Zi Char - TungLok Group (TungLok XiHe Peking Duck)

November 10, 2018 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Zi Char - TungLok Group (TungLok XiHe Peking Duck)
200 Turf Club Road
#01-23 The Grandstand

181 Orchard Road
#07-07 Orchard Central


https://www.tunglok.com/en/home

http://www.tunglok-xihe.com/


Peking Duck Set (SGD $66)



Delicious Peking Duck

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $50 per person.


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Operating as part of the TungLok Group, a well-regarded Chinese Zi Char restaurant chain which was founded in 1984 by Tjioe Ji Nan (Zhou Ying Nan) and his son Andrew Tjioe, the TungLok XiHe Peking Duck which opened in November 2012 is their peking duck restaurant concept. A collaboration between the TungLok Group and the reowned XiHe YaYuan KaoYa Fang (羲和雅苑墙壁) from Beijing, China, the TungLok XiHe Peking Duck restaurant does peking duck that is as close to the traditional versions you'll get over there.

Ambience at TungLok XiHe Peking Duck is modern Oriental, exuding a sophisticated elegance. The bright spotlit seating area is tightly packed with dark mahogany wood furniture. Decor attempts to channel European high art, with paintings of ducks in bespoke clothing. Ornate lanterns complete the overall look. Thoughtful use of partitions create some semblance of privacy, and provide the optical illusion that it's not as crowded as it seems. It is however, and advance reservations are a must.

Service at TungLok XiHe Peking Duck is nearly fine dining standard, though it just about falls short. What I liked; the personalised attention accorded by staff, the efficient order taking and fulfillment, the display of good product knowledge, and the efficiency at quickly clearing up when diners leave. What could be better; some staff are unable to understand English, I had to repeat my orders twice because my drink order was missed out, staff could have checked for feedback on the meal, and the carving chef should have presented the duck to the table before starting to carve.

Food at TungLok XiHe Peking Duck is Chinese Zi Char, with a focus on China Beijing style peking duck. Nearly every table has an order of this, and it's best to reserve the peking duck 1-day in advance. Generally, dishes are tasty and well executed, using fresh ingredients, resulting in good quality and consistent standards. At worst, dishes are average in taste, but still better executed than elsewhere. Portions are sized for communal group dining. Prices are upper mid-range, befitting a restaurant, budget about SGD $50 per person for a meal here.


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TungLok XiHe Peking Duck Exterior
TungLok XiHe Peking Duck Exterior


TungLok XiHe Peking Duck Interior
TungLok XiHe Peking Duck Interior


Seating
Seating


Chef Preparing Duck Plate


Chef Preparing Duck Plate


Chef Preparing Duck Plate
Chef Preparing Duck Plate



The Wine Clarendelle Rouge By Haut Brion (SGD $15 / $68) is a red wine, made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (20%), Merlot grapes (74%), and Cabernet Franc grapes (6%), by the Domaine Clarence Dillon Société Par Actions Simplifiée (SAS), in Château Haut-Brion, in the Pessac commune, Bordeaux métropole, Gironde department, Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, France. It has a dark, brilliant, garnet red colour, with aromas of blackcurrant, liquorice, violet flower, and oak. The body is velvety smooth, refined, and elegant, with tastes of plum, fig, hazelnut, and blackberry. Has a soft, fresh, sweet woody tannin flavour, feeling balanced and well rounded on the palate, with a slightly toasty finish.

Wine Clarendelle Rouge By Haut Brion
Wine Clarendelle Rouge By Haut Brion (SGD $15 / $68)



The Luo Han Guo Mixed Chrysanthemum Tea (SGD $3.80 per pax) is a healthy, sugar-free tea with earthy herbal floral bitter sweet flavour. Naturally sweet with the blending of chrysanthemum tea and luo han guo / monk fruit tea, albeit slighlty more pricey than I'd expect.

Luo Han Guo Mixed Chrysanthemum Tea
Luo Han Guo Mixed Chrysanthemum Tea (SGD $3.80 per pax)



The Braised Wheat Gluten (SGD $2) is served at the start of each meal, and has a soft, tender, chewy texture. The wheat gluten has absorbed the light soy braising sauce, giving it a salty savoury flavour. You can also choose to skip this and return it to staff.

