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Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant Tim Sum 华乐酒楼 @ Carlton Hotel August 13, 2013

Posted by gurkhason in food, singapore.
Tags: ,

Many people claimed  that Wah Lok is probably the best place for tim sum.  I think the word “best” would really be a strong accolade given that many fine restaurants do serve very good tim sum.  But what would sum up a “best” restaurant would really depends on a few factors like whether they have a good variety or specialty,  whether you experience a good ambiance and service, whether the price meets expectations of value.  With so many things to consider, I would say it is very hard to consider if the tim sum at a particular place would consider “best”.

My last visit to Wah Lok is probably 2 years back when Carlton Hotel was undergoing refinements and renovations.  I didn’t have a good experience because as I was having lunch with my best friend, the renovation works was going thumping away!  Maybe because of the disturbance, I didn’t get to enjoy my tim sum lunch.  But I gave Wah Lok a chance because one of my Chinese colleague edged all of us on to try Wah Lok for tim sum, otherwise we would have to go to his other regular place.  So the answer is obvious.

Wah Lok BBQ ComboBBQ Combination: Roast Pork & Roast Duck ($33)

We were running a little late as by the time we got to Wah Lok was about 1.30pm.  We wanted a BBQ combination with three meat but they ran out of the barbeque pork.  So we had the roast pork and roast duck combination.    Was a little disappointed as char siew is probably my favourite choice.  The roast pork was good as it has a crispy crust and the meat is suitably marinated and rather tender.  This goes well with the mustard provided.

Wah Lok Garlic Pork in CucumberGarlic Pork in Cucumber ($12)

For some reason, my Chinese colleague relishes this garlic pork in cucumber.  I love how refreshing this dish is because of the cucumber and also the thinly sliced pork that has garlic worked expertly on it.  I also like how the garlic pork are rolled and stacked together when presented.  A nice presentation makes a dish more appetizing.

Wah Lok Char Siew BunSteamed BBQ Pork Bun ($1.60/pc)

Steamed BBQ Pork (Char Siew) buns are obligatory when you have tim sum.  One good thing when dining at Wah Lok is that you can order the dim sum by the number of people attended.  So you don’t have to worry about ordering more or less than desired.  The steamed bun is lovely as I like the char siew (or BBQ pork) with the right sweetness.  The bun is also substantial enough but yet still remain soft and fluffy.

Wah Lok Teochew DumplingSteamed Teochew Dumpings

Truth is, I can’t really recall what this dish is even looking at the receipt.  But from the look of it, it must be some seafood dumpling that is Teochew Style.  Though I cannot remember what this is call, but it does sure taste good.  I shall leave my comment as that.

Wah Lok Glutinous RiceSteamed Glutinous Rice ($6)

The steamed glutinous rice is snuggly wrapped around the lotus leaf.  The glutinous rice is nice and sticky and the ingredients inside are also rather fragrant.  In fact, I actually enjoy the rice especially while it is still hot.  This is quite a nicely done dish compared to many dim sum places I visited.

Wah Lok Chicken FeetSteamed Chicken Feet ($4)

I actually like this version of the chicken feet when the whole chicken feet is braised such that the skin almost falls off the bone when you eat it.  But of course “one man’s meat is another’s poison”, ok maybe not so serious!  I know of chicken feet fans who prefer those more rubbery kind which is commonly served in Hong Kong.  Or those who prefer more chewy texture.  I like it like this where it will just almost dissolve in your mouth.  This must be many hours of braising it so that the skin can be so soft, tasty and yummy!

Wah Lok Prawn DumplingSteamed Prawn Dumplings ($1.70/pc)

Steamed prawn dumplings, or Har Gow are probably one of the heavenly kings of dim sum.  I didn’t find it particularly spectacular except that it has generous portion of prawns in each ball of dumpling.

Wah Lok Carrot CakeSteamed Carrot Cake ($4)

I don’t remember I ordered the steamed carrot cake the last time I was at Wah Lok.  But I know this must be good when it was served.  As you use the spoon to dig into the bowl of carrot cake, the sauce and the cake blends so well together.  The texture of the cake is very balance, not too gluey or too hard.  Certainly one thing I would order the next time I come.

