Wah Lok 华乐 – Carlton Hotel City Hall

A trip to this restaurant always puts a smile on my face – it’s almost like our family restaurant. From suckling pigs and winter melon crabs for dinner to dim sum lunches, we have frequent this restaurant for more than a decade. Creative interpretation of Cantonese cuisine and great service quality are the reasons why we always return.

As much as I like Wah Lok, I don’t really enjoy eating there on weekends / public holidays as the quality of food seems to be compromised due to the crowd. This visit with my besties was one of those not-so-good days. I shall still highlight the dishes we enjoyed and those worth giving a second chance to.

wahloksquid
Cantonese Calamari (鱿鱼)
wahlokwhitebait
椒盐白饭鱼 Spicy salted white bait fish

These are the usual two fried items I would order, crispy and well seasoned. It sets a good opening for the other dim sum dishes.

wahlokcarrotcake
Steamed Carrot Cake 萝卜糕

This dish used to be my all time favourite at Wah Lok and it was previously served in a glass bowl. The taste of this new version lacks lustre and the radish pieces just weren’t as generous as before. I rather order the pan fried version with XO sauce one now.

polobun
Baked Char Siew Bun(Pineapple Bun)  菠萝包

This is so popular that you will need to reserve this along with your table when you visit Wah Lok. The direct translation of the Chinese name for this bun is pineapple bun. It’s named based on the appearance of the crispy top which resembles the outer skin of a pineapple. The Wah Lok’s pineapple bun has a golden brown and sweet top, with soft and fluffy bottom , filled with juicy char siew (barbecued pork) inside. One of the best in Singapore for me. A must-have!

wahlokeggtarts
Egg tarts 蛋挞

For some people, egg tart is a necessity to have for dim sum lunch. For myself, I am not a big fan. That said, I have tried Wah Lok’s egg tarts, and they are pretty average for me.

wahlokhargow
Steamed Prawn Dumpling (Har Gow 虾饺)
wahloksiewmai
Steamed Pork Dumplings (Siu Mai 烧卖)

The kings and queens of Dim Sum. They are usually pretty good at Wah Lok but with the overwhelming lunch crowd that day, these look hastily made and effortless. I don’t even have to taste it to know it’s not good. Given that we were there pretty late (about 1:30pm, their second round starts about 1:15pm), I think we were getting the last few orders in.

wahlokbeancurdskinroll
Pan-fried Tofu Skin with Prawn Filling 腐皮卷

Same as the kings and queens, this item is usually delicious at Wah Lok but was below its standards for this visit.

wahloksiobak
Roasted Pork Belly (Sio Bak 烧肉)

Roasted Pork Belly is decent but I very much prefer their other roast items like their roast chicken and suckling pig.

wahlokporkribs
Pork Ribs steamed with black bean and chilli 排骨

For me, this is a must have at Wah Lok. I just like the soft pork ribs and the seasoning for this dish. It’s a good balance of flavours and not every place does it well.

There’s one dish I would not recommend to try at all – the salted egg bun 流沙包. The filling is really weird, lacking in salted egg taste with too much custard. It tasted like “fake salted egg”. We had it many many years ago and it hasn’t improved. We gave it another shot this visit and it still left a weird taste in the mouth.

Other than for dim sum lunch, I have dined at Wah Lok on other occasions. If you are feeling a little richer than usual, do try out their cold crabs or winter melon crabs. The Hokkaido Scallops with truffle and their steamed cod fish dishes are really yummy as well.

I grew up eating at Wah Lok and it will always hold a special place in my heart compared to other Cantonese restaurants. I am the sentimental sort even when it comes to food, so I will definitely revisit. Pricing wise it’s about $40-50 per person, a little pricier than Tim Ho Wan and almost the same as Ah Yat. To avoid disappointment, my suggestion is to visit when it’s off peak like weekdays lunch (can still be quite busy as there are business luncheons there) or reserve early for the first round of lunch on weekends. Or spend a little more for dinner 😀

Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
76 Bras Basah Road
Carlton Hotel Level 2
Singapore 189558
(65) 6311 8188

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