5 Pen Cai Dishes Worth Trying This Chinese New Year

FOOD  |  January 12, 2017
  • Auspicious Treasure Pot (Carlton City Hotel)
    1 / 5 Auspicious Treasure Pot (Carlton City Hotel)

    If you’re gunning for a fuss-free pencai that won’t punch a hole in your wallet, Carlton City’s offering is as good as it gets.

    “For people who don’t enjoy eating seafood such as abalone, this will be the pot of choice,” said Ah Yoke. “There’s plenty of roast duck and pork, plus the prawns are also thoughtfully sliced in the middle. That’s a nice touch.”

    Other ingredients include fish maw, mushrooms and dried scallops, so you’re basically getting the core elements of a treasure pot – making it “value-for-money”, according to Ah Yoke.

    Price: $88 (6 to 8 persons)
    Nutritional Value: 400 calories, 6g protein, 20g fat, 35g carbohydrate

    For more info, visit www.carltoncity.sg

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  • Abundance Treasure Pot (Shangri-La Hotel)
    2 / 5 Abundance Treasure Pot (Shangri-La Hotel)

    “The first thing that strikes me is that the prawns are huge,” observed Ah Yoke.

    Indeed, aside from the succulent poached live prawns, Shangri-La’s offering is packed with a range of premium stuff that sits in the broth, including Mexican sea caracol clams, ocean top shell and black moss.

    “The broth could be thicker,” added Ah Yoke, but he agreed that the dish is well worth your dollar if you fancy top-grade seafood and meats (stewed duck and roast pork).

    Price: $368 (6 to 8 persons)
    Nutritional Value: 642 calories, 61g protein, 6g fat, 82g carbohydrate

    For more info, visit www.shangri-la.com

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  • Wan Hao Nourishing Pen Cai With Pig Trotter And Crispy Oyster (Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel)
    3 / 5 Wan Hao Nourishing Pen Cai With Pig Trotter And Crispy Oyster (Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel)

    The presence of deep-fried oysters caught Ah Yoke’s attention, which he labelled “unique and something different”. He also noted that these treats were best eaten at the restaurant in order to savour the crispiness of the fried oysters.

    Other highlights include the three-head Australian abalone, sea cucumber, as well as fish maw that were all “very well cooked”. Fans of pork will also lick their lips at the inclusion of pig trotters paired with Japanese conpoys and shiitake mushrooms, all resting nicely in “delicious” gravy. Expect to pay top dollar, but quality is assured.

    Price: $688 (6 persons), $1088 (10 persons)
    Nutritional Value: 528 calories, 58g protein, 8g fat, 39g carbohydrate

    For more info, visit www.singaporemarriott.com

    (Also read: CNY Reunion Dinner Deals From Under $40 Per Pax)

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  • Ah Hoi's Fortune Pen Cai (Hotel Jen Tanglin)
    4 / 5 Ah Hoi's Fortune Pen Cai (Hotel Jen Tanglin)

    What makes this pen cai unique is its top layer of broccoli, which naturally renders itself a healthier option, said Ah Yoke. The greens are propped by a range of ingredients such as abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw and oysters, among others.

    Overall, this would be a safe choice – the variety of ingredients are decent and belong to the standard fare one would expect – although Ah Yoke did note that the gravy was quite tasty.

    If you prefer a good mix of meat and seafood in your pen cai, this might be your cup (or pot) of tea.

    Price: $248 (6 to 8 persons)
    Nutritional Value: 557 calories, 63g protein, 4g fat, 46g carbohydrate

    For more info, visit www.hoteljen.com

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  • Jiang-Nan Chun Shi Quan Shi Mei Pen Cai (Four Seasons Hotel)
    5 / 5 Jiang-Nan Chun Shi Quan Shi Mei Pen Cai (Four Seasons Hotel)

    Served in a classy black ceramic bowl, this version was aesthetically pleasing – “beautiful and lovingly arranged,” according to Ah Yoke.

    The pre-peeled prawns were drizzled with a unique sweet and sour sauce – whetting the appetite as one continues to tuck into the rest of the premium chow – six-head abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, oysters and scallops, just to name a few.

    One can also expect roast chicken, pork and duck to complement the array of topnotch seafood. This pen cai may be costlier than usual, but you’ll get bang for your buck, according to Ah Yoke.

    Price: $468 (6 persons), $668 (10 persons)
    Nutritional Value: 577 calories, 63g protein, 16g fat, 43g carbohydrate

    For more info, visit www.fourseasons.com/singapore

    This article was first published on www.menshealth.com.

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