Any meals with family are always lovely, especially more so if it's a home-cooked one. My mum is a strong advocate of preparing our meals at home whenever she can, because she believes it's healthier, tastier and cheaper. That's the main reason why we seldom eat out and even if we do, there's only a few specific restaurants she will go to. So, I'm quite surprised when she agreed to my brother and sister-in-law's suggestion of going to TungLok Seafood at Orchard Central for their ala-carte lunch buffet. This visit marks our first family lunch there.
The TungLok group needs not much introduction, having been in the culinary scene for more than two decades. There are more than 40 restuarants under the TungLok group both locally and overseas, with TungLok Seafood specializing in the best of Singapore-style seafood. We went straight up to the roof garden at level 11 of Orchard Central for their weekend ala-carte lunch buffet which features an impressive 41 items of Cold Cuts & Appetizers, Delicacies, Soup, Dim Sum, Rice & Noodles and Desserts (click here for full menu). Unfortunately, we did not have enough tummy space to accommodate all the 41 items. What's listed in this blog post were the dishes we tried.
Soup - Shredded Dried Seafood Bisque
Cold Cuts and Appetisers - Salmon Sashimi, Salmon Salad wrapped with Pancake, Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk, Soya Chicken and Crispy Eggplant with Pork Floss
Starting off our meal with a bowl of warm seafood bisque each is always a good idea. My little nephew held his bowl in his tiny hand and slurped up the very last drop! He loved it I guessed. The salmon was decidedly fresh as my brother went ahead with a second round of order for it. While the salmon pancake tasted fine and the fish skin can do with a thicker coat of salted egg yolk, the eggplant exceeded my expectations. It was soft yet not mushy, encased in a thin coat of crispiness and paired deliciously well with the generous shower of pork floss. Yummy!
Delicacies - Sauteed Clams in Sambal Sauce, Braised Beancurd and Minced Meat with Black Bean Sauce, Fried Sliced Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Poached Baby Kai Lan served with Chinchalok Sauce, Crispy Chicken Wings marinated with Prawn Paste and Crispy Prawns with Crushed Biscuits
We almost did not order the prawns as it's too troublesome to de-shell, but glad we did afterall, for it was as fresh and crunchy as how prawns should be. The chicken wing lover in me find the rendition here a tad pedestrian to give it a vote of love. The plate of sauteed clams was easily polished off with its appetite whetting sambal sauce, though its spiciness can be stronger. Best savored with a bowl of white rice were the braised beancurd and sweet & sour fish. My whole family loves vegetables so the dish of baby kai lan, although done simply, still pleased us very much.
Dim Sum - Steamed Royal Shrimp Dumplings, Steamed Carrot Cake with Chinese Sausage, Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings, Deep-fried Custard Bun, Fried Beancurd Skin Roll with Shrimps and Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf
Dim sum is the standard fare. While none of the items overwhelmed, it were all still palatable. What heartens me is seeing that my mum is healthy again and her appetite is so good. After all the items above, she didn't feel full until she finished two portions of glutinous rice all by herself! She's the winner that day lol!
Desserts - Ice-Cream Puff, Herbal Jelly served with Honey, Sweetened Green Bean Soup and Chilled Almond Beancurd with Mixed Fruit
Overall, I find the food to be pretty average in standard, but we can't argue the fact that it's very value-for-money. At such a reasonable and affordable price per person (Adults $24.80++/$26.80++, Child $14.80++/$16.80++), it would not burst any wallets even if the whole family clan turns up, but would probably burst everyone's tummies with its wide variety of dishes in unlimited servings. My advice is: Come in a bigger group to conquer all the items! Have a happy hearty meal :D
Tung Lok Seafood
Address: 181 Orchard, #11-05 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Contact: +65 68344888
Ala Carte Lunch Buffet (minimum 4 persons)
Monday to Fridays: Adult $24.80++ / Child (below 12 years old) $14.80++
Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: Adult $26.80++ / Child (below 12 years old) $16.80++
Mondays to Saturdays: 11.30am to 3pm (Last order: 2.30pm)
Sundays & Public Holidays: 10am to 3pm (Last order: 2.30pm)