We went to Full of Luck Club 福乐, hoping to get 'heng heng' (lucky lucky) LOL!!!
Just kidding! It was to check out the latest vibrant entry to the competitive Holland Village dining scene and get our tummies filled.
From the successful team behind Li Bai Cantonese Resaurant, Full of Luck Club offers contemporary Cantonese dining in a chic casual setting designed to attract the younger generation of food lovers.
Chinese-style burgers? Check!..... Dishes with salted egg yolk or truffle? Check!..... Instagram worthiness? Check check check!
As in its name, elements of fortune, luck and prosperity are incorporated into the two-storey establishment. We like the spacious interior that is a cheeky mix of Chinese-sy theme with a clean industrial look.
Look out for the two-metre tall Fortune Cat that will greet you at the stairway for maximum huat-ness! PinkyPiggu was told that rubbing its belly can 招财 (attract good luck and money) yo!
Diners will also be given fortune cookies at the end of their meal.
Menu wise, we were greeted with an array of choices from various categories including Dim Sum, Bao (steamed buns), Light Bites, Sharing Plates, Claypot Rice, Noodles and Desserts.
It was an utmost delicious start with Stir-fried Radish Cake with X.O Sauce ($6.80). Soft, warm radish cake with tasty shrimps bits within..... Pan fried with a layer of light crisp and complemented with caramelized XO sauce.... Crunchy beansprouts.....Want some? Haha!
Overall a tasty treat to be shared, but PinkyPiggu wouldn't mind having the whole portion to herself too. Aiyoh so 贪吃 (greedy)!
Perhaps the corn kernel used was not big enough so there wasn't any "burst" of juiciness when bitten down as compared to JB Ah Meng’s excellent version of this dish. All we tasted was the crunchy batter with hints of salted egg flavor.
We were much more impressed with the Poached Wanton ($7.20) which is bathed in a flavorful, tangy sauce of chili oil, soy and vinegar. The prawns were so fresh and wrapped in such silky smooth wanton skin. PinkyPiggu calls it the little parcels of shiokness!
The baos at Full of Luck Club also came highly recommended. It's essentially Chinese steamed buns sandwiched with various fillings such as Kung Pao Fried Chicken, Salted Egg Yolk Prawn, Braised Pork Belly, Portuguese Pork Chop and Panko-crusted Portobello (any 2 for $9.80)
It could be a bad day for the baos as the ones we had, sadly missed the mark. While the fried chicken has an enjoyable crunch, the kung bao sauce was overly sweetish and could do with some spiciness. The portobello lacked moisture, otherwise the combination with teriyaki mayo sauce, carrot cabbage slaw and coriander was refreshing and appetite-whetting.
Braised pork belly came with an unpleasant porky stench, and perhaps need more spices and herbs for a more flavorsome braising sauce, as well as longer cooking time for flavors to penetrate the meat better and to yield softer bites. The slice of pickled lotus root is supposedly for cutting through the richness of the meat but it didn't work for us.
Then again, we grew up with superb homemade traditional versions kong bak bao 扣肉包 so benchmark for a good one is notably high.
We moved on to the more substantially-portion items, starting with Spicy Stuffed Yong Tau Foo ($16) that has beancurd and assorted vegetables stuffed with minced pork, deep-fried and slathered in a piquant fermented bean paste sauce. As a yong tau foo lover, this dish is totally comforting and faultless.
Another of PinkyPiggu's favorite is the Braised Spinach Beancurd ($16). Have just one bite and it's not difficult to understand why. The housemade spinach egg tofu is wonderfully soft on the inside, enveloped in a layer of deep-fried crispiness and paired with lip-smacking savory sauce generously spiked with visible chunks of dried scallops. We didn't have rice with it but can imagine how delightful it will be.
Kurobuta Pork Belly ($18) is marinated with fermented bean curd, chinese wine and signature fragrant spices. A good attempt at marrying Chinese cooking technique with quality kurobuta pork belly, however the pork slices could be served thicker to preserve the juices as this dish felt rather dry.
Crispy Aromatic Duck ($35 for half, $70 for whole) is twist to the Peking Duck we are normally familiar with.
In this version, the duck is prepared to a fall-off-the-bone texture. Look how easily the meat can be easily teared apart with just two forks!
To truly enjoy this dish, ensure a good mix of lean meat and crispy skin, and condiments such as hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onions go into the Chinese pancake wrap.
After the Peking duck twist, we had the Moonlight Truffle Beef Hor Fun ($20) which is a hippy take on the well-loved zhi char perennial, hor fun.
The highlight of this dish was undoubtedly the sliced US prime beef which is superbly quick-fried over the wok, resulting in a very nice charred aroma. Bonus points to the chef for not over-tenderizing the meat as commonly bastardized in typical Chinese zhi char stalls. The gravy's flavors and truffle scent need to be more pronounced though.
Dessert selection comprised of the usual Chinese offerings including Sweetened Almond Cream ($6), Herbal Jelly ($6) and Cream of Mango & Pomelo Sago ($6). Not that these are no good, but we will go for the more interesting Hokey-Pokey Ice Cream Bao ($6), a combination of fried bao with honeycomb ice cream, cocoa chips and toasted marshmallow. Not to mention it's so photogenic too!
Overall, Full of Luck Club is a very trendy take on Cantonese fare. From the décor and ambience to the menu and food presentation it would sure to appeal to many, especially those seeking merriment over some Asian-inspired cocktails, wines, and a good selection of craft beers from Hong Kong Beer Company too. Perfect for social gatherings.
That being said, the traditionalist who enjoys their kong ba pau over kopi-O would probably still look else where.
Address: 243 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278977
Contact: +65 6208 6845
Opening Hours:Sun-Thu 11am-11pm / Fri-Sat 11am-1am
Prices stated are in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST.
* Written by BFF, a guy who is desperately trying to find a balance while lost in the world of sights, sound and taste.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu