"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Duck

LokKee 樂記

Cousin and I had been eyeing this restaurant for a while. We saw many interesting posts on Instagram and good reviews about their food. We made a reservation and headed down on a Friday evening. Sometimes I feel that cousin and I behave like Michelin judges. Haha!

The egg was very tender in the egg drop soup. Crab meat was chunky and corn was sweet making the soup tasty.

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Lokkee Egg Drop Soup $6

This fish fries had no trace of spiciness. I had to eat it with the peppercorns to give it more kick.

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Sichuan “Mala” Fish Fries $14

The egg yolk look-alike are actually mango puree meant to extinguish the fiery spiciness in your mouth from eating the chicken. The mango puree was good. Eat it as a whole and the mango juice burst inside your mouth leaving a sweet cooling sensation. However I found it unnecessary as there was no flames in my mouth, not even a spark. Again, I had to pick up the peppercorns to eat with the chicken.

We saw a couple at the next table dipping the chicken into the mango puree. -_-” Perhaps the serving staff may like to let their customers knew about the mango puree.

For any customers who ordered some spicy dishes, the serving staff would recommend them order some cool icy beverages or beer. Luckily we didn’t. Nothing was near spicy.

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Firecracker Chicken Nest $24

This uni pasta was a total disappointment. The noodles were slightly hard and though the sauce was creamy, the uni flavour was too faint. Where was the umami that it was supposed to have? The lonely piece of uni on top of the pasta was cooked and lost its creamy sea flavour.

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Uni Pasta $24

Cousin was crazy over this flaming pineapple beef. No doubt it was spectacular seeing it on fire, beef was infused with pineapple fragrance and very tender and the pineapple balls sweet, there was no “wow” factor in this dish.

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Awesome Flaming Pineapple Beef $28

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Our dessert was served when we were eating our mains. We already requested it to be served after our mains. So they brought it back into the kitchen. When we finally finished our mains and asked for our dessert, guess what? They brought out the same dessert which they put into the freezer just now!! Hence the buns were frozen! Firstly, would you serve dessert to your customers while they are eating their mains? Secondly, does it make sense to serve the dessert with frozen mantou when it should be piping hot? Hence, cousin asked for the dessert to be replaced.

We got the mantou hot but the ice-cream melted very quickly. I would have preferred not to have the caramel sauce as it made it too sweet. The mantou was slightly too hard.

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Fried Mantou with Vanilla Ice-Cream $8

After eating is to wipe our mouths with wet tissue. Is this packaging even relevant?

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This bottle of chilli sauce was put on our table before our dishes came. Then it was removed. We had wanted to try this chilli sauce. But look at the bottle label, it seems to be Vietnamese chilli sauce? I am really confused by this restaurant’s identity.

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Overall, food was tasty but nothing special. Being one of the higher end restaurants, we expected much more flavour from them. Not forgetting to mention, service staff need more training.

Menu: http://lokkee.com.sg/wp-content/themes/lokkee/pdf/menu.pdf

Wet towels are complimentary. Prices exclude 10% service charge and 7% GST. Reservations are recommended.

Restaurant: LokKee 樂記
Address: 68 Orchard Road, #03-01 Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839
Tel: 6884 4566
Website: http://lokkee.com.sg/

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Dian Xiao Er

A hearty meal for the family!! There are many set meals available for the family. Otherwise you may also a la carte. We tried all three types of duck – Ten Wonders, Wild Ginseng and Angelica Herbs.  We found the Ten Wonders and Angelica Herbs tastier. Groupon was having a deal on $20 for a duck and we frequented the restaurant during this few months. The restaurant is cosy but the waiters and waitresses can be quite passive.

Some of the prices:

One duck – $40
Soup of the day – $16.50
Hotplate Tofu – $10.80
Poached Spinach – $10.80
Kangkong Beancure (M) – $12
Sweet Celery $10.30
Cereal Prawn – $18
Additional duck heads – $1 each
Plain Rice – $0.90
Towel – $0.30

You may request for the gravy for the duck to be served separate with the duck. Do take note that if you like duck head and neck, you have to tell them you want them. Otherwise, they won’t give it to you when you order one whole duck.

Prices exclude 10% service charge and 7% GST. Pay with UOB credit card to get a rebate voucher!

Long queue expected. Do be there early or make reservations.

Restaurant: Dian Xiao Er
Address: 10 Tampines Central 1, #04-07/08, Tampines 1, Singapore 529536
Te: 6783 6068
Website: http://www.dianxiaoer.net/


Peking Duck

Beijing duck, also called “South furnace duck”, originated from the Ming Dynasty under Emperor Yong Le’s reign. It has nearly 600 years of history and chefs are trained to roast the ducks using the traditional method – 焖炉烤鸭 (stew stove duck, translated literally).