Wah Lok Xiao Long BaoSteamed Xiao Long Bao ($1.90/pc)

The steamed Xiao Long Bao are really juicy but don’t worry about the skin breaking when you lift up these juicy bombs as the skin is elastic enough to hold the soupy treats.  Maybe that was also because the folds of the skin are thicker than usual.

Wah Lok Pork RibsSteamed Pork Ribs ($5)

The steamed pork ribs were in my humble opinion a little too light in taste and the meat too chewy.  I prefer if the steam pork ribs to be more meaty than fatty.  I guess sometimes it is like your luck whether you get more fats or more meat in your pork ribs, but I thought restaurants can be a little more consistent in this basis.

Wah Lok BBQ Pork Char Siew PastryBaked BBQ Pork Pastries ($2/pc)

That is the last three pieces of Baked BBQ Pork Pastries there is left in the restaurant.  I wished they do more of that because it is taste so good that it must be a popular item in the restaurant.  We have to share these three pieces amongst seven of us.  Maybe sharing makes it taste better?  The pastry is flaky and buttery and the BBQ pork is so nice, probably the same as the steamed BBQ Pork Bun.   Everyone should order this when they are here.

Wah Lok Beef BallsSteamed Beef Balls ($4.80)

The steamed beef balls are nice and have lemongrass taste.  Also like the overall texture of the beef balls.  But I must say that beef balls are not particularly popular item when I eat with my friends maybe because some Chinese don’t eat beef or maybe people associate a dim sum meal to be more porky or more seafood, but not beef.

Wah Lok Chee Cheong FunSteamed Cheong Fun ($6.80)

I thought the Cheong Fun or rice flour rolls are a little expensive at $6.80 per serving!  We had a serving of prawn cheong fun and scallop cheong fun, both the same price.  Nothing spectacular there, and the cheong fun is the thick version.  For a cheong fun to be good, I prefer if the skin is thin and smooth and uses top grade soy sauce.  I thought the Wah Lok rendition is a little stingy on the sauce.

Wah Lok Beancurd Skin RollFried Beancurd Skin Roll ($2.30/pc)

Surprisingly, this is the only fried dish that we ordered.  I am not sure Wah Lok served mostly steamed dim sum or it was my friend conscious decision to order less fried items.  Another than the super crispy beancurd skin, otherwise this dim sum is quite ordinary.

Wah Lok Group Picture NEP02/13

After the satisfying meal at Wah Lok, the group of us decided to pose for a group shot.  Look at our happy faces after a satisfying meal.  Be sure to check back my post as I intend to re-visit some of my other personal favourite dim sum places such as Royal China of Raffles Hotel, Asia Grand Restaurant at Odeon Towers, East Ocean Restaurant and Peach Garden.

Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant | Carlton Hotel
76 Bras Basah Road
Level 2 Carlton Hotel
Singapore 059817
Tel: 6311 8188
Opening Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11.30am – 2.30pm (lunch), 6.30pm – 10.30pm (dinner)
Sun & PH: 11.00am – 2.30pm (lunch), 6.30pm – 10.30pm (dinner)



1. Sonal - August 13, 2013

Yum…. Should try this!!

gurkhason - August 14, 2013

Hi Sonal, yes, should try this! Do check back my blog, I am going to press a few other tim sum entries! Cheers.

2. amonwong - August 13, 2013

How about swee choon?(;

3. amonwong - August 13, 2013

How about swee choon?(;

gurkhason - August 14, 2013

Yes! Swee Choon will be coming up very soon! Do check back ok. 🙂

amonwong - August 14, 2013

Be sure to try the Liu sha bao!

4. mysketchbookproject - August 14, 2013

your blog is really phenomenal! This is the best catalog of food places in Singapore I’ve ever seen!

gurkhason - August 14, 2013

Thanks a lot. I am so thrilled to hear this from you because your sketches are just as awesome!

5. 365days2play - August 15, 2013

Wow, I wish I could be there too!

gurkhason - August 15, 2013

Yes, you should try at Wah Lok!

6. Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant 瑞春点心拉面小笼包 @ Jalan Besar | Thoughts on Air - September 23, 2013

[…] distinction of dim sum culture in Singapore.  You have the fine dining tim sum like this one in Wah Lok and the more heartland version like Swee Choon.  While price sets the distinction for these two […]

7. Carol - October 9, 2013

For six person set menu

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[…] Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant @ Carlton Hotel […]

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[…] Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant @ Carlton Hotel […]

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