Tung Lok Signatures

A few weeks ago I celebrated my 21st birthday with my family at Tung Lok Signatures. There were a few places on my list but all non-chinese fare was immediately strucked off the list as my dad is a traditional man who loves his chinese food and nothing else. I thought Tung Lok would be ideal because it never fails to impress me on my previous two visits. It could be the diminishing marginal utility at work for me, but my family gave thumbs down for the overall dinner.

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The server recommended some coconut juice which was surprisingly green. If you like coconut, you’ll probably enjoy the refreshing drink. I think it’s an acquired taste.

Pickles
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I love pickles. Luckily my sis doesn’t like them so I can have all of them to myself.

Roasted Meat $10 (not in set menu)
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I remember my previous visit the roasted meat left a really deep impression so I suggested ordering it on top of the set menu we had. Crispy skin, yes. Juicy meat, er, not quite there. And there was a porky taste/smell which didn’t impress.

Deep-Fried Stuffed Scallop with Crisp-Fried Oats Served on Lettuce
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First on the menu, three other hungry people were staring at the huge serving of piping hot stuffed scallop while waiting for yours truly to take photos. I think they were quite used to it already except that we were all starving that evening. I supposed the scallop was deep-fried at a sufficiently high temperature and the oil used was clean as the crispy outer crust was not dripping with oil. Great starter!

Braised Shark’s Fin with Fresh Crab Meat and Minced Chicken
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Oh, so there was minced chicken. I doubt anyone at the table realised there was minced chicken in the soup. We were all happily slurping the thickly brewed soup with real (but small) shark’s fin and crab meat swimming in the soup.

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Unlike the usual starchy shark’s fin soup with hardly any visible fins, everyone enjoyed the second item on the menu immensely as we were blown away by the sweet tasting crab meat and bits of shark’s fins. Yes, and not to mention that real good ingredients were used and we could tell that soup was brewed long enough that the sweetness of the ingredients diffused into the soup.

Sauteed ‘Gui Hua’ Clams with Broad Beans served with Beancurd Skin in X.O. Sauce
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For a person who doesn’t like beans, I actually enjoyed the broad beans that was crunchy and sweet. We all thought we were eating sotong as the clams tasted so much like sotong! Did they say X.O. Sauce? It was barely detectable. What killed the whole dish was the oil. It was far too oily that we felt queasy after that.

Steamed Live Marble Goby with Minced Ginger
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Fresh catch indeed. The fish was nicely executed topped with minced ginger that gave the extra oomph. What was really good was that the fish was served almost boneless! I wonder how the chef did it. Nice one. However, I suspect they used corn flour or something similar to coat the fish as there was a starchy texture which turned soggy in the sauce.

Braised Pork Belly with Vintage Vinegar
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We didn’t notice that we had pork belly in the menu or we wouldn’t have ordered the separate ala-carte roasted pork. By this time, our stomachs were already quite full. I felt the pork belly was disappointing as the standards fell so much from the previous time I dined there. No doubt the pork belly was soft and juicy, but again, there was a porky taste/smell that was overpowering. Again, it was too oily and we gave our feedback to the polite server.

Steamed Rice with Diced Pork, Sausage and Yam served in Earthen Bowl
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We heaved a huge sigh of relief as we come to the final course before the dessert. Luckily the rice was flavourful enough so I still managed to finish my portion. Mum and sis thought that the claypot rice at The Cathay Restaurant fared much better. I thought Tung Lok’s version was better though.

Chilled Mango, Pomelo and Sago with Ice Cream
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The first mouth my sis tried she exclaimed that it was better that Ah Chew Dessert at Liang Seah Street. Well, I brought them previously as I thought they would like it. Apparently they didn’t. But anyway, glad they all enjoyed the dessert at Tung Lok though our stomachs were bursting already! The ice cream was the one that gave the dessert a unique taste. It tasted like coconut ice cream, which went very well with the not too sweet mango.

Mian Hua Gao (Cotton Cake)
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Just as we thought our stomachs could start digesting and take a break, the waitress served us Tung Lok’s complimentary ‘mian hua gao’. The cake tasted like marshmallow! That was what I could remember other than the fact that I was really full.

It was $268++ for the set meal for 4 people, excluding the additional roasted meat and coconut juice we ordered. We overheard from the table beside us that the two VIP guests were not too impressed with the food that evening as well. So I was right about the dropped in standards. Maybe it was another chef that evening or something else? I shall not discredit Tung Lok for there were a few courses in the menu I enjoyed.

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2 Responses to “Tung Lok Signatures”

  1. Happy 21st birthday!!! =)

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