Come to think of it, TungLok Seafood may be the only seafood restaurant at Orchard Road where you can get some sumptuous Singapore Chilli Crabs.
This can be a consideration when you have foreign friends travelling to the country with a craving for our iconic local dish.
The Singapore-style seafood restaurant is located on Level 11 of Orchard Central, considered a hidden find because less shoppers comparatively go all the way up in this mall.
Well, you get to dine next to a romantic rooftop garden and get a partial view of Orchard Road if you sit near the window.
There are 3 VIP rooms, each that seats 10. The walls are partitioned so the space can be extended.
For those in the west, there is another outlet located within Arena Country Club at Upper Jurong side near Joo Koon.
The specialty of TungLok Seafood is in the best of Singapore-style seafood, and favourites include Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab with Fresh Peppercorns, Stir Fried Crab with Salted Egg Yolk and Curry Leaves, Wasabi Prawns, TungLok Seafood Platter, Crisp-fried Pork Ribs with Preserved Beancurd Sauce, Crisp-fried Baby Squid, Deep-fried Prawns with Crispy Oats, and Fish Maw Broth with Four Treasures.
The following are some of the recommended TungLok Seafood signature dishes:
TungLok Chilli Crab 辣椒螃蟹 ($6.80++ per 100g for crabs below 1kg, $7.80++ per 100g for crabs above 1kg)
And yes, possibly the only seafood restaurant in the heart of Orchard Road to offer Singapore Chilli Crabs.
Crabs were moist and juicy, and the dining experience is best when you order deep-fried mantou to go with the gooey, eggy sauce.
The interesting inclusion was, the sauce was wok-tried with a unique combination of tomato sauce and freshly-squeezed orange juice using thin slices of oranges. Thus, there is this fruity tinge of tangy sweetness which made the gravy more slurp-worthy.
Spicy Curry Laksa with Thick Rice Vermicelli 咖喱加沙粗米粉螃蟹
The other popular crab dish is cooked with laksa gravy, with thick rice vermicelli soaked within. Considering that I take hot dishes all the time, this was spicier than the average (don’t say I never warn.)
The irony because I don’t think the ‘Chilli’ Crab is as spicy as this.
If you can overcome that, then it can be very “shiok” (enjoyable) as you pick up those chunky claws and suck a combination of coconut-y gravy and crab juices.
Other crab dishes that can be found here include Black Pepper Crab with Fresh Peppercorn, Stir-fried Crab with Salted Egg Yolk and Curry Leaves, White Pepper Crab with Leek, Stir-Fried Crab with Ginger and Spring Onion, and Steamed Crab with Chinese Wine.
TungLok Seafood Platter 缤纷海鲜拼盘 ($68++)
Somehow, I had a different imagery of “Seafood Platter” in a Chinese restaurant.
The dish was presented sashimi-style, and the service staff explained that TungLok Seafood also has a trained Japanese chef in the kitchen. Therefore, you get some atypical dishes.
This bowl brims with the freshest catch of the sea, such as Sake (Salmon), Hamachi (Yellow Tail), Mekajiki (Swordfish), Poached Prawns, Fresh Oysters with Chilli Sauce and Sliced Baby Abalone Salad.
As the salmon used is from Norway and raised in cold, clear waters, the slices have this delicious pure taste and firm consistency.
Deep-fried Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk 鲜蛋黄炸虾 ($8++ per 100g)
TungLok is known to be the originator of Deep-fried Prawn with Wasabi-mayo Sauce, but this is another popular choice.
Rather than a thick-saucy version, the prawns have salted egg grains enveloping outside the shells.
I would reckon there are two ways of eating this: lick off the salted egg, then go into the prawns; or eat the entire thing in its crispiness with the shells (except the head maybe).
Nonya-style Steamed Marble Goby with Spicy Assam Sauce 娘惹酱蒸笋壳鱼> ($9++ per 100g)
Surprisingly, this is one of my favourite dish even though it is not a good-looker.
Looking like a Cantonese style steamed whole dish, the marble goby is then added with a tamarind-based Nonya Spicy Assam Sauce.
