Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore
Recommended: Peking Duck* Lokkee is operated by Tunglok Group. Other reviewed eateries from the same group include Lokkee and TungLok XiHé Peking Duck.
My friend and I craved for some ducks for our 2015 Chinese New Year Reunion, and since I saw a picture from another friend dining in Tunglok Xihe Peking Duck, I suggested this as our possible choice to savor this famed dish from China. Its location in Somerset was another reason for our choice as it was almost equidistant to each other’s abode.
|TungLok XiHe Peking Duck is located on a high spot, awarding a panoramic view of Orchard Road.|
Ambience and Décor Observations
Riding the elevator in Orchard Central, we stepped out to face the restaurant decked out heavily in Chinese style. Stepping through the front entrance was an experience comparable to walking into a palace, a sensation heightened by the brick styled wall and doors that reminded us of ancient Chinese palace gates.
The interior of Tunglok Xihe however brought us back to the modern years, with transparent glass separators dividing without intruding. Most impressive however was the seat we were led to – it was next to the exterior, lending us a sense of spaciousness with the glass walls. Although we could look out, the view was not as impressive as the panorama was cluttered by neighboring skyscrapers.
|A rather Chinese styled entrance|
|The jerky provided as appetizer is surprisingly delicious!|
But of course, it was the food we came for, not the view. Peking Duck was our first choice; after all this was what we came for. On top of that we add on another dish of Chili Chicken (辣子鸡) and another dish of vegetables to balance the diet.
We were drawn to the small plate of appetizer in front of us, a few square pieces of jerky to fit the mood of Chinese New Year. Despite its rather unassuming look, its taste packed a punch with its deliciousness. Seldom had we sampled jerky with such attractive tastes, and dipping it into the wasabi-like sauce was in itself a memorable experience. Our appetites were riled up way before the arrival of the main courses!
With the distinctive chime of a gong (we noticed that this happens a lot), the duck was presented on a trolley and a chef followed suit, his near bleach white uniform a contrast to the dark brown roast. Peking Duck was originally a prized imperial dish, hence the fanfare. As per tradition the chef carved the duck into three stages – the skin, the meat and the “leftovers” (fat and bones).
|The chef posing for a photo.|
|The first dish, used to place the crispy skins, is ready.|
|The chef is still slicing off patiently, looking for the sweet spots.|
I experienced dining on Peking Duck once in China but my companions were rather clueless on the way to consume it. Fortunately the staff of Tunglok Xihe readily enlightened us with a friendly smile. The skin, roasted to a crisp, could be consumed with sugar and sauce. The meat was wrapped in a Chinese pancake with spring onion, sugar and sweet bean sauce. In our case, the fat and bones were taken away but I believe could be requested to be cooked into another dish.
As we dig into the skins and meat of the Peking Duck, we realized why it was a dish fit for a king. Anyone dining on the succulent meat and crispy skins would easily be on cloud nine. For more than once I just picked them into my mouth without dipping into anything – they were just that tasty! With an amount enough to feed 5 people comfortably (there were only 3 of us), it was definitely a dish worthy of its value.
|All three dishes are ready to be served.|
|The correct way of eating Peking Duck is by using the correct sauce and sides to go together with different parts of the duck. Ask the waitress to explain if you are not familiar with this.|
|Vegetables (上汤元菜) for balancing the diet.|
|Chili Chicken (辣子鸡) is crispy and spicy, each of them a satisfactory crunch for those loving spicy food.|
In hindsight we should not have ordered the additional dishes because the meaty Peking Duck was really too much for us. In the end we elected to pack the leftovers back so that we can reheat it to continue sampling it. If anyone were to ask us where to get a taste of Peking Duck, we would still recommend Tunglok Xihe to them as one of our preferred choice.
Environment: A restaurant at a high spot over Orchard Road
Suitable for: for family or friends
Price: luxurious (>SGD20 per meal per pax)
Price: luxurious (>SGD20 per meal per pax)
Food score: 8.5/10
Operating hours: (daily) 11.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 - 10.30 p.m.
Directions: Disembark at Somerset MRT station and work your way towards Orchard Central. The restaurant is on level 7.
Address: Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, #07-07/09, Singapore 238896.