How’s Catering: Self-heating home mini buffets for the perfect CNY reunion dinner
Chinese New Year 2023 is right around the corner— you know what that means: It’s time to reunite with our families and feast together. If you’re…
Chinese New Year 2023 is right around the corner— you know what that means: It’s time to reunite with our families and feast together. If you’re looking for an ultra-convenient meal for all your loved ones, How’s Catering’s self-heating CNY Mini Buffets are here to save the day.
Founded in 1991, How’s Catering has quickly evolved to become one of Singapore’s most favoured caterers. Plus, they’re halal certified, so that Muslim friends are able to join in the feasting too!
How’s Catering’s Chinese New Year buffets start from just S$28 per pax, while their self-heating mini buffet lines range from S$298 to S$498, suitable to feed 8 to 10 people, a perfect hassle-free choice for small to medium sized get-togethers and office meetings.
Their self-heating mini buffets are especially intriguing, and come in 3 variations: the iHEAT Spring Mini Buffet (S$298), iHEAT Fortune Mini Buffet (S$398) and finally, the extravagant iHEAT Harmony Mini Buffet (S$498). Each iHEAT Mini Buffet can feed 10 pax, an enticing choice for large groups.
That means it is an affordable choice as it only costs S$29.80 to S$49.80 per pax.
Wondering how exactly the iHEAT series works in heating your food? Each of the hot dishes is double-stacked, with the food being on top while the heating agents and water packs are contained in the bottom tray. How’s Catering also includes an instructional card with detailed directions on how to heat your food in just 6 simple and fun steps.
To heat up your food, start by removing the top tray containing the food. Empty the two water packs into the tray, then remove the two heating agents from their plastic wrapping and place them into the water. Make sure not to touch the heating agents with wet hands!
Afterwards, immediately place the food tray back on top and cover it tightly with the lid. Try to do this as quickly as possible, as the heating agent packs will expand and start emitting hot steam in 10 seconds.
Leave the lid on for 15 minutes and there you have it, a delicious hot meal ready for consumption! The warming duration lasts between 20 to 30 minutes, leaving you and your guests plenty of time to enjoy the hot food.
What I tried at How’s Catering
How’s Catering’s iHEAT Harmony Mini Buffet comes with 13 incredible dishes, including a stunning yu sheng served with salmon. With dishes including meat, veggies, seafood, carbs, soup and even desserts, everyone has something to look forward to.
Plus, the mini buffet even includes disposable utensils, bowls and plates, sharing cutlery like tongs and large spoons, napkins, and even a table cloth! There’s no need to worry that there aren’t enough utensils and plates to go around, or about dealing with a huge pile of dishes to wash after the celebrations.
We started off the feast with How’s Catering’s Prawn Dumpling with Sriracha Dip, consisting of crispy fried prawn dumplings tossed with curry leaves and chilli.
Each dumpling was crispy and generously filled with whole prawns. The dumpling skins were not too thick, and were satisfying to munch down on.
To make the prawn dumplings extra flavourful, the side of sriracha dip added a bit of creaminess and spice to the already tasty snack.
I couldn’t get enough of the prawns, so I moved on to the next prawn dish: The Salted Egg Prawn Ball with Crumble. Each large prawn was coated in cereal, curry leaves and chilli, with a large tub of salted egg sauce for dipping.
I loved how juicy and plump each prawn was, and I found myself scarfing down multiple of them. The salted egg sauce was the perfect addition to the dish as it zhng-ed up the prawns with its rich and savoury notes. I’m not usually a big fan of prawns, but How’s Catering certainly won me over with this dish!
The meat dishes were equally as satisfying. The Chinese Braised Soya Chicken was a favourite of mine, served with an assortment of chopped chicken pieces. The incredible tenderness of the chicken meat was a hit, and each piece was well-marinated with the soy sauce.
An alternative poultry option is the Braised Duck with Sea Cucumber, a dish that comes with various duck parts, mushrooms, carrots and assorted vegetables. I adored how comforting each bite of this dish was, especially with the myriad of juicy mushrooms and satisfyingly crunchy vegetables balancing out the meat perfectly.