So beneath the sweet and fresh tasting fish, you get a part sour-sweet-spicy accompaniment which lifts the flavours up and adds a gentle kick. Should be a hit with families.
Mee Goreng 马来炒面 ($18++)
A comforting Chinese style of wok-fried noodles with generous portion of seafood, eggs, and sweet, spicy flavours.
TungLok Lunar New Year Specials
For the coming Lunar New Year festive season, TungLok Group has also introduced “Take-Home Feast” for a delicious and fuss-free experience.
The bundle of 5 items includes TungLok Treasure Bowl (Pen Cai), Prosperity Yu Sheng, Superior Herbal Chicken, Fried Glutinous Rice with Assorted Meat, and TungLok Nian Gao. Prices start from $388 for 6 person portion, and $498 for 10.
There are also Vegetarian options, with prices starting from $268++.
Royal Treasure Bowl 皇家聚宝盆菜 ($288++ for 6 pax, $388++ for 10 pax)
This is the festive dish to look forward to many. The Pen Cai is a comforting treasure pot of goodness filled with layers of premium ingredients, braised in savoury superior abalone sauce.
The moment is when the cover of the pot is lifted off, and you take in that fragrance.
This Royal Treasure Bowl comprises of 13 quality ingredients, with some of the most premium ones at the top such as 10-head Abalone, Fresh Scallop, Sea Cucumber, Dried Oyster, Live Prawn and Smoked Duck Breast.
I am one, however, who likes to dig to the bottom to savour some of those Shiitake Mushroom, ‘Bai Ling’ Mushroom, Lotus Root, Black Moss and Chinese Cabbage. Especially so for the deep fried Bean Dough which would have absorbed quite a bit of the sauce.
For an even more premium option, there is the Heavenly Treasure Bowl 金装聚宝盆菜 ($388++ for 6 pax, $588++ for 10 pax portion) which consists of 16 quality ingredients including a 6-head Abalone.
Prosperity Yu Sheng 鸿运鱼生 ($48++ for 6 pax, $78++ for 10 pax portion)
Huat ah! The must-have Chinese ‘salad’ for the reunion celebration to symbolise prosperity, unity and good health.
I had TungLok’s for my reunion dinner last year, which came in a modern and presentable packaging that presented a talking point among my family. I will probably get the same this year.
This version of Yu Sheng features a vibrant harmony of fresh vegetables, mushroom, yam, and sweet potato shreds, drizzled with TungLok’s new and improved Yu Sheng sauce endorsed by Health Promotion Board (HPB) for its lower sugar content, making this popular festive dish a perfect choice for a healthier celebration.
My family typically steers away from new-fangled flavours, and I noticed that all the vegetables used for this plate were fresh, not lined with artificial colourings of vibrant red and green. Major plus point.
A wholesome plate of fresh, delicious shredded vegetables with succulent salmon.
For dine-in orders, fresh Norwegian Salmon which has that attractive red-orange colour, good fat marbling and pleasurable consistency. Smoked Norwegian Salmon is used for takeaways.
TungLok Nian Gao 同乐年糕 ($22+ for Traditional, Pandan, Black Sesame, $28+ for Red Dates – for takeaways)
Four flavours of Nian Gao, from Traditional, Pandan, Black Sesame and Red Dates.
It seems like the favourite is the Pandan, with a light fragrance, mildly sticky texture and doesn’t taste too heavy.
The better news is, Health Promotion Board has recognised this Nian Gao for its “lower sugar content and source of dietary fibre”. Less guilt having your CNY goodies.
TungLok Seafood – Orchard
Orchard Central #11-05 181 Orchard Road Singapore 238896 (Somerset MRT)
Tel: +65 6834 4888
Opening Hours: Lunch 11.30am – 3.00pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 11:00pm (Mon – Sat)
Lunch 10.00am – 3.00pm, Dinner 6.00pm – 11.00pm (Sun, PH)
TungLok Seafood – Upper Jurong
The Arena Country Club, 511 Upper Jurong Road Singapore 638366 (Opposite SAFTI)
Tel: +65 6262 6996
Opening Hours: Lunch 11.30am – 3pm, Dinner 6.30pm – 11.00pm (Mon – Sun)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with TungLok Group.