Wah Lok at the Carlton Hotel is probably one Cantonese restaurant well known by food lovers around Singapore. Ever since its inception 1988, the restaurant has been regarded as one of the pioneers of authentic Hong Kong cuisine; winning awards each year. Yet the true measure of its success is how the restaurant still remains a stalwart in the scene after all these years. Apart from its exquisite dining ambience, it is the dishes crafted by Chinese Executive Chef Ng Wai Tong and his team that leaves a memorable, homely impression. While its dishes may not always be startling new, the flavours are unique and will leave one craving for more.
To celebrate its history as well as to highlight its specialties, Wah Lok will offer signature dishes at a special price to its guests. For the month of June, which has slightly over two weeks left, I highly recommend going for the Braised Bird’s Nest wrapped with Egg White in Red Carrot Soup (U.P $58++ per pax, special price $38++ per pax).
I started lunch with a serving of Roasted Pork ($15++). Always a crowd pleaser around the table, it was a delight to see the sio bak glistening and being oh so tasty with a delectable crunch and burst of salty savouriness in each bite. Goes well with the side dip of mustard.
Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings with Bamboo Fungus ($6.90++)
I thoroughly enjoyed the Fried Carrot Cake with XO Sauce ($12++) – a strong recommendation from me! I loved the hearty chunks of carrot cake tossed in a sublime combination of crisp omelette, beansprouts and fragrant XO sauce. It was a marvel going through the umami, slightly spicy and rich flavour. The dish carried a delicious wok-hei scent that permeated the ingredients throughout.
A great snack to have would be the Deep-fried Octopus Tentacles ($12++). Though it may look a little unappetizing, these delightful appetizers start the meal well and are a reason to order some alcohol alongside. The tentacles are not dried up and are chunky, crisp and bursting with flavour brought out with the little garnish of salt.
When at Wah Lok, the Baked Barbecued Pork Buns ($5.40++ per piece) is one signature dish of the restaurant’s not to pass up on. The crisp, flaky and fragrant polo surface reveals after the first bite a sweet savoury meaty interior beautified with the occasional streaks of fat. I craved for more after my share, but knowing that I wouldn’t order another, simply savoured each delicious moment.
July’s special – Pan-fried Hokkaido Scallop (U.P $15 per piece; Special $10.30 per piece)
The dish that stood out most for me was the signature Braised Bird’s Nest wrapped with Egg White in Red Carrot Soup (U.P $58++ per pax, special price $38++ per pax). As a special for the month of June, I can see good reason why guests will want to keep coming back to Wah Lok. The use of egg white as a dumpling wrap is in itself unique, but the surprise comes when upon the first bite into the dumpling, a very generous portion of bird’s nest spills out like a harvest of golden treasures. The clean, crisp flavour of the bird’s nest dumpling is also marvelously contrasted with the robust and richly flavoured sweet savoury carrot soup. Kudos to the kitchen team for this spectacular dish. To some extent, it made July’s promotion pale in comparison.
Chilled Mango Pudding ($8++)
My meal at Wah Lok was exceptionally satisfying, with bold hearty flavours standing out in clear tones. The dishes are not fantastically new, but when innovative ideas do shine through, it becomes clear that there is somehow a winning formula that will make guests keep coming back for more. I thoroughly enjoyed the Baked Barbecued Pork Buns, the Fried Carrot Cake and definitely the Braised Bird’s Nest Wrapped with Egg White in Red Carrot Soup. These are dishes that I will find an opportunity to make a visit to Wah Lok for. Till my next visit, I will probably just dream about that beautiful dumpling in carrot soup.
|Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant|
Carlton Hotel Singapore
76 Bras Basah Road
Reservations: 6311 8188
Mon to Sat
11.30am to 2.30pm
6.30pm to 10.30pm
Sun and PH
11am to 2.30pm
6.30pm to 10.30pm