Braised Wheat Gluten
Braised Wheat Gluten (SGD $2)



The signature Peking Duck Set (SGD $66) is a must-order; no visit is complete without it. Sourced from Silver Hill Farm in Ireland, these cross-bred ducks are reowned for their density (between 2.5 - 2.7 kg), porous skin (which allows better absorption of marinade), and diet of soy and wheat (which removes gamey taste). After being cleaned and stuffed with herbs and spices, the ducks are cured via air-blasting cold air, in a refrigerated environment. The preparation for cooking also differs from other places in Singpore (which typically use Chinese Cantonese style), here, the ducks are prepared in traditional China Beijing style. This involves pouring water infused with red dates, herbs, and spices, into the ducks, then roasting in a traditional oven for 50 minutes at 220°C.

Peking Duck Set (SGD $66)


Peking Duck Set
Peking Duck Set


Peking Duck Set



A set of Condiments accompany each order of peking duck. The standard of juicy Cucumber, fragrant Spring Onions, and sweet Black Bean Sauce is best enjoyed with either the Duck Breast or Duck Thigh, in the Wheat Pancake Wrap, with the option of including sharp Red Onions for taste. The tangy Honey Mustard is best paired with either the Duck Breast or Duck Thigh, while the fruity Blueberry Sauce and playful Popping Rock Candy is best paired with the Duck Skin.

Condiments - Set
Condiments - Set


Condiments - Set


Condiments - Cucumber, Spring Onion, Black Bean Sauce
Condiments - Cucumber, Spring Onion, Black Bean Sauce


Condiments - Honey Mustard, Red Onion, Blueberry Sauce, Popping Rock Candy
Condiments - Honey Mustard, Red Onion, Blueberry Sauce, Popping Rock Candy


Wheat Pancake Wrap
Wheat Pancake Wrap



The Duck Skin is super crisp, with a soft crunch, and bold salty savoury flavour. Very little fat here, which has rendered off the duck. The fruity sweet flavour of the blueberry sauce creates an interesting contrast, while the sizzling feeling of the playful popping rock candy lends a unique touch to the duck skin. Best eaten quickly when served.

Duck Skin


Duck Skin
Duck Skin


Duck Skin



The Duck Breast has tender, juicy meat, with a light savoury meaty flavour. This makes it a good foil to pair with the chewy and aromatic wheat pancake wrap, the juicy refreshing slices of cucumber, and fragrant crunchy spring onions. Finish it with thick sweet black bean sauce, with the option of sharp crunchy red onions. Enjoyed every bite of the duck breast like this, or even on its own.

Duck Breast


Duck Breast
Duck Breast


Duck Breast



The Duck Thigh has a thin but succulent layer of duck fat on each tender, moist slice of duck thigh. With a delicate savoury salty fatty flavour, it contrasts nicely with the tangy honey mustard. Good on its own, or even with the chewy and aromatic wheat pancake wrap, the juicy refreshing slices of cucumber, the fragrant crunchy spring onions, and the thick sweet black bean sauce.

Duck Thigh


Duck Thigh
Duck Thigh


Duck Thigh



Enjoyable Peking Duck Wrap here, the DIY experience only adds to the overall enjoyment as you build each wrap yourself.

Peking Duck Wrap


Peking Duck Wrap
Peking Duck Wrap



There's a choice of duck second-way, we got the Duck Lettuce Wrap (SGD $12). Large and fresh lettuce leaves, with a juicy vegetal sweet crunch, paired with the savoury salty spicy cubes of duck meat and string beans, which have been marinated in Chinese 5-spice powder, hoisin sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. Feels refreshing on the palate, rather addictive.

Duck Lettuce Wrap (SGD $12)


Duck Lettuce Wrap


Duck Lettuce Wrap
Duck Lettuce Wrap



The Deep-Fried Salmon Fish Skin Coated With Salted Egg Yolk (SGD $10) is a classic Modern Singaporean dish, with crisp, crunchy pieces of salmon fish skin, coated in a rich, luscious salted egg yolk sauce. Each bite yields a tad of the fish flavour, followed by bold savoury salty spicy notes. Good!

Deep-Fried Salmon Fish Skin Coated With Salted Egg Yolk (SGD $10)


Deep-Fried Salmon Fish Skin Coated With Salted Egg Yolk
Deep-Fried Salmon Fish Skin Coated With Salted Egg Yolk



Derived from a family recipe (grandmother of the executive director of XiHe Group), the Mrs Zhang's Braised Lion's Head Meat Ball (SGD $6 per portion) is a classic royal dish from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, given a modern twist. Bits of mantou bread are mixed with the minced pork, giving it a loose, crumbly, moist texture, with savoury sweet flavour, contrasting nicely with the soft spinach leaves and bold salty savoury braising gravy. Served with a dollop of sticky glutinous white rice. This didn't really appeal to me though, I'd prefer it more tightly packed and meaty.

