The Tung Lok group seems to be losing its luster. Whereas they used to be a formidable competitor to the Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure empires, the newbie(ish) Paradise Group appears to have beaten veteran Tung Lok to the remaining spot on the podium. Clearly, some kind of overhaul is required to refresh the group.
Tung Lok Signatures is perhaps one of the more prolific restaurants in the group. Serving traditional Cantonese cuisine with a dash of modernity, their ala carte selections tend towards the refined, amidst elegant digs. Their dim sum, though, is equal parts hit and miss, with most averaging on pedestrian.
The Steamed Pork Dumplings with Crab Roe ($4.80) was terribly disappointing. Fro starters, the dull grey-ish hue was utterly unappetizing. While juicy, the meat reeked of its frozen origins.
Ditto for the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings ($4.80) where the prawns were less than sparkling fresh.
The Barbecued Pork Buns ($4.50) decent, soft and fluffy, stuffed with sweetly smoky meat.
The Steamed Beancurd Skin Roll in Oyster Sauce ($4.80) was mellow and boasted a homestyled flavour.
The Steamed Rice Flour Roll with Shrimps ($7) was a half-and-half; the rolls were thin enough, but the prawns reeked a little. I drowned these in the soy to get through it.
The Boiled Mini Dumplings with Spicy Sauce ($4.80) packed a potent punch, with copious lashings of chilli padi. The silver lining was that the spice numbed the spring onion-loaded dumplings.
The Sauteed Carrot Cake ($8) with XO sauce was excellent; and a must-try. Soft cubes lightly caramelised with a robust umami sauce, and oodles of egg scramble, this was easily the best dim sum option.
The Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling ($4.80) with mayonnaise was run-of-the-mill.
The Pan-Fried Custard Bun with Salted Egg Yolk ($4.50) fared well too. Balanced yolk filling, and a good bun-to-filling ratio.
The Braised Fish Maw Saffron Bisque ($15) was as good as I remembered; thick, full-bodied gooey, and choc-a-bloc with chewy fish maw, shredded crab meat, bamboo shoots and enoki.
Tung Lok Signatures
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel: 6376 9555
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Sundays and PH from 11am to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner