In 2021, we didn’t get to celebrate Chinese New Year the way we always have in the past so this year, I’ve put together my Top 5 Chinese New Year Venues for 2022. These are restaurants that Jien and I enjoy patronising over the years – some more luxurious and some more fuss-free.
I hope this helps with your Chinese New Year venue planning with family, friends, loved ones and business associates based on location, budget, reliability and most importantly, taste. ENJOY!
Li Yen, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Li Yen at The Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur is one of my favourite hotel Chinese restaurants – the dim sum is delicious and their ala carte menu is one of the best in its league. The food is non-halal, so if you’re looking for a porky feast in a fancier setting, Li Yen is one to consider.
This year, Li Yen offers six specially curated set menus from RM148 per pax onwards, showcasing a collection of reunion star dishes that is true to tradition. My set menu (RM188 per pax) comprises 6 courses – my personal favourites were the Kurobuta spare ribs and 10-head abalone.
Also delicious was the almond cream, as it’s aromatic, creamy and not overly sweet. The perfect way to end the meal. As Li Yen is a very popular venue, it’s best to book in advance – a deposit is required for CNY bookings.
Li Yen, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur (non-halal)
168, Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
WhatsApp: 018-646 8033
Shang Palace, Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur
Shang Palace is one of my go-to spots when I’m entertaining clients or friends; it’s a great place for corporate dinners as the menu is pork-free. This year, I tried the Rich Fortune 8-Course Set Menu (RM298 per person) featuring smoked salmon Yee Sang, braised sun-dried oysters with sea moss and stewed “long fu pan” fillet.
Four Yee Sang options are available this year – Korean Snow Pear (RM118 – small, RM218 – large), Crispy Fish Skin & Jelly Fish (RM138 – small, RM238 – large), Smoked Salmon (RM158 – small, RM298 – large) and Sliced Abalone with Caviar (RM258 – small, RM498 – large). I’ve always enjoyed the double-boiled soups at Shang Palace, and the mini abalone and chicken soup did not disappoint.
Takeaway and delivery are available for those who prefer to dine at home. Shang Palace also offers Premium Abalone Poon Choi for 6 pax (RM1,178 nett) and 10 pax (RM1,888 nett) – perfect for sharing with loved ones this Chinese New Year.
Shang Palace, Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur (pork-free)
11, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2032 2388
Oriental Treasure, Bangsar South
Oriental Treasure is part of The Oriental Group of Restaurants and this outlet is my favourite of the group. I find the food and service better here, especially their roast meats and dim sum. The menu is slightly different across all restaurants under the Oriental Group, but I always stick to Oriental Treasure because of the consistency.
They have several private rooms available so it’s best that you call them to inquire and book accordingly. I almost always go for their private room dining – especially when I’m entertaining clients.
The CNY menu is quite extensive; comprising ala carte specialty dishes and also set menus for 2 pax, 4 pax, 6 pax and 10 pax. I like that I get to mix and match my menus (price top-up required) and the restaurant is fairly flexible in customising some dishes to suit my requirements. The Iberico pork neck yee sang (RM108 – medium, RM138 – large) is good stuff and they do pretty good lap mei fan too.
Oriental Treasure (non-halal)
Unit 1-2 & 1-3, 1st Floor,
The Sphere, Bangsar South.
Tel: 03-2242 2382
Wun Nam Restaurant, Damansara Perdana
One of my favourite no-frills Chinese restaurants to go to is Wun Nam in Damansara Perdana. I feel the food is delicious and hearty – flavours are up my alley so I’ve been going there regularly. For Chinese New Year, Wun Nam also offers set menus for 8-10 pax as well as treasure pots (poon choi).
The herbal chicken with chestnut (RM98) is one of the best I’ve tried; fork-tender chicken flesh in thick herbal gravy. This is a pre-order item so you’ll need to book ahead. Wun Nam’s Claypot Fish Maw Tofu (RM28 – small, RM56 – large) and Buddha Delight (RM18 – small, RM36 – large) are crowd pleasers and perfect for celebrating CNY with family and loved ones.
Prices are reasonable in general though premium items like seafood and abalone would naturally cost more. Service is quick but missing the finesse you would get at hotel restaurants or fine Chinese restaurants but I suppose you get what you pay for.
Wun Nam Restaurant (non-halal)
23-1, Jalan PJU 8/5f,
47820 Petaling Jaya.
WhatsApp: 011-6332 3889
Baba Ho Liao, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
Ever since I got married, reunion dinners at my in-laws are always about Peranakan dishes from Malacca. So I decided to list my current spot for Malacca Peranakan food in this line-up for tradition and (Jien’s) culture sake. Baba Ho Liao serves Peranakan food that is quite close to what I can get at home, and that’s a good thing.
We always have masak assam, Pongteh chicken, ayam buah keluak and udang masak lemak nenas on the dining table for reunion so if you’re looking to enjoy something similar to what I usually eat at home, Baba Ho Liao is an option. The restaurant usually serves fish and prawns depending on the catch of the day so it’s best to call to check beforehand.
Prices aren’t cheap but you’re getting quality dishes that are usually only found in your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen. So unless you want to go through the hassle of hand-grinding those rempah and chilli pastes yourself, this is your best bet!
Baba Ho Liao (pork-free)
129, Jalan Aminuddin Baki,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-7731 6122