With just a week left until Christmas, we look at traditional holiday meals from Italy and Spain, as presented by two restaurants here

FOOD

Italian feasts

Zafferano

Yuletide feasts have always been elaborate affairs in the Italian culture. From Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, bask in the festive ambience with family and friends over Zafferano’s dining highlights.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, head chef Andrea De Paola and his team present a spread of contemporary Italian festive fare with an assortment of seafood — a traditional Italian way to herald the arrival of Christmas.

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Highlights include an exquisite appetiser of pan-seared Hokkaido scallop with cauliflower, Riesling sauce, crowned with oscietra caviar; and a festive dessert of nougat snowball with cardamom and gingerbread, Zafferano’s interpretation of a classic Christmas cookie that melts in the mouth.

The set menus are available in three courses ($128++ per person) and five courses ($248++ per person). In the spirit of gifting, Zafferano has prepared a special Christmas present — each adult enjoying the three-course menu will receive a dining voucher worth $20, while those savouring the five-course menu will receive a dining voucher worth $50, good for return visits.

On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, get together with family and friends for a festive edition of Zafferano’s champagne brunch, with unlimited pouring of champagne, premium wines, beer, juices, soft drinks, and coffee or tea; priced at $198++ per person.

The sumptuous spread offers sharing-style courses of antipasti, primi, and secondi for each table, and completes the idyllic afternoon with assorted Christmas desserts and a selection of cheese and fresh fruits.

The mains cast the spotlight on the Yuletide season: Roasted turkey with brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce are a Christmas must-have, while the house-cured Neapolitan-style baccala with confit tomatoes and taggiasca olives is chef Andrea’s rendition of his family’s festive staple.

Zafferano is located on level 43 of Ocean Financial Centre. For more information, call 6509 1488 or visit www.zafferano.sg

Catalan flavours

Restaurant Gaig

In Spain, Christmas joy crosses over into the new year, concluding in early January. One of the most important days of the season is Christmas Eve, which is dedicated to elaborate family celebrations that carry on late into the night.

This year, the team at Restaurant Gaig marks this beloved holiday period with a sumptuous seven-course set menus of Catalan flavours from northeast Spain for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, available for dinner.

On Christmas Eve, the set menu ($118++ per person) commences with a light, refreshing tartare of sea bass, prawn and caviar, and the quail escabetx further whets the appetite, featuring a warm salad of fresh greens and herbs with pickled quail.

For mains, the robust monkfish suquet pays homage to a time-honoured seafood stew, a must-have for many Catalan families’ celebratory feasts. Meanwhile, the succulent Josper grilled lamb rack from Pyrenees with Jerusalem artichokes is adorned with mint sauce.

On Dec 31, indulge in the lavish seven-course New Year’s Eve set menu ($150++ per person). The feast starts with an enticing selection of tapas — warm lobster salad dressed in a tangy mango vinaigrette, followed by duck foie gras terrine with anchovies boasting an alluring union of surf and turf with luscious house-made terrine and briny savouriness from L’Escala anchovies, paired with hazelnut sablé.

Located along Stanley Street, Restaurant Gaig is the first international outpost of the original Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona opened by the celebrated chef Carles Gaig. For more information, visit www.singapur.restaurantgaig.com

ARTS

Children’s season

National Museum of Singapore

From Nov 21 to Dec 27, ‘Children’s Season’ at the National Museum explores the topic of change amid the current uncertainties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, through a variety of self-facilitated onsite activities and accessible online programmes for young museum-goers and their families to enjoy.

Presented in conjunction with National Museum’s ongoing ‘Doraemon’s Time-Travelling Adventures in Singapore’ campaign and the upcoming ‘Home, Truly’ special exhibition, Children’s Season at the National Museum 2020 explores how Singapore, and familiar items and objects like the National Service uniform and the Setron TV have changed over time; and how Singaporeans have adapted in creative ways to overcome difficulties.

Families can look forward to a varied selection of both onsite and online programming across four sub-themes centred around change, all of which inspire innovative thinking and a resilient approach to the future.

Families can also enjoy Children’s Season at the National Museum 2020 from the comfort of their homes — held via Zoom, Ondeh Christmas Tree and Makers & Shakers both offer fun-filled opportunities for inter-generational family bonding over an ondeh-ondeh making class and a do-it-yourself music instrument workshop, respectively.

For more information, visit www.go.gov.sg/cs20changeisok