Whenever the lunar new year comes around, we have a tendency to eat Yusheng 鱼生 together as a family. This year we headed to BaliThai at 112 Katong, a Thai and Balinese restaurant that also happened to serve a Chinese New Year menu this time of year, we had to wait for a while whilst the Filipina server cleared the tables, seemed like it was a quiet night and as it was CNY, they were probably short staffed since the tables had yet be cleared and we had to wait for awhile.
Anyways back to the salad. What it is basically, is a salad of shredded radish, pomelo, carrots, peanuts, cashews, preserved fruit, salmon, lime, and crunchy wanton chips. All stirred with sauces and tossed. Each ingredient has a unique representation for something that one wishes for more of in the coming year. Yu or fish,鱼, kinda sounds like abundance,余. So yusheng鱼生 sounds like 余升 which would mean an increase in abundance! Symbolizing abundance, wealth & prosperity, all good things to hope for in the new year. I find that night to truly represent Singapore, coz our filipina server was wishing us in mandarin. When she served the salmon, she said Nian Nian You Yu. And then she added the lime to the salmon, she then said Da Ji Da Li. A bowl of spices & pepper were added over the salad and said Zhao Cai Jin Bao. Oil is then poured over and then she said Yi Ben Wan Li. She then added the carrots, and said Hong Yun Dang Tou, and then green radish and white radish. Peanuts & cashews were poured over the salad which represented a home filled with gold. And then sesame seeds were poured to represent a successful business, and then wanton chips added to represent gold. And then you toss the salads high with your chopsticks! And eat! Yummy!
Next dish was the thickened seafood soup, delicious soup filled with white fungus, enoki mushrooms, squid, prawn in a thick flavorful broth. Served in an earthenware pot the aroma was so enticing. This was then followed by the barbecued platter of fish, chicken, squid and chicken satay. And of course warm white rice. The best condiment to dip the BBQ goodness in would be their sambal belacan, had to ask for seconds for that. We washed it all down with ice lime tea cooler , a concoction that was über refreshing.