Famed for its contemporary approaches to traditional Chinese food along with its unyielding commitment to theatrics and witty presentation, Lokkee, part of the TungLok Group, is one Chinese restaurant that impresses time and time again.
The restaurant reinterprets and elevates the traditional Chinese recipes with a dash of Western influence, celebrating the unique style of cuisine that is commonly found in Chinatowns dotted across major, non-Chinese cities around the world such as New York, London and Sydney.
Through marrying culinary prowess along with fresh, top quality ingredients, the chefs here continue to push boundaries to what many of us know and understand about Chinese cooking, creating a whole new genre of Chinese cuisine altogether. Our favourites include their Firecracker Chicken Nest that draws its inspiration from Sichuan’s cuisine as well as their ‘Bakkwa’ Bacon Salad—a starter that marries both the East and West perfectly.
‘BAKKWA’ BACON SALAD
A meaty snack that has risen in popularity over the years is bakkwa. Salty, sweet, smoky and everything one could ever want to munch on when feeling peckish, this barbecued beauty—similar to jerky—has won the hearts of many and even of those who live abroad.
Featuring bakkwa in one of its top-selling salad dishes, the ‘Bakkwa’ Bacon Salad (S$32++) arrives at the table surrounded by a moat of dry ice that aims to mystify the dish and excite the senses. In this dish, bacon strips are grilled bakkwa-style and coated with toasted sesame and hung over a bed of oriental greens and lotus root croutons. Hung immediately after the bacon strips are cooked, the fat is allowed to drip down onto the salad, giving the salad a buttery sheen and smoky flavour.
The bacon ‘bakkwa’ is on a whole different level in terms of taste and texture. Coated in a sweet glaze and a substantial amount of luscious liquid fat to tie it all off, every bite comes with the promise of sensorial pleasure.
FIRECRACKER CHICKEN NEST
A crowd-favourite and one that took us by surprise was the Firecracker Chicken Nest (S$28++).
Reinterpreting the iconic Chinese takeout dish, kung pao chicken, what you get is a vibrant mess of dried chilli, Sichuan peppercorns, chicken bits that have been coated in five-spice powder and deep-fried. Contrary to the heaping mound of dried chilli, the heat is actually pretty manageable and the chicken, extremely tasty.
But should you feel a need to cool off your palate, the mango purée—the bright-yellow blob cleverly designed to look like an egg yolk—instantly cools the tongue and delivers a sweet, fruity explosion.
AWESOME FLAMING PINEAPPLE BEEF
From appearance, right down to its gentle marriage of flavours, the Awesome Flaming Pineapple Beef (S$34++) dish truly epitomises the cuisine associated with fortune cookies and Chinese takeout boxes commonly seen in Hollywood movies.
Fruity and tangy rather than savoury and robust, the braised chunks of beef borrows flavour from its host, resulting in a lovely flavour that marries the best of both ingredients wonderfully. For theatrical purposes, the pineapple is set aflame upon serving so be sure to have your cameras at the ready.
DRAGON PHOENIX POT
A new addition to Lokkee’s menu is the Dragon Phoenix Pot (S$30++), a one-pot-wonder that seems strangely familiar to the classic drunken prawn dish. Neatly arranged at the base of the pot is chicken wings, prawns, wolfberries and enokitake mushrooms. However, the fun only begins the second an entire bottle of Gosnells London Mead is emptied into the pot.
Mead, an alcoholic beverage that’s made by fermenting honey and water, gives the dish a sweet, honey flavour and helps to bring out the sweetness of the other ingredients as well. As it reduces down, the flavour of the soup develops and becomes enriched with all its various components, giving you a concentrated soup with depth.
THE MERMAID WITH FRESH FISH MAW
A juggernaut of a dish and one that demands to be shared between more than two people at least, THE MERMAID with fresh fish maw (S$128++)—inspired by the recently-popular grilled fish from Sichuan—sees a massive fillet of grilled barramundi, topped with fish maw and accompanied by squares of tofu. The dish first arrives in dry form before the servers eventually spoon over two large blobs of collagen and a concentrated broth.
Healthy, fragrant and apparently great for your complexion as well, the broth is made simply using fish bones and fish skin. The result? A full-bodied broth that brims with clean, comforting flavours and some serious umami. The fish itself is grilled beautifully, boasting flaky, delicate flesh that pairs exceptionally well with the flavourful broth.
PUMPKIN BUTTER CREAM SHRIMP
Smelling, looking and tasting like salted egg yolk but devoid of it, the all-new Pumpkin Butter Cream Shrimp (S$26++) is truly a stunner. Served on skewers, it makes for easier consumption and also looks appealing when plated.
Savoury, buttery and adorned with a velvety sheen, the shrimps possessed a tender and succulent texture that made gobbling the entire dish up an easy a task.
WAGYU TRUFFLE ‘HOR FUN’
One of our ultimate favourites at Lokkee would have to be their Wagyu Truffle Hor Fun (S$60++). Served in a gigantic bowl, a serving of tender hor fun is topped with crispy shards of fried dough and topped neatly with thick slices of medium-rare Wagyu beef.
As if the bowl filled with top-quality beef wasn’t enough, a viscous truffle-infused sauce is drizzled over top, completing the dish and giving it a heightened richness. Delicious and decadent, this dish has stolen the hearts of many and continues to wow diners new and old.
KING PRAWN ‘CHAO TA’ NOODLES
Yet another new addition to the restaurant’s menu is the King Prawn ‘Chao Ta’ Noodles (S$38++).
Sitting on a bed of crispy fried egg noodles is a heaping mound of king prawns coated in a luscious tomato-based sauce. The prawns are soft and tender and came out of their shells with ease. The sauce is tangy, spicy and sweet, much like our iconic chilli crab but with a flavour that’s considerably more held-back.
Complementing the prawns beautifully, the ‘chao ta’ noodles—fried till its base achieves a blackened char—provided a smoky backbone and an enticing crispy texture that made the dish more addictive.
There’s an undeniable finesse and a great deal of skill and knowledge of gastronomy that guides each dish from the kitchen to table, and the chefs here really pull all the stops to make dining here an unforgettable experience for all.
A dish, or rather dessert, that best exemplifies this quality is their Fried Durian (S$16++), a sweet treat that introduces a symphony of sensations on the tongue. Scattered around the perfectly deep-fried durian fritters is a carefully organised mess comprising strawberry caviar, popping candy, flecks of flower petals and coconut flakes that do well to beautify as well as to tease.
Fried till perfectly golden, the initial crunchy bite reveals a molten durian centre that is both sweet, velvety and warm like a custard and while the pop rocks and sago do not contribute much to the overall taste of the dessert, it does provide interesting textures.
Lokkee Plaza Singapura, #03-01 68 Orchard Road Singapore 238839 Tel: +65 6884 4566 Daily: 11am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm Nearest Station: Dhoby Ghaut
This post was brought to you by Lokkee.