We feel it too—that impending anxiety of what’s to come at a Chinese New Year (CNY) reunion dinner. After a two-year hiatus, nosy relatives are definitely all set and ready to conduct the traditional invasive interrogations.
Even if you haven’t gotten a partner yet or your kids’ end-of-year results were less than stellar, we’d like to think that there are still things to look forward to with this CNY.
For instance, what if we told you that you could enjoy your CNY reunion dinner at a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant for under $40 per pax? In this inflationary climate where we’re still reeling from a newly implemented GST hike, we call this a win.
If you’re not skipping the yearly festivities to catch Reunion Dinner the movie instead, here are our picks for the most affordable Chinese restaurant set meals this CNY. From zi char restaurants to vegetarian eateries, we’ve got you covered.
|Chinese Restaurant||Chinese New Year reunion dinner prices|
|Kok Sen Restaurant||$38.80++/pax (8-10 pax)|
|Lai Huat Signatures||$49.75++/pax (8 pax)|
|Xi Yan||$49.88++/pax (minimum 4 pax)|
|Ban Heng||$53.80++/pax (10 pax)|
|Dian Xiao Er||$49.80++/pax (10 pax) to $58++/pax (6 pax)|
|Pu Tien||$52.80++/pax (10 pax) to $59++/pax (2 pax)|
|Paradise Classic||$58.80++/pax (8-10 pax)|
|Chin Lee Restaurant||$58.80++/pax (8-10 pax)|
|Liang Kee Teochew Restaurant||$57.80++/pax (8-10 pax)|
|Mouth Restaurant||$59.80+/pax (10 pax)|
|Ling Zhi Vegetarian||$49.70++/pax (6 pax)|
|Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant||$49.80++/pax (10 pax); $49.50++ (4 pax)|
Kok Sen Restaurant ($38.80++/pax)
Location: 4 Keong Saik Road
A CNY set menu for under $40 per pax? At a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant? Yes, you heard right. We’re starting off this list with the most affordable restaurant for CNY we never thought we’d find—Kok Sen Restaurant.
A family-run operation, Kok Sen Restaurant is currently helmed by the third generation of the Wong family. This Cantonese-style zi char restaurant is a hot favourite among Singaporeans, with queues expected all day every day.
It’s also a regular feature in the annual Singapore Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand award—proof that good food doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag.
And in November 2022, Kok Sen Restaurant upgraded their premises from open-air eatery to slick, air-conditioned restaurant—well in time for your CNY reunion dinner.
For CNY, Kok Sen Restaurant has two CNY set menus. Set A is the more affordable option, priced at $388++ for a party of 8-10 pax:
- Prosperity Lo Hei
- Deep Fried Soon Hock Fish
- Crispy Roasted Chicken
- Luo Han Vegetables
- Salted Egg Prawn Balls
- Sweet & Sour Pork Chop
- Claypot Yong Tau Foo
- Stir-Fried Noodle
Lai Huat Signatures ($49.75++/pax)
Locations: 23 China Street, #01-01; 387 Guillemard Road; 17 Upper East Coast Road; 20 Jln Tampang
Ask any local to name a zi char buffet here in Singapore, and they’ll either look at you funny or name Lai Huat Signatures.
Although most famous for their 70-dish zi char buffet at their China Street outlet, Lai Huat Signatures also has some pretty value for money CNY set menus.
Each of their 4 outlets has slightly different menus. For groups of 5 or 8, the Geylang outlet is the most affordable. Their 5-pax menu is priced at $268+ ($53.60+/pax) and the 8-pax one at $398++ ($49.75++/pax). Both feature arguably the restaurant’s most famous dish—their Signature Lai Huat Sambal Fish, which they’re been serving since 1951. Here’s the 8-pax set menu:
- Prosperous Yu-Sheng with Abalone
- Signature Sambal Fish
- Fish Maw Soup with Crabmeat Stock
- Broccoli with Scallops
- Emperor Chicken
- Poached Live Prawns
- Ee Fu Noodles Canto Style
If you have a party of 10, Lai Huat’s Sembawang outlet offers the most affordable set menu at $49.80/pax.
Xi Yan ($49.88++/pax)
Locations: 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-12/13; 2 Paya Lebar Road, #01-06/07/08, PLQ Parkside (below Park Place Residences)
Xi Yan originally started out as a private dining restaurant on Craig Road. It’s since expanded, and now helms 2 casual dining restaurants: Xi Yan @ Shaw Centre, and the newly opened Zing by Xi Yan @ PLQ Parkside.
If you’re feeling fancy, they also have a modern dining and bar concept at Maxwell (but its prices are way out of the scope of this article!).
One good thing about Xi Yan is that their CNY set menus start at a minimum of 4 pax, and can be easily adjusted to accommodate additional diners at the same rate. So if you’re having reunion dinner as a small family or have an odd number in your party, this is a good option.
The cheapest set menu is the Happiness 6 Course Set, which is available at both the Shaw Centre and PLQ outlets. At $49.88++/pax (minimum 4 pax), here’s what you’ll get:
- Xi Yan Signature Salmon And Ikura (Salmon Roe) Prosperity Yu Sheng
- Triple Loaded Ginger Chicken
- Lion’s Head (Pork, Prawns, Water Chestnut In Consomme)
- Prawns In Fermented Bean Curd Miso Sauce With Korean Nian Gao
- XO Fried Rice XO
- Handmade Ice Cream
Psst, while you’re there, don’t forget to pick up their Handmade Gula Melaka Nian Gao ($16/cake). You’ll have to pre-order your cake at least 2 days in advance, but judging from their already sold out pineapple tarts, it’ll be worth the forward planning.
Ban Heng ($53.80++/pax)
Locations: Boon Keng, Orchid Country Club
Boasting Shark’s Fin Soup and Steamed Live Sea Garoupa, Menu AA is their most affordable set menu at $538++ for 10 pax ($53.80++/pax). Despite being the lowest cost, it looks pretty sumptuous:
- Good Luck & Prosperity Yu Sheng
- Shark’s Fin Soup with Shredded Dried Scallops & Crab-meats
- Steamed Live Sea Garoupa Fish in Hong Kong Style
- Braised Chicken with Chinese Herbs
- Braised Whole Abalone (10-Headed) with Seasonal Vegetables
- Poached Live Prawns in Superior Stock
- Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage in Lotus Leaf
- Sweetened Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts
This year at Ban Heng, reunion dinner isn’t just about the food. If your family is ok with having reunion dinner a day early (20 January 2023), book a table at the Boon Keng outlet’s Alfresco Reunion Dinner Hall to enjoy a Dragon & Lion Dance show while you eat. On top of that, you’ll get 10% off your total bill. Feast your eyes on that!