|PHOTO COURTESY OF BIG FISH SEAFOOD GRILL|
Our pick of the best “toss ups” in town.
In Chinese, the word “yu sheng” is a homonym, which refers to raw fish as well as abundant life. The Chinese practice of eating yu sheng thus stems from the belief of abundance throughout the year. Other ingredients are mixed in to make it into a dish, with each ingredient holding an auspicious meaning.
Fish: Abundance, Excess
Pomelo Fruit: Luck, Abundance
Pepper: Attraction of Money and Valuables
Oil: Increase of Profits 10,000 Times, Money Flowing In
Carrots: Blessings of Good Luck
Green Radish: Eternal Youth
White Radish: Business Prosperity, Promotion at Work
Peanut Crumbs: Gold and Silver, EternalYouth
Sesame Seeds: Flourishing Business
Flour Crisps: Floor Covered With Gold
Plum Sauce: Halls Flowing With Gold
The act of tossing this Chinese salad together is called “lo hei”, which sounds like the Cantonese saying “toss up”. Chinese believe it’s representative of a prosperous turnover in business and life. The tossing is usually done seven times, with its participants shouting various sayings relating to prosperity and success.
BIG FISH SEAFOOD GRILL
Why: This is a refreshing Western take, which not only includes Canadian surf clams and tender seared tuna, but tosses in a healthy mix of fruits as well. But it is the “secret sauce” that makes you want to lick the plate when you’re done.
What: Western-styled Yusheng: $21.80 (small) or $38.80 (large)
Where: 85 Upper East Coast
LAI WAH RESTAURANT
Why: It’s hard to give this restaurant a miss when it comes to yu sheng. After all, the first modern yu sheng was invented by its master chef Than Mui Kai in 1964, together with three other “culinary kings”. The restaurant has a marvelous retro feel, so you almost feel that you are eating traditional yu sheng, just the way it was meant to be.
What: Lucky Raw Fish Delicacy with Ikan Parang: $23 (4-6 persons) or $45 (8-10 persons)
Lucky Raw Fish Delicacy with Salmon:
$28 (4-6 persons) or $48 (8-10 persons)
Where: Block 44, Bendemeer Road
Why: Having taken over the location of the former Sin Leong Restaurant, Roland Restaurant is popular for its chili crabs and other high-quality seafood.
In recent years, it has also developed a following for its salmon yu sheng—it offers this traditional version at a reasonable price. Although a little sweeter than others, the crushed fried wanton skin (instead of the usual fried crackers) gives it a nice oomph.
What: Salmon Yu Sheng: $36 (6 persons) or $48 (12 persons)
Where: Block 89, Marine Parade Central #06-750
Why: This is a popular choice as it is good value for the price, and can be easily found islandwide, thanks to their many outlets. And of course, a sushi restaurant would have the best sashimi. It is also one of the healthier picks as the kind folks at Sakae Sushi do not add oil to their yu sheng.
What: Rong Yusheng: $18.88 (1-2 persons), $29.88 (3-5 persons) or $46.88 (6-10 persons)
Where: For locations, visit www.sakaesushi.com.sg
Why: If, for you, Chinese New Year is a time to splurge, Shang Palace offers up yu sheng of a commendable standard every year, with deluxe options like Lobster Yu Sheng. And of course, the beautiful décor and feel of the Shangri-La hotel is always a great setting to enjoy it in with your family and friends.
What: Salmon Yu Sheng: $68 (4-6 persons) or $128 (10 persons)
Tuna Yu Sheng : $78 (small) or $148 (large)
Lobster Yu Sheng: $128 (small) or $248 (large)
Abalone Yu Sheng: $158 (small) or $298 (large)
Where: 22 Orange Grove Road
* All prices are not inclusive of taxes and service charges.