Wah Lok's one of our favourite restaurants for dim sum, especially for Sunday brunches where we can afford eat leisurely and stuff our faces to our hearts' content. The BF made reservations at 11.30am, the earliest timeslot available after church. Please note that reservations for weekend lunches are a must, to avoid waiting or travelling in vain.
The second we sat down, we got to work ordering our favourite dishes. You know, the one common thread amongst our servers is surprise at our big appetites. Eyebrows get raised so high they disappear into the hairline whenever we place our orders. I guess people make assumptions about our diets whenever they see the BF's and my skinny frames. It's really funny though, when we have to convince service staff that we can finish all that we are ordering. I think it's sweet and honest, that service staff are concerned that we are ordering too much, instead of unscrupulous managers pushing us to order more.
We were first served Appetisers, a cold saucer combination of sauteed french beans and char siew (mock?), bbq pork, pickled with sweet tangy chili and sprinkled with sesame seeds ($3). Normally, we skip appetisers at a restaurant, but we tried this because it was unique. It was refreshing and whet our appetisers, but then again, we were already famished by the time we arrived.
Before we were even halfway through the pickles, the dishes arrived in very quick succession. We got 4 portions (this got the first raised eyebrow) of the Steamed Carrot Cake ($4.50 each). Although fried carrot cake is ubiquitous in almost every dim sum restaurant, the steamed version is its more unusual sibling. We love love love Wah Lok's version. Julienned radish mixed in rice flour, and steamed with dried shrimp and chopped char siew (bbq pork), drizzled with light soya for taste and spring onions (which the BF painstakingly removed), this was yummylicious. The manager saw that the BF was removing the spring onions (which we requested to hold off when making the order) came to apologise profusely, which was very sweet.
We also got the steamed Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves ($5.40). There were bits of char siew (bbq pork), Chinese black mushrooms, a quarter of a salted egg yolk, and diced meat stuffed between the 2 layers of soft glutinous rice.
We also ordered 2 portions (this got another raised eyebrow) of the You Tiao Cheong Fun ($6.50), deep fried dough fritters wrapped in rice rolls and steamed. Today's version was a little disappointing, the dough fritter was too hard and I felt like I was biting into rock candy. Maybe it's because it was left in the fryer too long. We had to dunk the rice roll into the soya dipping sauce to make it a little soggy first before eating. This also came with spring onions, (it was our fault, we forgot to tell them to hold off the spring onions) which the BF painstakingly removed as well. At least it wasn't coriander.
We also got a Char Siew Cheong Fun ($6.50), diced bbq pork wrapped in a rice roll and steamed. This also came loaded with spring onions, and once again, the BF came to the rescue and removed them all. Save for the spring onions, the dish was good. Thin, translucent layers rice rolls envelope diced sweet bbq pork were drizzled with light soya for taste.
We also got Siew Mai ($5.60), steamed pork dumplings with prawns and topped with diced salted egg yolk. This was juicy and the prawns were fresh and crunchy. I loved the salted egg yolk topping.
The soup of the day was double boiled Old Cucumber Soup with Pork ($6.80). The flavour and essence of pork bones is boiled out to flavour the soup base and old cucumber is added for that nutritious cooling goodness. This was comforting and familiar. I love double boiled soup.
Girls, you know how it is said that women who peel prawns for their men are marriage-material? It's the same for men who remove spring onions (and whatever else you dislike) from a dish for you. A guy who does that for you, past the honeymoon phase of the first 6 months to 2 years (depending on how long he keeps up the charade), IS marriage-material.
Needless to say, the BF and I finished everything. It cracks me up whenever I see people's faces when they do a double take at the amount of food on our table. But it makes us memorable as customers. One should always see the silver lining. Yes, we are gluttons, but we don't look like it.
Service here is warm, attentive (our cups of unsweetened chrysanthemum tea were always promptly refilled), and personal (the manager was such a sweetheart and wonderful conversationalist). Their stellar service is one of the many reasons why I keep coming here.
The bill was $78.95 inclusive of service charge and GST. Please note towelettes are not chargeable.
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
Carlton Hotel Singapore
76 Bras Basah Road
Tel: 6311 8188/9
Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch (Mondays to Saturdays);
11am to 2.30pm (Sundays and Public Holidays); and
6.30pm to 10pm for dinner daily.