The newly hatched ducklings are free to to feed around the farm for one and a half months. After which, they are fed once every 6 hours, 4 times per day and night for six months. The ducks grow to 5 pounds within 60 days and are said to have the best quality meat at that moment.

Before roasting, the slaughtered ducks are washed and cleaned with their innards removed. Then air is pumped in between the skin and the meat, separating the two layers. Maltose syrup is then glazed onto the duck’s skin and air-dried. Then hot water is poured over the duck and a “water bag” is kept inside the duck’s cavity throughout the roasting process.

The temperature of the furnace is kept high at first, then low. This makes the skin crispy and tender meat. A good roasted duck should have shiny and crispy red skin, tender meat, with the correct amount of fats and melt in the mouth.

Cutting and slicing the duck is a difficult skill. Every duck should be cut into 108 to 120 slices of meat and skin (with 80% of the slices with skin attached). Each slice should be of about the same thickness and size. After slicing, the duck skeletal structure should be neat and clean.

You are supposed to eat with sliced onions, cucumber and their specially concocted sweet sauce. You spread out a piece of pancake, spread a layer of sweet sauce, garnish with onion and cucmber and then finally top it up with a slice of duck. Roll up the pancake and savour it! The crispy skin, the fragrant layer of fat and tender meat just melt smoothly in your mouth. You will crave for more skin and tender duck meat. Some places will also serve it with lotus leaf bun or a plain bun (荷叶饼或空心芝麻烧饼), the latter being shown in the photograph below.

How do you judge whether the duck was roasted well? The skin says it all. A well-roasted duck’s skin is crispy and breaks off upon biting. If you find yourself biting into a piece of skin that does not tear off and you have to keep gnawing on it, that is not of high standards.

Cutting up the duck


Slices of duck meat with crispy skin

The "pancake" (空心芝麻烧饼), sweet sauce and garnishings

The bones stir-fried in pepper and salt (椒盐)

Upon entering the restaurant, you see chefs roasting the ducks, standing and sweating outside the furnace. Each duck is roasted manually, with the chefs turning and pulling in and out a long metal skewer with the duck at the end. You even get a certificate stating the duck number of which they have sold.

You can choose to cook the bones in pepper and salt or make them into duck soup. Never miss out these good restaurants if you’re in Beijing.

Restaurant name: 便宜坊烤鸭 (Beijing BianYiFang Roast Duck Group Co., Ltd)
Address: various locations listed on their website
Website: http://www.bianyifang.com/
Photographs above are taken in 便宜坊.

A more popular known place for tourists to have duck is at 全聚德. They serve good ducks too, but at a higher price.

Restaurant: 全聚德 (China QuanJuDe Group Co., Ltd)
Address: various locations listed on their website (But we prefer the branch at 前门)
Website: http://www.quanjude.com.cn/main.php

“Traditional Peking duck starts with a specially bred duck force-fed for some days to yield a thick subcutaneous fat layer. It is dispatched, plucked and clean.

A pump is inserted into a slit in its neck and air is blown under the skin to force it to separate from the meat as far around the duck as possible, assisted by some massaging. Its wingtips are cut off and the innards removed through an incision in one armpit. The duck is then quickly scaled with boiling water to tighten its skin, then air-dried for several hours. Next, it is glazed with a sweet solution of maltose and other seasonings, and air-dried again. Just before cooking, the duck’s body cavity is filled with hot water and spices, and its rectum plugged with a piece of wood. Then, haning vertically, it is roasted for up to an hour in a brick oven over burning fruit-tree wood, during which it is carefully turned to encourage even browning. Finally, the plug and internal juices are removed, and the bronzed, shiny duck is whisked away to be carved tableside, while the skin is still hot and crisp.”

– Adapted from Lifestyle (The Sunday Times) June 27, 2010


Roast Duck

I am recommending you almost, perhaps and definitely the best roasted duck and roasted pork in Singapore!

roast duck

roast duck

Fantastic roasted duck, 烧鸭 and roasted pork, 烧肉。 The duck is not overly-dried, and it comes served warm. The layer of fat on the duck skin is easy to scrap away. The duck skin is very fragrant. Eat it together with the layer of fat! Forget the sin of it!

The roasted pork is superbly roasted. The skin is SUPER crispy, and the meat is like the duck – not roasted dry!

The chilli and honey sauce are not that fantastic tough.

Half roasted duck cost $19 (without head and neck) and one full roasted duck cost $38. The size of the duck is big. Very worth it! Usually my family of 5 orders a duck and $10 roasted pork. These will fill you with satisfaction.

The stall also sells broiled soup, 炖汤, char siew and roasted chicken too.

Name of stall:
Address: Block 214, Yio Chu Kang Link. (near Serangoon Stadium)
Opening Hours:
Closed on: