Saturday, September 5, 2009

Want my Signature? asked Tung Lok.

Tung Lok Signatures, situated @ Vivocity, is one restaurant that i wanted to visit for some time, but has always been pushed back. Finally, I get a chance to do so with my family one fine Sunday.

From the outside, Tung Lok Signatures gives potential diners a very clean and white impression. The contemporary design of the restaurant together with the white colour furnitures makes the restaurant quite classy.

It must be said that their menu has a lot of items and the pictures of the dishes really look very very appetising. In fact most of the items that we ordered were mostly influenced by the pictures.

Chill Sliced Pork Shank with Spicy Sauce, 口水分蹄 (S$7)

The chilled shank comes in a very nicely stacked manner with the sauce and the spring onions on top of it.

There is a very strong garlic taste in the sauce and since sauce is placed on top of the shanks, the shanks taste totally of garlic, which i am not a fan of. Overall the taste of the shanks are salty if taken together with the sauce. If taken on itself, the shanks still taste relatively refreshing.
For garlics haters, DO NOT go for this dish, else be prepared to dip the shank in water before putting it into your mouth.

Duck Tongue XO Chilli (S$10)

The tongues were served in a rectangular dish with the tongues placed diagonally across. Not much decoration were done to the dish.
The tongue is a little spicy which comes from the XO Chilli sauce. This dish is overall very salty. Maybe this dish is an appetiser, which is why a little saltish taste will bring your taste buds alive. However, it is too overly salty. Though salty, the meat on the tongue is quite fresh.

Exotic Curry Prawns (S$26)

The prawn curry is served in a claypot. The curry is a bit too watery. This dish is served together with some deep fried buns, which are golden brown in colour.

The prawns are very fresh. As for the curry, it is not thick and the flavours are quite bland, even though the prawns essence were already in the curry. The essence is precisely why the curry taste a little weird. Furthermore, the curry is not spicy. I still prefer the traditional thick chicken curry.
I would not recommend this dish if you are looking for some spicy food, and if you are craving for prawns, there are other better prawn dishes i believe.

Steamed Beancurd, 千叶豆腐 (S$20)

This is the most beautiful dish among all those that we had ordered. The beancurd was beautifully sliced and arranged very nicely in a circle. Each slice of tofu can be said to be almost equal in thickness. I must say the cutting skill is impressive.
In the middle were some ham, capsican and chinese mushrooms. Together with the sauce, it gives a very pleasant presentation.

If presentation is just all for a dish, it would have scored distinction. The taste of the dish can be said to be represented by the 3 Kingdoms, where each taste does not integrate. The tofu taste is simply plain. The ham and ingredients in the middle have each of their own individual taste and all do not gel together.
This is a good dish to impress guest visually, but do note that the taste is just as normal as some junior chef mixing some random ingredients together.

The Eight Treasures, 田翠八景 (S$22)

Stir-fried vegetables with a big piece of curd skin served in a dish. This dish has asparagus, ginko nuts, lili buds, mushrooms, lotus roots and black fungus. The ingredients are stir-fired together and once scooped up from the wok, had a little soy sauce poured over them. The colour is very nice and the whole dish looks very appetising.

This dish of vegetables, especially the lili buds, gave a fresh and light taste to the palate. The asparagus and mushrooms are very fresh and is nicely cooked. Though nicely cooked, in chinese stir-fried, what must be achieved is the 锅气, but this is what i found lacking. Furthermore, towards the end of the dish, the whole dish becomes salty due to the soy sauce at the bottom of the plate.

Steamed Angle Luffa with deep fried Cuttlefish (S$18)

The dish comes with the steam angle luffa acting as the base for the fried-cuttlefish, and with some sprinkled spring onions on the top. The cuttlefish is deep fried till the outer crust is golden brown. The vibrant green luffa at the base, makes the dish looks delicious.

The cuttlefish i must say is really tasty, with the crust being crispy. The angle luffa taste quite raw, even though the gourd has been cooked till quite soft. The sauce is able to partially cover the gourd's raw taste but once it is chewed further, the rawness starts to flow in all directions on the palate.
I would not recommend this dish unless you can take really raw vegetables. I hope that they would just allow ordering of the cuttlefish.

Mango Mousse (S$8)

Tung Lok Signature's mango mousse is not the typical mousse that are served in other restaurants. The mousse were filled into starch rice layers. There is also a piece of mango fruit in between the layers.

Biting into the piece, there is a feeling of eating rice dumplings, except the filling is mango mousse with mango fruits. There are not enough mousse as the filling and the fruit took the centerstage. It would be better know as rice dumpling with mango fruit fillings. Though i find that this dessert lacks of the mousse, it is a very good breath cleanser, as the tastebuds feels very refreshed after the this dessert.

Tung Lok Signature's Service Attitude:
The front desk waitress were relatively courteous to the potential diners. Besides the courtesy, nothing exceptionally good can be said. The captain seems to be turning a dead ear to us when we called out to her. The rice took ages to come and only arrived after we make the 2nd order. The waitress that took our order also left us hanging in mid air when we had not finished ordering.

Tung Lok Signature's Cleanliness:
The place is very clean, and it takes effort to maintain the cleanliness since all their furnitures are white in colour. One ungraceful thing that i saw is that the waitress are placing the dirty and used glasses on the bar front, which can be seen from the main entrance. The glasses were placed in such obvious area that we thought those dirty glasses were to be served to customers. This is one area i believe can be improved.

Presentation: 4/5
Taste: 2/5
Service: 1.5/5
Cleanliness: 3/5
Value for Money: 1.5/5
If looks are all that matters, this is definitely one restaurant that is worth visiting. However given that a few paces down the shopping mall is Crystal Jade, Tung Lok will have to make vast improvement to their food and service, as they definitely lose out to Crystal Jade. Even on price, both are comparative, so why would i spend the same amount on a bad service restaurant with unpleasant food.


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