So my friend-leagues (friends more than colleagues) brought me to Lokkee for a fun birthday lunch.
I had heard of it only vaguely, so I was quite tickled by their wet wipe packaging – we marrieds all brought them home to show our hubbies.
The premise of American ‘Chinese take-out’ style eateries explained the names of dishes (Chow Mein, Colonal San Da Bao) and tacky fortune cookies dished out at the end of the meal.
Such Chinese restaurants are only frequented when ethnic Chinese overseas are for some reason unable to cook their own meals (I’d rather eat a western dish than ‘fake’ Chinese), since the food is usually a far cry from the taste and quality of real Chinese food, being way too sweet or salty, being tailored to the American palate.
So my initial thought was, why would anyone want to replicate such an eatery in Singapore, where such dishes are almost sacrilegious to the idea of authentic cuisine, especially when Singapore is hawker food heaven and no Singaporean would opt for “Singapore Fried Noodle” over Bak Chor Mee.
But I guess their ‘star dishes’ did have quite a lot of visual appeal, and how they were served did make for a fun experience. A waiter actually came to our table to light up the solid fuel around our Flaming Pineapple ($34), regally seated in an iron urn. And the closet arsonists in us got a kick out of watching the flames leap around our symbol of Huat.
And this is how their “Bak Kwa Salad” ($28) is served.
Thankfully the food was of decent quality instead of being the sort of Panda Buffet kind you get in the States – Lokkee is part of the Tung Lok chain after all (Nathan Hartono yay!). The cubes of beef mixed with pineapple chunks inside the pineapple-on–fire was actually really tasty, and the portion inside was generous enough. The panna cotta like dessert with blueberry sorbet was delish too.
The decor of the restaurant was sort of modern kitsch, Chinoiserie mixed with Star Wars, with interesting music that you can bop to. Although the dishes were gimmicky and slightly pricey, it made for a fun new experience.
Address: #03-01 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 5 to 10.30pm daily