Planning the perfect party to mark the Chinese New Year involves a lot of elements. You’ll have to think about the venue, the guest list, the entertainment and most importantly – the menu.
Food plays an important symbolic role in the celebration, welcoming luck and prosperity in our lives. Hence, you should dedicate enough time to conceptualising the perfect Chinese New Year celebration menu. The selections of dishes should be event-relevant, symbolic and easy to put together. Here are a few simple tips to guide you through the process.
Focus on Core Ingredients and Dishes
There are some specific must-have elements for a Chinese New Year celebration.
Make the menu revolve around these essentials, highlighting their important symbolic meaning.
The Singapore / Malaysian staple of the Yu Sheng is a dish we should never miss out! This dish alone symbolises many good things to come including – value and money, flow of wealth from every side, blessing and luck, youth, good fortune in business and great relationships.
A chicken or fish main dish is also one of the must-haves. These ingredients are considered lucky and you should feature at least one (why not both?).
Some other Chinese New Year culinary staples you may want to feature include roast duck, dumplings, noodles (representing longevity and health), spring rolls or prawns. For more information and some inspiration, check out the Eatz Catering Chinese New Year 2020 Buffets. We have done our best to highlight the most prominent ingredients and offer selections that are both season and event-relevant.
Think about Your Culinary Skill Level
The right menu for your party should be easy to execute. This isn’t the time to push yourself or experiment with recipes you’ve never done in the past. If you make a mistake, you risk leaving your guests staring at an empty table.
While the Chinese New Year celebration is all about abundance, there are opportunities for streamlining and simplifying the menu.
Serving a big number of appetisers is one of the easy ways to ensure many culinary choices. Nuts, pan-fried dumplings, several kinds of salads, spring rolls, simple lettuce wraps, pickles, meatballs, noodles and one type of soup don’t necessitate tremendous culinary skills to be put together. If you manage to pull those off, you will have ensured the colourfulness and variety of the feast.
If you’re not going to be preparing all of the food on your own and you have enough experience, you can opt for a more elaborate culinary setup.
A final choice would be to refrain from sweating in the kitchen altogether. High quality Singapore catering like the services offered by Eatz Catering will save you time and give you a delicious outcome. Check out our Chinese New Year menus to identify the one that appeals to you the most.
Consider Your Guest Preferences
The Chinese New Year celebration is all about coming together with loved ones to mark the end of one important period of life and a brand new beginning. Your party should be all about respect, love and togetherness.
You can demonstrate these through your food choices.
When planning the menu, you need to have some concept of guest preferences.
What are their favourite meals? Are there vegetarians in the group? Will you be serving food to people who have specific types of allergies and sensitivities? These are some of the most important questions to answer before you begin conceptualising the menu.
While you don’t need to make all of the dishes vegetarian and vegan to accommodate for special needs, do have at least a couple of choices for these guests. If you are opting for a buffet-style table, make sure all of the platters come with a label that lists ingredients and the food preparation method.
A Grand Finale!
There is one more culinary component to think about for your celebration and that’s dessert.
Your first choice would be to serve the desserts that your guests enjoy the most. Plan B revolves around traditional Chinese New Year sweets.
Nian gao (steamed Chinese New Year cake), rice balls that are representative of family togetherness, fried dough twists, sesame seed balls, sticky rice cakes, sweet red bean soup, osmanthus jelly, sugar rings and peanut brittle all rank among the traditional staples.
Food Isn’t the Only Part of a Great Meal
When planning the menu, you should consider a couple of additional essentials.
Beverages, linens, silverware, cups and plates all play a role in setting the mood. The same applies to party favours and table decorations. The addition of a table centrepiece can quickly elevate the execution of the feast and take it to the next level.
Think of the colour scheme, the types of napkins you want to use and even if you’re going to have a dress code for the occasion. If there are specific requirements, do communicate those with guests in advance.
Depending on the size of the party, you may need a bit of assistance with culinary and food serving supplies. At Eatz Catering, we do offer such services, giving our clients access to stylish presentations and high quality cutlery. Depending on your needs, you can also discuss the use of food warmers to keep the dishes fresh throughout the evening, tables, chairs, cocktail tables and even food preparation stations.
Sky is the limit when it comes to putting together the perfect Chinese New Year menu. Going traditional or modern is entirely up to you. You can also mix the two elements together, as long as you know that guests will enjoy the fusion.
If you need some party planning assistance or you’d like to benefit from professionally prepared, delicious food, contact Eatz Catering’s team. We will make sure your celebration welcomes the new year in the best way possible.