Thursday, January 23, 2014

YEE SANG TRADITION: GOOD LUCK, PROSPERITY, AND HEALTH!



yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila


        If you're as clueless as I was about Chinese traditions, then you probably also have no idea what Yee Sang is. It was only last Tuesday that I learned about this tradition during a lunch at Shang Palace in Makati Shangrila for sort of a pre-Chinese New Year lunch. (Thank you to the people of Makati Shangrila for inviting us!)



yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila

        So what exactly is Yee Sang? Apparently it's a Chinese New Year tradition done usually in Singapore that signifies good health, prosperity, and good luck. During a Yee Sang, people gather around, basically make a lucky salad using certain thinly-sliced ingredients, and say their own wishes each time they put in an ingredient. (New car? New cellphone? I went for good health for everyone in my family. That's the best wish ever! I don't know what I'd do if anyone I love gets terribly sick)


yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila
Makati Shangrila's Chinese Operations Manager Agnes Chuah started adding ingredients into the plate

yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila
(L-R) H.E. Hirubalan V.P., Mr. Alain Borgers, Mrs. Mano Totamby, and Agness Chuah

        We were graced by the presence of H.E. Hirubalan V.P., Ambassador of Singapore to the Philippines and his lovely wife Mano Totamby. Such nice and down-to earth people! Also there was Mr. Alain Borgers, Area Manager / General Manager of Makati Shangrila.


yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila

Ms. Agnes continues to add ingredients,this time coming from a small sachet.


yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila

On the other side of the table, the head chef was doing the same

yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila

        The fried wanton wraps (or at least what looked like one), was supposedly for prosperity. When we all heard this, everyone wanted to get some to sprinkle onto the salad hahaha!


yee sang at shang palace makati shangrila

        As soon as the ingredients were complete, everyone grabbed one of the huge chopsticks prepared for us and started tossing the salad.



        We started slowly at first (I guess everyone was worried about getting salad on the shirt or face of the Singapore Ambassador and his lovely wife haha!)


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang


       But pretty soon we were literally tossing the salad higher up in the air! Doing so signifies well wishes for abundant luck and happiness for everyone there.

Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang
The aftermath....

       After we made a mess, (a well-worth it mess I'd say), we settled back in our seats and enjoyed the wonderful lunch from Shang Palace, Shangrila Makati's posh Chinese restaurant at the 2nd floor of the hotel.

Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang Yee Sang Salad

        We started by eating the Yee Sang Salad or more specifically, the Salmon Fish Yu Sheng. It was pretty good! Refreshing with a right amount of sweetness to it.


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang suckling pig platter

        Then there was the Suckling Pig Combination Platter. A combination of different types of meat with egg and seaweed.


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang soup

        To warm our tummies, this hearty soup was served. It's a Dried Scallops, Shredded Chicken and Bamboo Pith with Crab Meat Soup.  


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang scallops

        Stir-fried Scallops with XO Sauce was up next. For me (and this is just me), it was a bit under seasoned for my liking. 


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang braised baby abalone

        The Braised Baby Abalone Dried Oyster with Black Mushroom and Garden Green in Japanese Bean Curd Skin (that's a mouthful!) was something else. I liked everything I tasted in it (except for what tasted like liver). There was some type of moss in the middle (It's that black thing you see in the picture) and it was my first time to try it. It tasted like miniature sotanghon that's black in color.I liked it! And apparently it's healthy.


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang steamed fish

       This is their Steamed Lapu Lapu Hong Kong Style in Light Soya Sauce. I loved steamed fish and this one was no exemption. Light and yet very flavorful! We were all dreaming of steaming hot rice to drown into the sauce haha! Yum!


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang duck

       Say hello to their roasted duck. Not really sure what the exact name of this is as this wasn't originally on our set menu for that event. They changed it last minute due to popular demand. It's very good especially with the plum sauce.


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang glutinous rice

        And the last but not the least savory dish of the day is the Wok-Fried Glutinous Rice with Winter Meat in Lotus Leave. It was a nice treat. I'm used to glutinous rice being sweet, so I found this quite interesting. It had some finely diced Chinese sausage as well. I'm not a fan of Chinese sausages but my friends found it really good. So I'm sure Richie will love this. (Too bad he had to work so I had to attend again on his behalf)

Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang Pumpkin Cream

        Their Chilled Pumpkin Cream had a refreshing subtle sweetness to it. It doesn't really taste like [imkin. More like milk. It also had some seaweed in it which had a glutinous coconut-like texture. 


Yee Sang Shang Palace Makati Shang Tikoy

        And to signify a sweet life, the meal was capped off with some good ol' sweet and sticky tikoy!

        I had a lot of fun and the Yee Sang tossing experience was really unforgettable! I went home that day with a lot of luck, good health. prosperity, and a very satisfied tummy!



        How about you? How do you plan to spend your Chinese New Year? Makati Shangrila has some activities you can choose from! Kung Hei Fat Choi!!!

Chinese New Year activities at Makati Shangrila
Chinese New Year Activities at Makati Shangrila





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