Faux Oriental fun at Lokkee

Lokkee restaurant, a restaurant by the TungLok Group.
Lokkee restaurant, a restaurant by the TungLok Group.PHOTO: TUNGLOK GROUP

SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) If you've travelled or lived in the US or Europe, you'll know that Chinese restaurants there seldom turn out to be good.

So when I was told Lokkee - the last offering from the TungLok group - was inspired by Chinese takeout food from these places, I thought they were loco. Why would you want to serve bad food on purpose?

Turns out I was wrong.

Lokkee is a kitschy faux Oriental place, with tongue firmly in cheek. Everything in the restaurant has an element of fun.

Look closely at their paintings and statues. Ask for wet wipes. You'll know what I mean.

Overall, the food is better than expected. The flavours are not as crazy as the decor implies but there is an element of surprise. Be prepared to be amused.

Crispy but juicy


Firecracker Chicken Nest. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

I love the Firecracker Chicken Nest ($24). The five spice-coated chicken pieces are crispy but retain its juiciness. When I returned unannounced, it was even better.

Silky smooth


Mapo Tofu. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The Mapo Tofu ($16) is a must-try. The beancurd is silky and smooth, almost creamy. The hit of spices from the sauce is heavy but effective.

Refreshing


Poke salad. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Poke salad ($16) has cubed tuna, salmon and avocado mixed with an addictive spicy sauce. It's refreshing too.

Worth the money


Sichuan Mala Grilled Fish. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The Sichuan Mala Grilled Fish ($58) is the most expensive item on the menu but it is worth it. The heat builds ceaselessly. Expect your lips to be seared.

Novelty


Awesome Flaming Pineapple Beef. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The gimmicky Awesome Flaming Pineapple Beef ($28) arrives on fire but that's the only thing that's exciting about the dish. The coconut braised beef came with a dressing that had a bizarre and unpleasant taste.


Lokkee
Plaza Singapura, #03-01
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 5pm to 10.30pm
Tel: 6884-4566

weeteck@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on September 9, 2015.
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