has got you covered. Their auspiciously named Dragon Boat of Bountiful Blessings features a hulking dragon-shaped chocolate marble cake decked out entirely in lucky red.

In a nod to its associations with prosperity, the mythical beast will be toting a dragon’s hoard of edible dark chocolate coins and ingots on its back, ringing in the New Year with tidings of success and abundance. The 1.2kg cake is available for takeaway or delivery with five days’ advance order required.

For reservations, call +65 6730 1704 or email min_jiang@goodwoodparkhotel.com. Place takeaway orders here.

6. Madame Fan: Bountiful Blessings Lobster Yu Sheng

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Photo: JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach

Kick off your reunion dinner with a dragon-themed yu sheng starter by Madame Fan, complete with a hearty dose of theatrics. Instead of arranging the traditional salad’s constituent parts into a dragon motif, the restaurant has opted to have their Bountiful Blessings Lobster Yu Sheng soar onto the dining table, billowing fog from the portholes of a dragon-shaped vessel.

The ingredients of the yu sheng itself are suitably luxe to match the over-the-top presentation, with such festive delights as Australian lobster, housemade bak kwa, pomegranate, green mango, grapefruit, and gold flakes for extra panache.

For reservations, call +65 6818 1921, email madamefan.nco@marriott.com or head to Madame Fan’s website. Place takeaway orders here.

7. Hai Tien Lo: Lunar New Year Prosperity Macarons

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Photo: Pan Pacific Singapore

Macarons get an auspicious makeover for the Chinese New Year season at Hai Tien Lo in Pan Pacific Singapore — think red lanterns, golden ingots, a fortune cat, pineapples, and, of course, a cutesy take on the star of the season, the dragon, that’s almost too cute to eat.

These Lunar New Year Prosperity Macarons, sold in a pack of 12, are a must-have for the table at any convivial gathering with the young ‘uns (or the young at heart). A zodiac-themed edition with all 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac is also available.

For reservations, call +65 6826 8240 or email dining.ppsin@panpacific.com. Place takeaway orders here.