Just like, um, everything related to Chinese New Year, CNY reunion dinners are really expensive. Gone are the days where you’d just throw some Dodo fishballs and shitake mushrooms into a steamboat and call it a night.
Nope, these days Singaporeans “need” to have a complete 10-course dinner, a la wedding banquet – thankfully without the PowerPoint presentation and rambling speeches, but still expensive as hell. It’s not uncommon to find nice Chinese restaurants, especially the ones in hotels, charging $100 or $150++ per head for a CNY set dinner.
Fortunately, you can still find a few reunion dinner options in Singapore for under $60++/pax. That’s still quite a lot (eh, $60 enough for hotel buffet leh) but is already considered quite cheap for the occasion.
14 CNY reunion dinner 2019 set meals under $60++/pax
|Chinese restaurant||Reunion dinner price|
|Sin Hoi Sai||$39.80++/pax|
|Boon Tong Kee||$46.80++/pax|
|Dian Xiao Er||$49.80++/pax|
|Pu Tien||$53 to $58.50++/pax|
|Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao||$56.33++/pax|
|[vegetarian] Miao Yi Restaurant||$32.57 to $39.80++/pax|
|[vegetarian] Eight Treasures||$42 to $49.80++/pax|
Sin Hoi Sai reunion dinner ($39.80++/pax)
Location: 55 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-59
If your family is super chill about Chinese New Year, consider having your CNY reunion dinner at a local zi char restaurant. You can of course go to your favourite tried-and-tested one (most zi char places have CNY set meals), but if you want one that routinely makes the cut in CNY set meal roundups, there’s Sin Hoi Sai, a really old zi char place in Tiong Bahru.
Their CNY menu is available online, and prices are some of the most reasonable I’ve found. The cheapest set meal costs just $398 for 10 pax = $39.80++/pax and it looks like an absolute feast:
- Prosperity raw fish
- Prosperity shark’s fin
- Fried prawns with quail egg
- Fried red garoupa in lotus leaf
- Crispy suckling chicken
- Double happiness pork ribs
- Stewed mixed vegetables
- Dry fried ee-fu noodles
Xi Yan reunion dinner ($39.88++/pax)
Locations: Shaw Centre #03-12/13, i12 Katong #02-06
Xi Yan restaurant originally started out as a private dining restaurant in Craig Road, but it now has 2 casual-but-nice restaurants in Orchard and (newly opened) Katong. Although the ambience is nicer, Xi Yan’s CNY set menu prices are pretty much on par with Sin Hoi Sai.
One good thing about Xi Yan is that you only need a group of 2 or 4 for CNY set menus, so if you’re doing reunion dinner as a small family or couple, this is a good option.
The cheapest set menu is the 6-course Set Menu D, which costs $39.88++/pax, (min. 2 pax) and it looks like this:
- Xi Yan signature salmon prosperity yu sheng
- Shrimp paste lemongrass roasted chicken
- Lion’s head (pork, prawns, water chestnut in consomme)
- Stir fried Sichuan prawns
- XO fried rice with HK lap cheong
- Signature custard tang yuan
Boon Tong Kee reunion dinner ($46.80++/pax)
Locations: Balestier, Whampoa, River Valley, East Coast, Bukit Timah, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines
Newsflash! Boon Tong Kee doesn’t only sell chicken rice. These days, they’re one of the go-to restaurants for Chinese New Year reunion dinner too. Those CNY set meals aren’t cheap, though.
The cheapest one is Set Menu C, which is $468++ for 10 pax = $46.80++/pax. However, it’s mainly pen cai with a few side dishes rather than a Chinese banquet-style meal:
- Happiness Prosperity Pot (pen cai)
- Romaine lettuce
- Fa cai sliced abalone
- Plain rice
- Chrysanthemum / Chinese tea
- 1 box free nian gao
Soup Restaurant reunion dinner ($49++/pax)
Locations: Changi Airport, Clementi Mall, Compass One, Holland Village, Hougang Mall, Jurong Point, Nex, Paragon, Suntec City, United Square, VivoCity
For classic Cantonese fare that doesn’t cost as much as, say, Wan Hao at the Marriott, there’s the Soup Restaurant chain, which is known for their samsui ginger poached chicken and herbal soups.
Their cheapest option for CNY reunion dinner is the Reunion Set Menu, which costs $98 for 2 pax = $49++/pax. You can get an extra 5% discount if you pay with a Citibank credit card. Score! Here’s what’s on the menu:
- Salmon yu sheng
- Samsui ginger chicken
- Fish maw soup with scallop
- Traditional steamed rice with mushroom and Chinese sausage
- Scallop with assorted vegetables
- Lemongrass aloe vera dessert (changed to nian gao on CNY eve)
Dian Xiao Er reunion dinner ($49.80++/pax)
Locations: Jurong Point, JEM, Lot One, Hillion Mall, VivoCity, Marina Square, Junction 8, Nex, Waterway Point, Bedok Mall, Tampines One
Another chain restaurant with tons of outlets everywhere, Chinese restaurant Dian Xiao Er has some really affordable Chinese New Year set menus as well. The most affordable one is the Premium Selection Set, at $498 for 10 pax = $49.80++/pax.
- Prosperity smoked salmon yu sheng
- Signature herbal roast duck (angelica / ten wonder / wild ginseng)
- Stir fried chives w/ yam strips & chinese sausage
- Seafood fish maw thick soup w/ conpoy
- Hong Kong style steamed fish sliced
- Tom yum soft shell prawns
- Dong po pork
- Braised mushrooms, sea cucumber & gui fei abalone
Ban Heng reunion dinner ($51.40++/pax)
Locations: Boon Keng, Orchard Central, HarbourFront Centre, Aranda Country Club
Ban Heng is usually a crowd favourite for their cheap Teochew-style buffets. For Chinese New Year, there’s a very good deal – 20% off Reunion Set Menu on 2 & 3 Feb (lunch & dinner) – but it’s only at the Orchard Central outlet.
Their cheapest set, Menu AA, which normally costs $638++ for a table of 10, will be reduced to $51.40++/pax after discount. Of course, this only works if you choose not to have reunion dinner on the eve of CNY itself. Despite being the cheapest set meal, it looks pretty sumptuous:
- Ban Heng Salmon Lo Hei
- Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Dried Scallop & Crab Meat
- Steamed Live Sea Garoupa with Superior Soya Sauce in Hong Kong Style
- Braised Teochew Cabbage with Four Treasures & Black Moss
- Steamed Whole Chicken with Chinese Herbs
- Braised Sliced Jade Abalone with Spinach & Mushroom
- Poached Live Prawns
- Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage in Lotus Leaf
- Chilled Lemon Grass Jelly with Kiwi Fruit Seeds
If your family’s schedule is flexible, Ban Heng also has even cheaper festive set meals from 19 Jan to 19 Feb, but they’re not serving them on 2, 3 and 4 Feb). These start from $39.80++/pax – see the linked menus for 4 to 7 pax and 10 pax set meals.
Pu Tien reunion dinner (from $53++/pax)
Locations: Kitchener Road, VivoCity, Marina Square, Tampines Mall, Jurong Point, Parkway Parade, Nex, Raffles City, Ion Orchard, Northpoint, SingPost Centre, Resorts World Sentosa
Michelin-starred casual Chinese restaurant Pu Tien doesn’t need any introduction. For Chinese New Year, they have several set menus to choose from.
The most affordable one is the Propitious Set Meal, which costs from $53++/pax to $58.50/pax depending on how many people are in the group.
Here’s the sample menu for 10 pax ($57.80++/pax); smaller groups may get fewer items and/or substituted dishes, so it’s best to go in a group of 10 if you can.
- Prosperity yu sheng
- Cordyceps flower with sea cucumber & fish maw thick soup
- Deep-fried squirrel fish
- Nanri abalone with broccoli
- Deep-fried chicken with garlic
- Scallop and asparagus in XO sauce
- Stir-fried yam
- Longevity noodles
- White fungus soup with longan and red dates
Qian Xi reunion dinner ($55++/pax)
Locations: SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA Jurong, SAFRA Mount Faber, SAFRA Clarke Quay, HomeTeamNS Club, Civil Service Club, Tanjong Katong Complex, 1 Expo Drive, 108 Depot Road
If you have a SAFRA, HomeTeamNS or Civil Service Club membership, there’s a pretty good deal – you can get 8% discount on the CNY reunion dinner menu at Qian Xi restaurant, which is a chain of restaurants found mainly in SAFRA clubs. Plus the restaurant is also giving away free abalone when you make a booking.
The most basic set menu is $598++ for 10 pax, so after 8% discount for SAFRA members it’ll cost $55++/pax. Menu items:
- Prosperity yu sheng
- Braised shark’s fin with crabmeat
- Roasted duck with herbs
- Crispy prawn with butter cream
- Steamed red snapper with bean crumb sauce
- Signature roasted chicken
- Braised 10-headed abalone with spinach
- Fried rice with dried scallop in lotus leaf
- Chilled mango pudding
Paradise Classic reunion dinner ($55.80++/pax)
Locations: Marina Bay Link Mall, Resorts World Sentosa, Suntec City Mall
Even though Paradise Group is a chain, the various Paradise restaurants aren’t cheap, with many of their CNY set meals costing close to $100/pax.
The cheapest set meal I could find is at Paradise Classic – their Auspicious Set Meal costs $558 and feeds 8 to 10 diners. Assuming you’re all light eaters and come in a group of 10, that’s $55.80++/pax. Set menu items:
- Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng
- Combination of Stir-fried Shark’s Fin with Eggs, Chilled Premium Jellyfish tossed in Specialty Sauce and Crisp-fried Homemade Teochew Style Prawn Roll
- Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Conpoy
- Steamed Coral Grouper with Supreme Soya Sauce
- Espresso Pork Ribs
- Crisp-fried Shrimp Paste Chicken
- Stir-fried Crystal Prawns and Asparagus with XO Sauce
- Yangzhou Fried Rice
- Mango Purée with Sago and Pomelo
- Lemonade (Chilled)
Note that this particular meal is NOT valid on the eve of CNY, so you’ll need to schedule around that.
Crystal Jade reunion dinner ($56.33++/pax)
Locations: Takashimaya, Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Bugis Junction, Great World City, Holland Village, Jurong Point
Just like Paradise Group, Crystal Jade restaurants aren’t cheap, but thanks to their plethora of brands I was able to find a reunion dinner set meal under $60/pax at their most “casual” outlet, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.
Crystal Jade LM XLB (sorry, I’m too lazy to type it out) has several set menu options under $60/pax, depending on group size. The cheapest one is the Longevity Set Menu at $338 for 6 pax = $56.33++/pax.
- Reunion salmon yu sheng
- Crab meat, conpoy, spinach & egg white thick soup
- Braised dong po pork belly with baby abalone & black moss
- Steamed tiger prawn with diced chilli pepper
- Steamed marble goby with supreme soya sauce
- Shanghai fried rice with prawn, chicken & ham
- Steamed truffle dumpling
- Double-boiled peach resin with snow fungus & dried longan
You also get a 10% food bill “rebate” in the form of return dining vouchers, so even though it’s not the cheapest, it’s still quite worth it if you will definitely return to Crystal Jade.
Mouth Restaurant reunion dinner ($58.80++/pax)
The first thing I noticed on the Mouth Restaurant CNY page is this announcement that they’re already fully booked on CNY eve, almost a month ahead. Crazy! But I guess it must mean Mouth Restaurant is good.
For what it’s worth, they do have a set meal within our budget: Set E, which costs $588 for 10 pax = $58.80++/pax. Here’s what’s on the menu:
- Abundance yu sheng w/ white bait fish & fish skin
- Braised thick soup w/ mixed treasures
- Sauteed prawn ball in cream of chardonnay sauce
- Steamed pa ting fish in blended lime sauce
- Braised abalone w/ bai ling mushroom & seasonal vegetable
- Crispy skin sakura chicken
- Braised e-fu noodle
- Glutinous rice ball w/ red bean soup
Swatow reunion dinner ($58.80++/pax)
Location: 181 Toa Payoh Lorong 4 #02-602, Singapore 310181
If your family is all Teochew nang who won’t accept any other
aberrations variations of Chinese cuisine, it’s going to be a challenge as Teochew restaurants aren’t really cheap.
Swatow restaurant in Toa Payoh isn’t the most exquisite, but it’s one of the most affordable restaurants for full-on Teochew fare. Their cheapest CNY set meal (only available at Toa Payoh) costs $558++ for 10 pax = $58.80++/pax.
- Teochew Prosperity Yu Sheng
- Braised Superior Shark’s Fin Bisque with Seafood
- Steamed Grouper in Teochew Style
- Poached Live Prawns in Chinese Wine
- Teochew Braised Sliced Duck Meat with Beancurd
- Braised Eight Treasure Vegetables with Abalone in Teochew Style
- Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf
- Chilled Mango Sago
Bonus 1: Miao Yi Restaurant (vegetarian)
Look, I get it. Unless you’re already a practising vegetarian or vegan, going vegetarian for Chinese New Year reunion dinner is totally unorthodox. But just in case you’re catering to family members with dietary constraints, I thought I’d throw in a couple of vegetarian reunion dinner options.
Other than saving animals/the earth/your waistline, it also saves you money. CNY set meals at Miao Yi restaurant, for example, mostly cost only $32.57 to $39.80++/pax. You won’t get the expensive stuff like (real) abalone, prawns and fish, but vegetarian food can be quite delicious.
Here’s the sample menu for 10 pax, which costs $350++ ($35++/pax):
- Fortune veg raw fish
- The auspicious Miao Yi delicacy match
- Creamy shark’s fin soup with crab slice
- Fortune mock suckling pig
- Bamboo fungus with filling and broccoli
- Dragon of Elegance
- Crispy yam ring with filling
- Assorted olive fried rice
- Dessert specialty
Bonus 2: Eight Treasures (vegetarian)
Although more expensive than Miao Yi, Eight Treasures is my personal all-time favourite for Chinese vegetarian food in Singapore.
This year, they have several CNY reunion dinner sets ranging from $42 to $49.80++/pax and they all sound delicious. Here’s a sample menu for the $498++ set which feeds 8 to 10 pax:
- Rainbow yu sheng
- Veg shark’s fin w/ bamboo pith, white fungus & wolfberries
- Teochew style steamed veg cod fish w/ golden fungus
- Ginseng veg chicken with chestnuts
- Veg abalone mushroom & broccoli
- Creamy pumpkin veg prawn
- Yam ring w/ golden nuggets
- Heng hwa noodles
- Red bean w/ sweet lotus
Have we missed out any affordable and good CNY reunion dinner options? Tell us in the comments!
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