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Singapore hotels say 'No' to shark’s fin for Lunar New Year

Ushering in the Year of the Rat sustainably

Ushering in the Year of the Rat sustainably, some Accor Singapore hotels are maintaining their commitment to keeping shark’s fin soup off their menus this Lunar New Year.

The Yu Sheng salad with lobster and Yunnan rose dressing at 藝 yì by Jereme Leung at Raffles Singapore. The Lunar New Year salad is tossed at dinner, with each ingredient symbolising prosperity, abundance, and wealth.

Across Singapore, Chinese families will soon gather over sumptuous spreads for an important Lunar New Year tradition – the annual reunion dinner. The tradition is a time to enjoy festive dishes, each boasting colours and flavours that represent prosperity, health, and good fortune for the year ahead. But amongst the familiar flavours is one dish an increasing number of Singaporeans are seeking to forgo – shark’s fin soup.
The demand for the centuries-old Chinese dish – considered by many to be a Lunar New Year delicacy – sees more than 70 million sharks unsustainably fished annually, according to WWF Singapore. The group lists Singapore as the world’s second largest trader of shark fin.
But, as an awareness of the dangers of overfishing increases, so too does the appetite for something more sustainable – 82% of Singaporeans believe in an alternative to shark’s fin soup at their Lunar New Year spreads.
Seafood abalone 'treasure pot' with braised cabbage and black moss, one of the Chinese New Year Takeaway items at Racines, Sofitel Singapore City Centre

To that end, hotels such as Raffles Singapore, Sofitel Singapore City Centre, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa and Swissôtel Merchant Court have committed themselves to more sustainable, more sumptuous Lunar New Year dining options – free of shark’s fin.
Playful Lunar New Year cocktails at 1864. Left: 'Bai Shu' (white rat), a Bloody Mary with a yuzu twist. Right: 'Hong Shu' (red rat), a citrus mocktail garnished with a cheeky slice of torched cheese to celebrate the Year of the Rat.

As an alternative to shark’s fin soup, Sofitel Singapore City Centre’s Racines restaurant is offering double-boiled chicken with fish maw and aromatic black truffle as part of its Lunar New Year dine-in specials. Other decadent dishes include Hokkaido scallops and rock lobster in seafood broth, slow-cooked duck leg with Chinese mushrooms and braised oysters. Just outside Racines, sip on playful Lunar New Year cocktails at the 1864 bar.
Meanwhile, 藝 yì by Jereme Leung at Raffles Singapore unites traditional tastes with modern concepts. Lunar New Year menu items include crispy osmanthus rice cakes and the classic Yu Sheng salad with lobster and Yunnan rose dressing, amongst other delicacies.
"As we welcome the Year of the Rat and an auspicious year for weddings in 2020, our culinary team has curated alternate delicacies in replacement," states Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. Those alternatives include fish maw, abalone, sea cucumber, crab meat, and more. 
Having stopped serving shark's fin more than a decade ago in 2009, Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore’s Ellenborough Market Café will also be celebrating the Year of the Rat with a Prosperity Buffet featuring succulent roast meats, salmon Yu Sheng salad, braised oysters, and more to pile your plate with – an auspicious start to the New Year indeed.

Sustainability is one of the most important issues currently facing the world and with growing awareness of the impact of sharks’ extinction on our environment, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is committed to join in the #NoSharkFin movement globally by removing Shark’s Fin from our menu selection throughout the entire resort.

- Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
The festive Prosperity Buffet at Ellenborough Market Cafe, Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore

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