It isn’t exactly Chinese New Year until you’ve partaken in one too many Lo Heis.

Yu Sheng is a quintessential dish when it comes to celebrating the conviviality of reunions and the Lunar New Year, with no better way to get all of your well-wishes out (and receive plenty in return) as ingredients are added while reciting their corresponding phrases.

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What is Yu Sheng?

Yu Sheng literally refers to a raw fish and vegetable platter that’s only sold during the Lunar New Year period, and is a unique and local tradition practiced by Singaporeans.

What’s interesting to note is that the Chinese Singaporeans have also begun inviting their friends and colleagues from other walks of life to partake of this food tradition.

Lo Hei, on the other hand, translates from Cantonese to mean “tossing up fortune”. Lo Hei is the act of tossing the Yu Sheng platter.

Therefore, you can order and buy a Yu Sheng platter, but only hold the Lo Hei at a family or friends gathering.

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What day to Lou Hei in 2024?

Conventionally, you’re meant to Lo Hei on Ren Ri (translated from Chinese to mean People’s Birthday or Everybody’s birthday). Ren Ri falls on the seventh day of Chinese New Year, which makes it 16 February 2024, Friday.

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7 Unique Yu Sheng in Singapore (with Prices)

That said, yu sheng has changed with the times. Certain ingredients, like plum sauce, crackers or sesame oil are mainstays to the festive platter – not the least for their auspicious meanings.

Unique Yu ShengPrices
Madame Fan$98 – $238
Jade (Fullerton Hotel)$128 – $988
Crystal Jade$58 – $226
Xin Cuisine (Holiday Inn)$68 – $268
Yan (National Gallery)$78 – $418
Feng Shui Inn (Resorts World Sentosa)$188
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Marriott Tang)$288

Other ingredients, like salmon sashimi that have replaced the now less-popular wolf herring, are modern twists that prove age-old recipes never, ever have to be boring. In recent years, some unusual standouts include different proteins – think uni, pufferfish or parma ham – or forgoing meat altogether.

Madame Fan restaurant 2024 Chinese New Year Yu Sheng is priced at $238 for 8 persons. Image from Madame Fan
Madame Fan restaurant 2024 Chinese New Year Yu Sheng is priced at $238 for 8 persons. Image from Madame Fan

Madame Fan Yu Sheng

Madame Fan at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach is offering an extra luxurious take on yu sheng this year, with its Bountiful Blessings Lobster yu sheng, a creation that features a range of sustainably-farmed seafood that includes Boston lobster, king crab, scallop from Hokkaido, and bluefin tuna.

  • Madame Fan’s Bountiful Blessings Lobster Yu Sheng ($238)
  • Madame Fan’s Signature Salmon & Bluefin Tuna Yu Sheng ($98 or $128)

Madame Fan is located at 32 Beach Rd, The NCO Club. Tel: 6818-1921

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Jade Fullerton Hotel restaurant's Chinese New Year 2024 Premium Dragon Dance Yu Sheng is priced at $988. Image from Fullerton Hotels
Jade Fullerton Hotel restaurant’s Chinese New Year 2024 Premium Dragon Dance Yu Sheng is priced at $988. Image from Fullerton Hotels

Jade (Fullerton Hotel)

Fullerton Hotel Singapore’s Jade restaurant’s executive chef Leong Chee Yeng is known for the artistic streak in many of his creations, and this year’s festive offerings are no different.

  • Gold Rush Dragon Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng ($128 for 5 pax)
  • Premium Dragon Dance Yu Sheng ($988)

His Premium Gold Rush salmon yusheng comes with vegetables arranged in the shape of a dragon, finished with Chinese intricate scales hand-drawn by the chef himself. The pieces of fresh fish and salad comes elevated with champagne jelly and shallot oil – all tied together with a kumquat-based dressing. All these come at a jaw-dropping price tag of $988!

