Eat Singapore Cantonese Fine Dining at Wah Lok
“I wasn’t supposed to wear shorts was I?”
“Typically you wouldn’t here…”
Wah Lok tl;dr
- High End Cantonese Dining
- Different Take on Peking Duck
- Dim Sum Lunch Service Also Available
I’m blessed to have a wonderful cousin with great taste and who like to eat out often. This time around, our dear cousin wanted to have dinner at a place called Wah Lok. Neither my wife nor I have ever heard of Wah Lok before but our cousin has great taste so we left our culinary adventure in her more than capable hands.
Entering the Carlton Hotel, located on the 2nd floor is where Wah Lok can be found. Passing a wedding reception activity in the hall, and a lot of well dressed patrons, I came to the realization that I was horribly under dressed.
Dress Code or Culinary Code
Living in Singapore, one learns to cope with the heat and humidity any which way they can. I typically where shorts and less the clothing the better. Be as it may, there are times when wearing something more classy is more ideal; eating dinner at Wah Lok is one of them. Perhaps I could get away with wearing shorts during lunch or even dim sum, but dinner time is something where I’m sorely out of place.
Pan-fried Japanese Scallop with Asparagus
But the show must go on, and so must dinner. Fortunately for me, my company, my wife’s cousin and family friend are both equally non fussy, great conversationalists and fantastic dinner company despite my fashion faux pas. Perhaps with their past patronage certain allowances maybe have been extended to me… and maybe not. In my mind, I’ll tell myself that their presence afforded me a certain amount of leeway.
I’m sure the other guests were to absorbed in whatever else they had going on to notice the guy in shorts, like eating their own meals or even getting married. There were a few moments where I felt that we were apart of a wedding ceremony since the bride and groom walked right by our table.
They strode by regardless of the eating onlookers toward the closed door event area, waiting for their cue to enter. Their MC must have mistimed their entrance since they stood their for a while, clearly entertaining the rest of the restaurant with their wedding attire choices.
Deep-fried Pork Ribs with Salt & Pepper
Good For More Than Receptions
While I have heard on good account that the afternoon dim sum service is amazing, I have yet to experience first hand myself. With that being said another thing that Wah Lok is good for other than wedding receptions and dim sum is the classical Chinese meal. I was in a store for a meal that I was equally unprepared for since I should have arrived more hungry than I was dressed for.
Wedding aside, the crowded restaurant should have been more than indication enough of how good the food was. Not to mention again that our hosts have yet to disappoint us with their venue selections. If anything, I wish I was more experienced to appreciate the techniques and freshness of the food.
Practice makes perfect…
Braised Ee-Fu Noodles with Seafood
Too Much Amazing Food
The staff plied our table with dish after dish. And quickly, with each following dish, our appetites were equally quickly sated. The flavors of the asparagus scallops, the pork ribs, and the noodles blended perfectly, never overwhelming our palate at any given moment. That more than likely has more to do with order selection, again by our hosts, than the chefs skill set. But I can tell you without a doubt that the chef’s cooking abilities were more than sufficient for our hunger.
Both the plump and succulent scallops and the fresh asparagus were seasoned well. The pork rib was cooked to perfection, easily complimenting the more than satisfying noodles (I passed on rice since I have to be a little smarter with my calorie choices).
What do they say? “Hunger is the best spice.” That in itself more than likely helped out a little bit with our overall impression of the delivered food.
Crispy Duck Skin
Peking Duck Preparation
Extraordinary Peking Duck Time
While eating various dishes, I couldn’t help but notice the staff working on preparing the Peking Duck next to us. The aroma was so appetizing that I was drooling before I even saw the food. I was fascinated by the entire process of separating the tender and juicy duck meat. Then ever so carefully, I witnessed them wrapping the meat in (as I quickly learned) more traditional steamed pancakes versus the steamed buns that grew up eating in the US.
There’s always something new in Chinese cuisine that I thought I already knew. Life is full of surprises; some more delicious than others! The skin was so crisp! Oddly the pancake sort of reminded me of a flour tortilla for some reason. And, maybe it’s the meat eater in me, a part of me wished that more of the beautiful duck meat was in the wrap as opposed to being put into the accompanying Peking Duck Soup broth. I was probably overwhelmed by the richness of all the food and didn’t eat enough of the cucumbers.
Steamed Pancake Wrapped Peking Duck
Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore, along came dessert. The sweet trifecta of pomelo, mango and sago was refreshingly light and creamy. I can’t speak for the others but it was the perfect way to finish our meal without making me explode.
Cream of Pomelo & Mango with Sago
Still a Bun Guy
An amazing meal which was full of surprises and great experiences but I still have a small reservation. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know any better or perhaps I simply am used to the textures of steamed buns, either which way, I’m more fond of the those pillowy steamed carbs than the pancakes.