Mrs Zhang's Braised Lion's Head Meat Ball (SGD $6 per portion)


Mrs Zhang's Braised Lion's Head Meat Ball
Mrs Zhang's Braised Lion's Head Meat Ball



As an appetizer, the Pan-Fried Dumplings Stuffed With Minced Pork And Chinese Cabbage (SGD $8 for 8 pieces) is average at best. The medium thick, all-purpose flour dumpling skins have a nice crisp bite, and locks in the juicy savoury salty flavours of the minced pork and Chinese cabbage / bok choy. A dipping sauce of sharp sour black vinegar and ginger slices completes it. Decent enough, but there are better dishes here, you won't miss much by skipping this.

Pan-Fried Dumplings Stuffed With Minced Pork And Chinese Cabbage (SGD $8 for 8 pieces)


Pan-Fried Dumplings Stuffed With Minced Pork And Chinese Cabbage
Pan-Fried Dumplings Stuffed With Minced Pork And Chinese Cabbage



The Pan-Fried Buns Stuffed With Minced Pork And Spring Onions (SGD $12 for 8 pieces) is a good appetizer. The soft, chewy buns hold a warm, juicy filling of savoury salty minced pork, and fresh crunchy spring onions. Bite in, and you get the satisfiying burst of flavour. Good!

Pan-Fried Buns Stuffed With Minced Pork And Spring Onions (SGD $12 for 8 pieces)


Pan-Fried Buns Stuffed With Minced Pork And Spring Onions
Pan-Fried Buns Stuffed With Minced Pork And Spring Onions


Pan-Fried Buns Stuffed With Minced Pork And Spring Onions


Pan-Fried Buns Stuffed With Minced Pork And Spring Onions



The Rose Cherry Tomato (SGD $10) is a delicious and refreshing appetizer. These chilled, skinless cherry tomatoes are soaked in sour plum juice and rose wine, having a bouncy texture. Bite in, and the juicy flavours of floral fruity sweet sour tangy just explode, coating the palate beautifully. A good choice to start or finish a meal. Highly recommended!

Rose Cherry Tomato (SGD $10)


Rose Cherry Tomato
Rose Cherry Tomato


Rose Cherry Tomato



The Smoked Sliced Fish In Sweet Sauce (SGD $12) features chunks of grouper fish, coated in a crisp batter, glazed with a smoky sweet salty gravy. The texture borders moist and dry, but the flavour is bold, and the garnish of shaved ginger and orange peel lends a zesty touch.

Smoked Sliced Fish In Sweet Sauce (SGD $12)


Smoked Sliced Fish In Sweet Sauce
Smoked Sliced Fish In Sweet Sauce



The Stewed Mushrooms With Minced Pork (SGD $18) packs a bold punchy flavour. Even though we got this without chili, the whole button mushrooms are plump with earthy sweet flavour, though the bouncy chewy texture could be more moist. The lightly stir-fried bits of minced pork lend a savoury salty touch, lifting the overall taste of the dish. Best paired with white rice. Love the presentation as well. Good!

Stewed Mushrooms With Minced Pork (SGD $18)


Stewed Mushrooms With Minced Pork
Stewed Mushrooms With Minced Pork


Stewed Mushrooms With Minced Pork



The Chilled Mango Cream With Pomelo, Sago, And Ice Cream In Young Coconut (SGD $8.80 per portion) is a large, satisfiying dessert that could be shared. The chilled puree of mango and cream is rich, fruity sweet, and luscious in texture, accompanied by a generous serving of lovely mango cubes, juicy pomelo bits, and chewy sago balls. The hollowed coconut has some earthy sweet coconut flesh and coconut water, while the scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream rounds out this refreshing dessert. Good!

Chilled Mango Cream With Pomelo, Sago, And Ice Cream In Young Coconut (SGD $8.80 per portion)


Chilled Mango Cream With Pomelo, Sago, And Ice Cream In Young Coconut
Chilled Mango Cream With Pomelo, Sago, And Ice Cream In Young Coconut


Chilled Mango Cream With Pomelo, Sago, And Ice Cream In Young Coconut



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