First Low Sang of the Year.. 2012 is just around the corner!

Chinese New Year is a little like Thanksgiving where there’s celebration, massive feasting, visiting relatives and where ornate, wildly colored dragons, kamquat trees, and generally, decorations that are “red” in colour, are used to decorate the place for good luck. Chinese restaurants will inadvertently be serving up dishes with names that mean “good luck” and “fortune”.


Part of the fun and madness of Chinese New Year, is the partaking in Low Sang. And part of the Low Sang/Yee Sang ritual is actually the noise and merry making that involves large chopsticks and people tossing and mixing the ingredients in the large, flat plate till the colors and raw fish are completely and thoroughly mixed. This is the one time, parents will not scold their children for playing with their food. In fact, the more you play with it and toss it, the better. Also, the louder you scream prosperity wishes the better. “Health Come!” “Money Come!” “Love and Good Fortune COME! “


That’s right.. Chinese New Year is incomplete without a Yee Sang toss for good luck, prosperity, longevity, health and wealth. Yee Sang also known as lo hei (in Cantonese) is a Chinese raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients.


Prosperity Yee Sang with fresh scallop, mango and crystal pear

Though Yee Sang means “raw fish”, it can also mean abundance. The word Yee Sang is used to refer to prosperity and all things good, for the Chinese New Year. Partaking in the Yee Sang means, that expected promotion, that new car, or closing that important deal, is just around the corner. To every fine Chinese man and woman, the Yee Sang symbolizes abundance, prosperity and vigor.


Ah.. Chinese New Year.. what do I love most about Chinese New Year..?

The feasting of course. A Chinese proverb states that all creations are reborn on New Year’s day. The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change – out with the old and in with the new.


sweet and sour pork ribs

The Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year because it is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. It usually occurs in January or February. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The New Year’s Eve dinner a.k.a the Reunion Dinner, is the most important where the entire family no matter how geographically scattered, exodus back to their hometown, to gather and eat at the dinner table together.


spicy prawns

Normally the wives, daughters and daughter-in-laws (basically all the women in the family) have to toil in the kitchen all day to prepare the sumptuous feast for the entire family. This is also a time for honoring the spirits of the ancestors but our family does not practice this, as we are all third generation Christians.


Braised duck with sea cucumber, mushrooms, snow peas

Anyway, I love Chinese New Year because it is a time for loads of Feasting, Merry Making, Mahjong playing, collecting or giving Angpows and most importantly, I love if for the fact that family unity is at its strongest during this festive season. Oh, and it’s also pretty fun when you get to win money off your elders at the Mahjong table!


Braised Fatt Choy (black moss), Hoe See (dried oyster) with mushroom and bean curd

This year, a great place to Low Sang with your colleagues or loved ones, would be at Lai Ching Yuen, Grand Millennium Hotel. The Yee Sang with a twist is pretty awesome – they use scallops instead of raw fish, and the taste is superb. Also, instead of using super sweet syrup, they opt to use fruits (like strawberry syrup – made from fresh strawberries) instead. Chef Leong Weng Heng creations this year include Yee Sang employing either raw Salmon, Giant Clam, Crispy Cod Skin, Scallop or Abalone, rather than the traditional raw fish. With each passing year, I expect the unexpected and look forward to just what Chefs and restaurants will think of next!


Lap Mei Farn – chinese wax sausages and duck meat in Claypot rice

The other highlights of Lai Ching Yuen Reunion dinner include this terrific Fatt-choy , Hoe-See dish which has been braised till all the flavour and goodness just envelopes the entire plate. Longevity, prosperity and all the good stuff should follow you all year long, after eating this dish;) And for the grand finale, the Lap Mei Farn is a must!


Glutinous rice dumpling with black sesame filling in red bean soup

There’s no better way than to end the meal on a sweet note, with Tong Yuen. Lai Ching Yuen Reunion dinner menu sets start at RM1,280++, RM1,480++, RM1,680++ and RM1,780++per table of 10, depending on how luxurious the spread is. Be sure to call and make reservations before hand.


Lai Ching Yuen,
Level 1, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur
open from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm on weekdays and
11..00am to 3.00pm on weekends and
public holidays for lunch and 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner.
For reservations, please call +60 3 2117 4180/4181 or
email [email protected]
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  1. The scallop yee sang here is damn nice! Love it.

  2. And 2012 isn’t even here yet!!! LOL.

    Then again, the malls are already going Toong Toong Chiang already.

  3. scallop yee sang was indeed awesome. every bite was sweet and succulent.

    ah…cny is here all so soon. i should really learn how to play mahjong. 2012 resolution perhaps? hehehe

  4. Wahseh, Christmas tree not yet dismantle also lou sang already? 😀

  5. Wah! Christmas just ended! Not even New Year yet. You is manyak cepat 😉

  6. wow, this is early! i’m still in the christmas mood & thinking of turkeys 😀 the food looks great, though the prices are kinda scary. i guess we have to brace our wallets for inflation this chinese new year…

  7. What?? Already low sang?? 😀 I wannnnttttt!!!

  8. I knew it was pre-CNY mode di when I walked into the bakery this morning and they had switched from Christmas carols to CNY songs! I LOVE CHINESE NEW YEAR!! 😀

  9. Woah, all that looks so delicious. Damn, I’m hungry now!

  10. Is Chinese New Year now? I want to celebrate it this year in Toronto.

    • Hi Aynge! It will be on the 23rd of Jan.. just around the corner too;) Wow, should be gr8 fun in Toronto .. i wish i cld celebrate it there too! makes a change;)

  11. Looks so yummy!

  12. Hi U-Mei, I love the pictures and it’s the first time that I visit your website! How wonderful it is! Xian and I are in Genting with your parents, what a lovely place! Blessings, Phoebe

  13. Yummy.. great foods and nice photo shoot!. :)

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