Jade is located at 1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Tel: 6877-8188

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Crystal Jade Premium Yu Sheng with Boston Lobster tail, Aburi, scallops, and fruits (large) is priced at $226.72. Image from Crystal Jade
Crystal Jade Premium Yu Sheng with Boston Lobster tail, Aburi, scallops, and fruits (large) is priced at $226.72. Image from Crystal Jade

Crystal Jade Yu Sheng

For something a little different: Crystal Jade is offering their Premium Yu Sheng with Boston Lobster, which comes with a mix of house-pickled condiments, fresh fruits and vegetables, and crispy fried yam strips and Hsin Chu bee hoon. All this is topped with briny pops of ikura and sweet slices of scallop.

  • Premium Yu Sheng with Boston Lobster tail, Aburi, scallops, and fruits ($150.42 small, $226.72 large)
  • Reunion Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon ($58.64 small, $86.98 large)

The dressing is special too: an olive oil-based sauce with flower blossom syrup and plum sauce.

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Xin Cuisine Holiday Inn restaurant Boston Lobster and Ikura Yu Sheng with Passion Fruit Sauce is priced at $268. Image from Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
Xin Cuisine Holiday Inn restaurant Boston Lobster and Ikura Yu Sheng with Passion Fruit Sauce is priced at $268. Image from Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium

Xin Cuisine (Holiday Inn) Yu Sheng

Xin Cuisine’s yusheng creation this year combines succulent Alaskan king crab with an ever-popular flavour: salted egg yolk.

  • Vegetarian Salmon Yu Sheng ($68)
  • Xin’s Salmon Signature Yu Sheng ($98)
  • Xin’s Salmon Taro Yu Sheng ($98)
  • Baby Abalone Yu Sheng ($98)
  • Sliced 2 Abalone Yu Sheng ($128)
  • Boston Lobster and Ikura Yu Sheng with Passion Fruit Sauce ($268)

The quintessential Chinese New Year salad comes with crispy fried morsels of Alaskan crab meat, all the requisite shredded vegetables, and a creamy salted egg yolk sauce for a moreish rendition of this classic.

Xin Cuisine is located at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, 317 Outram Road. Tel: 3138-2531

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Yan (National Gallery) Yu Sheng

Yan’s elegant ‘Shun De’ style yu sheng, so named after a region in Guangdong where the style originated, comes with slices of yellowtail, braised abalone and accompaniments, all arranged in a heaping centrepiece.

  • Salmon Yu Sheng ($78 small, $98 large)
  • Yellowtail Fish Yu Sheng ($88 small, $108 large)
  • Abalone Yu Sheng ($108 small, $148 large)
  • Kaleidoscope of Prosperity Yu Sheng in ‘Shun De’ Style with Yellowtail Slices ($118 small, $168 large)
  • Kaleidoscope of Prosperity Yu Sheng in ‘Shun De’ Style with Australian Lobster, Sakura Shrimps ($238 small, $418 large)

The selection of julienned vegetables presented here are also a little unusual – shredded purple and yellow sweet potatoes, kalian and pickled ginger accompany the mountain of crispy vermicelli, which goes to represent soaring achievements in the year of the ox. And to finish, some gold flake – we don’t really have to explain what that signifies.

Yan is located at #05-02, National Gallery, 1 Saint Andrew’s Road. Tel: 6384-5585.

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Chinese New Year Lo Hei Yu Sheng with sides and sauces from Resorts World Sentosa Feng Shui Inn's Lobster, Shredded Taro, Ice Plant Crystalline Yu Sheng, Homemade Aged Vinegar Dressing Yu Sheng ala carte menu ($188 before GST). Image from Resorts World Sentosa

Feng Shui Inn (Resorts World Sentosa) Yu Sheng

Hong Kong-born executive chef Li Kwok Kwong brings Japanese influences to the Cantonese restaurant’s yu sheng this year, including some of the best ingredients the ocean has to offer.

  • Lobster, Shredded Taro, Ice Plant Crystalline Yu Sheng, Homemade Aged Vinegar Dressing ($188)

This year, expect fresh wild-caught lobster enveloped in sweet and sour, rich, and aromatic flavours, alongside crispy taro threads and crunchy sea grapes in the ala carte Yu Sheng dish. With all these yummy ingredients, you’d better be careful not to toss them to the floor!

