A flaming pineapple, Chow Mein, Chop Suey, bottles of Sriracha sauce and English pop songs, these are some of the things you can expect at TungLok Group’s Lok Kee at Plaza Singapura.
This is not the typical Chinese restaurant. It reminded me of Chinese restaurants in cities of New York and London.
Black coloured tables, deep red chairs, Chinese brush paintings of Star Wars AT-AT Walkers and Jessie J going ”Bang bang into the room” while chomping down a Pork Crackling Bao can be disconcerting (for the older generation).
The menu features reinterpretations of classic Chinese take-out dishes – Orange Chicken ($18), Mongolian Beef ($36), ‘Kung Pao’ Chicken Nest ($24), and Mapo Tofu ($16) cooked using minced wagyu beef. Not forgetting the current trendy Chinese dish – London Duck ($25 for half, $48 for whole).
One dish you could find in overseas Chinese restaurant is the Flaming Pineapple ($28), and Lokkee’s version has coconut braised beef served in a dug-out pineapple.
Gimmicky it may sound, but the beef pieces were pleasantly tender and sweet, with the gravy of the dish reminding me of Chinese style satay sauce.
Chinese style steamed buns are popular and faddish items in Western countries (think Momofuku). Lokkee’s Spicy Fried Chicken Bao ($6.50) has an added element of Korean spicy gochujung, but I wonder how would local customers take to something that are already familiar with, at a higher price point.
The Custard Egg Roll ($10) dessert has an enjoyable crisp, with smooth crème patissiere inside. The side dip is also quite special, a Sriracha-resembling berry and carrot sauce.
I generally liked most of the dishes. Some of them sound rather experimental, and Lokkee may need to be more certain which would be the star recommendations that would appeal to the local taste buds.
Plaza Singapura, #03-01, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 10:30pm
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Xin Yue Modern Chinese Restaurant (River Valley)
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London Fat Duck (Scotts Square)
Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant (Capitol Piazza)