One of my go-to dishes whenever I’m eating Chinese food is egg toufu, so I was especially excited for How’s Catering’s Braised Egg Toufu with Egg White Crab Meat Sauce. Each toufu had a delightfully silky texture, and the egg white crab meat sauce gave the dish slightly sweet and savoury notes.
My eyes were instantly caught by the vibrant colours of the Wok Fried Baby Lobster with Leek & Scallion. I was impressed by the generosity of the baby lobsters — I had expected much of the dish to contain leeks and scallions, but the whole tray, from top to bottom, was filled with baby lobsters!
For anyone who dislikes the hassle of de-shelling lobsters, I found How’s Catering’s lobsters tender enough to be torn apart easily, revealing the juicy and soft meat within. Yum!
Can’t get enough of the seafood dishes? The Steamed Locally Farmed Seabass with Homemade Bean Paste is a dish that fish lovers will definitely adore. Like all of How’s Catering’s other meat and seafood dishes, the incredible tenderness of the seabass fillets won me over, plus, the bean paste and veggie toppings added extra flavour to the whole dish.
Braised broccoli is a classic Chinese vegetable dish, and How’s Catering’s take on it does not disappoint. The Braised Broccoli with Japanese Flower Mushroom comes with fresh crunchy broccoli, juicy Japanese flower mushrooms and thinly-sliced carrots for the perfect fibre boost.
Soup lovers will enjoy How’s Catering’s Braised Fish Maw with Assorted Seafood, which boasts a delightfully thick and satisfying texture. The soup was filled generously with loads of seafood pieces, wolfberries and mushrooms, making it extra satisfying and worth it. Plus, you’ll get two trays of soup, perfect for everyone to share!
It’s not a Chinese dinner without rice, and the Chinese Sticky Rice with Dried Shrimp, Chinese Mushroom & Chestnut is a great carb base for all the delicious dishes included in the iHEAT Harmony Mini Buffet. The fragrant rice is studded with sweet chestnuts, savoury mushrooms, diced sausages and topped with fried shallots.
After all those delectable mains, what better way to end the meal than with a light dessert? The iHEAT Harmony Mini Buffet comes with two desserts, the first of which being the Pear & Ginseng Pudding with Fungus & Wolfberries.
Each pudding was shaped like an ingot and came filled with pear pieces. They weren’t too sweet and were incredibly refreshing with a light herbal aroma from the ginseng.
I personally could not get enough of the Almond & Green Pea Crumble Tart, consisting of small buttery tarts encasing sweet almond and green pea fillings. The tarts were fragrant and reminded me a little of green pea cookies. Their tiny sizes also make them a fantastic quick dessert for everyone to share.
Finally, no Chinese New Year is complete without lo hei-ing towards a prosperous year with some delicious yu sheng. How’s Catering’s Prosperity Yu Sheng with Condiments gives you everything you could want in a classic yu sheng platter. It comes with a packet of fresh salmon for you to add to your yu sheng, and acts as the perfect way to close out your festive meal.
With its huge variety of dishes and innovative self-heating technology, How’s Catering blew me away with their ingenuity and food quality. Gone are the days of worrying about what to feed your guests or dealing with cold food, as How’s Catering’s iHEAT Mini Buffets take care of everything.
For smaller groups, How’s Catering also offers individual à la carte dishes, like the Chinese New Year Pen Cai (S$328++), which is suitable for 6 to 8 pax, and the Lobster Broth Pao Fan (S$98++), which can feed 5 to 6 pax. You can even get self-heating bentos at S$30 per pax with a minimum of 20 people, or full-fledged buffets with a minimum of 25, 30 or 40 people.
How’s Catering’s Chinese New Year menu will be available from 9 Jan 2023 to 5 Feb 2023. Delivery fees and surcharges apply.
For more information, visit their website.
Expected damage: S$25 – S$50 per pax
* This article was brought to you in partnership with How’s Catering.
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