Feng Shui Inn is located at Equarius Hotel, Lobby at Resorts World Sentosa.

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Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Marriott Tang) Yu Sheng

Oceanic delights abound with Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant’s lobster, scallop, salmon, tuna and caviar-topped yu sheng ($288 for large), adorned with crispy bits of fish skin.

It’s just one of six the Cantonese restaurant has to offer – other highlights include smoked duck yu sheng, or the pear and avocado rendition of the dish for vegetarians and vegans alike to partake in the festivities. There’s also the option of an excitingly sweet, yet zesty, mandarin orange sauce instead of the traditional one for a refreshing take on an old favourite.

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant is located in Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road.

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Lo Hei Sayings in English: 17 Things to say during Lo Hei

Lo Hei is the act of tossing the Yu Sheng to bring in good luck and wealth. But it’s more than just shouting “Huat Ah!”.

So if you are interested to organize your own Lo Hei at home for the reunion dinner, here are 17 Mandarin Chinese phrases to say when you add the ingredients into your Yu Sheng and while tossing it.

We recommend to do it in the sequence below. Good luck and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

1. 年年有余

Pronounced: Nián nián yǒu yú

Meaning: Prosperity every year!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Add raw fish slices

2. 大吉大利

Pronounced: Dà Jí Dà Lì

Meaning: Good luck and prosperity!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Add dried orange peels

3. 招财进宝

Pronounced: Zhāo Cái Jìn Bǎo

Meaning: Incoming wealth!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Add the pepper and seasoning powders

4. 一本万利

Pronounced: Yī Běn Wàn Lì

Meaning: May you make a thousand-fold profit from your investment!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Pour the oil

5. 财源广进

Pronounced: Cái Yuán Guǎng Jìn

Meaning: May money pour in from all directions!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Continue drizzling oil

6. 鸿运当头

Pronounced: Hóng Yùn Dāng Tóu

Meaning: May opportunity strike you!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Throw in the carrots

7. 步步高升

Pronounced: Bù Bù Gāo Shēng

Meaning: May you rise higher with each step!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Toss in the shredded white radish

8. 风生水起

Pronounced: Fēng Shēng Shuǐ Qǐ

Meaning: May you have success and promotion at work!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Toss in the shredded cabbage

9. 青春常驻

Pronounced: Qīng Chūn Yǒng Zhù

Meaning: Stay young forever!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Toss in the shredded green radish

10. 金银满屋

Pronounced: Jīn Yín Mǎn Wū

Meaning: May your house be full of gold and silver!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Sprinkle chopped peanuts

11. 生意兴隆

Pronounced: Shēng Yì Xīng Lóng

Meaning: Prosperity for your business!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Sprinkle the sesame seeds over

12. 满地黄金

Pronounced: Mǎn Dì Huáng Jīn

Meaning: May your floor be splashed full of gold!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Sprinkle the crackers (golden pillows)

13. 甜甜蜜蜜

Pronounced: Tián Tián Mì Mì

Meaning: May your life be sweet!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Pour in the plum sauce

From here on, pour in whatever excess ingredient you have. We’re moving into the communal tossing. Everyone, as they toss the Yu Sheng to greater heights, should echo these words together:

14. 万事如意

Pronounced: Wàn Shì Rú Yì

Meaning: May everything be good and smooth!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Toss the Yu Sheng

15. 身体健康

Pronounced: Shēn Tǐ Jiàn Kāng

Meaning: May your body stay strong and healthy!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Toss the Yu Sheng

16. 恭喜发财

Pronounced: Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái

Meaning: Wishing everyone great wealth!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Toss the Yu Sheng

17. 发啊

Pronounced: Fā à (in Chinese), but usually said Huàt à (in Hokkien)

Meaning: Get rich and get lucky!

Lo Hei Ingredient: Towards the end of the Yu Sheng tossing (repeat and shout this out the loudest!).

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This article first appeared in The Singapore Women’s Weekly, The Peak.