February 8, 2024 — The highlight of the festivities each Chinese New Year is the yusheng dish, which stands for harmony and wealth. Known for its “lo hei” custom, in which friends and family get together to toss the ingredients aloft while exchanging auspicious wishes, this colourful meal is a mainstay of Singapore’s Lunar New Year celebrations. But with living expenses rising, many are wondering how this would affect yusheng costs and the range of alternatives available.
Supermarkets continue to be the preferred source for inexpensive yusheng platters because they provide convenience without sacrificing the festive atmosphere. A variety of yusheng sets are available from Sheng Siong and NTUC FairPrice, among other outlets. The pricing has been slightly modified to account for the 9% GST rise. Sheng Siong has maintained pricing stability in spite of this, covering the GST increase with a 1% storewide discount. FairPrice’s yusheng platters have seen a nominal increase, with most products experiencing a 10 to 15-cent rise.
On the other end of the spectrum, restaurants offer more elaborate yusheng experiences, albeit at higher prices. Peach Blossoms and Golden Peony, for instance, have introduced premium platters featuring delicacies like abalone and gold flakes, reflecting slight price increases from the previous year. These upscale options cater to those seeking a more luxurious lo hei experience, with prices justifying the quality and uniqueness of the ingredients.
For those looking for a twist on the traditional yusheng, alternative platters incorporate innovative elements. Haidilao’s mala yusheng and Blue Yasmine’s Thai-inspired prosperity salad offer unique flavours, catering to diverse palates. Fat Cow’s Gyu Sheng, featuring Toriyama Umami Wagyu, provides a meatier option for beef lovers and is interestingly priced lower than its previous iteration.
The extravagant end of the yusheng market sees platters like Man Fu Yuan’s Dragon’s Wealth Yu Sheng and Jade’s Premium Dragon Dance Yu Sheng, with prices soaring to S$888 and S$988, respectively. These platters are not just meals but artistic expressions, symbolising strength, health, and good luck with their elaborate presentations and premium ingredients.
Neo Garden takes extravagance to new heights with its Celestial Dragon Yusheng, priced at an astonishing S$1.19 million. This record-breaking platter stretches 1,088 metres, featuring an array of luxurious toppings. While such opulent options may seem beyond reach, they underscore the creativity and diversity within the yusheng tradition.
As Singaporeans prepare to welcome the Lunar New Year, the variety of yusheng platters, from supermarket bargains to restaurant delicacies and beyond, ensures that the tradition of lo hei continues to thrive. Despite the varying costs, the essence of yusheng—bringing people together to usher in prosperity and good fortune—remains unchanged. Whether opting for a simple celebration at home or indulging in a lavish feast, the spirit of the season is alive in every toss of the yusheng platter.