London Fat Duck – Worth Waiting For

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Finally had the chance to try the renowned London Fat Duck @ Scott Square yesterday, thanks to a friend who was treating me to a belated birthday lunch. We went way past after 1pm thinking there will be less people but nooooo… Scott Square may be in desperate of a major overhaul (half the shops have gone) but when there’s good food, people in Singapore will queue, come hail or high water…

When handed a queue number of #52 (!) and an expected waiting time of 30 minutes, the waiter kindly told me not to worry as “tables for two usually avail very quickly, so we will move you up the queue…” Meanwhile, you will do good by marking your orders first with the menu order sheet given so that your food can be delivered to the table the moment you sit down…

Since it was our first time at London Fat Duck, ordering was easy – we just decided to go for items with a signature dish sign next to it (in the shape of a duck of course) and a few dim sum favourites. That didn’t take too long and frankly neither did the wait which was the most 20 minutes, affirmed by the waiter who gave me a look that said “I told you so…” as he led us to our table.
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It’s not called London Fat Duck for nothing, so the Signature London Roast Duck ($48.80 for whole) is a must-have. We ordered the smallest “regular” portion ($12.80) and just one piece alone was evident just why the place is so popular. The duck meat is tender, juicy and has a favourful crispy skin. I’m a big roast duck fan and let me tell you THIS is really good!
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The other order that seems to be on every other table as well is the Barbeque Pork with Honey Sauce “Char Siew” ($14.80). This is deliciously tender too and well marinated, cooked in the dark-as-night style. For its price and generous serving, definitely more value-for-money than those in other Chinese restaurants famed for their honey char siew such as Canton Paradise at Star Vista.
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I have been dying to have good Cantonese porridge for ages as there’s none now at my local market. I would have prefer congee with century egg and shredded pork but London Fat Duck’s signature Seafood Congee “Ting Zai” Style ($6.80) ain’t half bad. The porridge was smooth, tasty and chock-full of ingredients such as fish and squid. No complaints…
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The Hong Kong dim sum fare was fairly decent, comparable to what you would get at any good Hong Kong dim sum restaurant. The Steamed Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce ($4.30) was tenderly cooked, while the Pan Fried Raddish Cake ($4.80 for 3 pcs) was well-fried with loads of tasty shrimp, pork and yam bits within. We also had the Crispy London Duck Snow Bun ($4.80 for 3pcs), another signature which was the first item to arrive but which was a mistake to start with because it was huge and very meaty. Yummy as it is, I would advised not to order it if there is only two of you. Unless you don’t plan to order any other dishes…
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Our “healthy” choice was the single vegetable item – Seasonal Vegetable with Oyster Sauce ($6.80) which was broiled kailan served simply as pictured above. Presentations of most the dishes were totally non-fussy. I guess you don’t need to if they are good and tasty…

Verdict: Definitely see more visits in future whenever I have a top-notch roast duck craving! Do Irish ducks really make all that difference? Even the Chinese tea ($1.50) tastes extraordinarily good. Service was commendable too and the waitresses seem very used to customers requesting for “ta-pows” of leftovers. If you love good Chinese roast meats and dim sum, London Fat Duck is certainly a good alternative.

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