I've always loved dining at Tung Lok Signatures. I thought their food was consistent, delicious and reliable. Until now. We had Sunday dim sum with Ernie recently and it was uncharacteristically lacklustre. The best of them barely passed muster, with the majority disappointingly sub-par. The quality was far from what I'd come to expect of Tung Lok Signatures, where I used to count on having a really good meal. However, for some reason, the fare had that day was generally clumsy and lacking in finesse.
I think we'll just stick to our usual suspects for dim sum (i.e. Chijmes Lei Garden, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Cherry Garden and Crystal Jade Golden Palace), and reserve Tung Lok Signatures for their dinnertime ala carte menu instead from now on.
For starters, the you tiao in the Steamed Cheong Fun wrapped Dough Fritters ($7) was overfried, resulting in a rock hard fritter. We needed to soak this in the pool of soy sauce to soften it up, which then resulted in a sodium overload. This wasn't finished.
The Steamed Cheong Fun with Prawn ($7) fared better. Fairly fresh prawns, if a bit tasteless, but bouncy in texture, wrapped in a thin chewy rice roll.
We all thought the Steamed Pork Dumplings ($4.50) was a little too "porky", which can only mean one thing, in that frozen pork was used. A definite no-no in my book and an immediate fail.
The Steamed Shrimp Dumplings ($4.50), or har gow, was relatively commendable, with adequately fresh prawns and a good thin chewy skin.
The skin of the Steamed Crystal Dumplings ($3.60), however, was too thick, and the diced mushrooms, peppers, radish and greens were lacking in a balanced sweetness that I was looking for in such crystal dumplings.
The Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns ($3.80) were also decent. Fluffy buns with the right thickness and a smokily sweet and thoroughly flavourful barbecued pork filling.
The Steamed Mini Glutinous Rice ($4.20) wrapped in lotus leaves was too dry, but alright taste-wise.
We liked the flavour of the Steamed Turnip Cake ($3.80) with Chinese preserved sausage, dried shrimps and a delicate soy sauce pool. It may have looked a bit rustic but the flavours were all there.
The Deep Fried Shrimp Dumpling ($4.80) was very mediocre. This could have passed as a coffeeshop-quality dumplings. The prawns weren't sparkling fresh, and needed a lot of mayo as a masking agent.
The Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Rolls with Shrimp ($4.50) were much better, albeit a tad oily. Prawns were fresher here.
While I liked the smoothened gruel texture and salted egg yolk flavouring of the Century Egg Porridge with Duck Meat ($6), the duck slices were gamey and dry.
Tung Lok Signatures The Central #02-88
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Tel: 6336 6022
Lunch: 11.30am to 3.00pm (Mon to Sat); 11.00am to 3.30pm (Sun & PHs)
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Daily)