Lokkee is a place full of contradictions. While it might be physically located inside a mall, it is nothing like what you’d expect to see in a mall food court, both in terms of food and decor. It serves favorite Chinese recipes but with a unique and witty play. As befitting an oriental Chinese restaurant, red is a dominant color here, but the walls are covered with pop art pieces in Chinese style and statues with a statement. It’s a family restaurant but the “extra moist” wet tissue was served at the beginning of the dinner in a condom-like package.
Tucked hidden on the third floor of the huge mall, Plaza Singapura, Lokkee wasn’t easy to locate. We felt a bit like mall rats running around trying to find the place. In the morning we reserved a place for 19:30 and by the time we arrived the place was packed full of people. Many large families were dining and celebrating – and they really know how to celebrate here! We witnessed no less than 4 birthdays, where the entire staff was recruited to sing loudly while serving a big birthday cake. So cute.
The creativity found on the restaurant walls is not lost in its dishes. The menu has many sections, organized by the type of food – Appetizer, Seafood, Poultry & Meat, Rice & Noodles, Bao, Beancurd & Vegetables, Soup and Dessert. The dishes are conveniently marked with labels – Healthy (there aren’t many of these), Signature, Slightly Spicy and Spicy.
We started with the signature dish Mapo Tofu with Pork ( 16 SGD / $12 / 41.5₪). Their tofu is made in-house and it is served with numbing spice minced beef sauce and a small dish with chopped scallion.
The tofu itself is pretty blend, and the sauce was quite a bit too spicy for me so with just the small amount I could bare the flavor still remained fairly dull.
As it seems, a Lokkee table is not complete without a mandatory combusting tropical fruit. This pineapple dish is engulfed in flames while on the table. Once the fire dies down, the top is removed, exposing the dish: Awesome Flaming Pineapple Beef ( 30 SGD / $23 / 78₪), filled with gravy braised beef, very tender and full of flavor. The carrots and pineapple pieces added sweetness and crunchiness.
Not sure how much exactly did the fire show actually contribute, but it was a nice gimmick nonetheless. Unfortunately our show was not all that impressive and the fire burnt lamely for 5 seconds and then died down. Luckily enough, our neighbors ordered the same dish so we were at least able to enjoy the huge performance over there.
Another signature dish we ordered was the Firecracker Chicken Nest ( 26 SGD / $20 / 67.5₪), a dish inspired by the absolute favorite takeout dish Kung Pao Chicken. On a straw plate, a few pieces of deep fried dices chicken are served lying on a bed of chopped dried chilies.
The 4 egg shells are in fact mango puree shaped into spheres and egg yolks. These serve as a good counter the spiciness of the dish. We agreed this was our favorite dish – combining sweet and spicy is an interesting way. The chicken bites weren’t greasy and had a great crunchy texture to them.
The last dish we tried was Orange Chicken ( 18 SGD / $13.5 / 47₪), fried chicken balls with an orange zest chicken stick and soy sauce, with some (redundant) lettuce. It was nice, but lacking a bit more orange flavor. Compared to the other fried chicken dish we tried, this was mediocre and somewhat boring.
The service was a bit slow – from the long time it took them to get our dishes out, to only asking if we want dessert when I grabbed a waiter to get us the check. There were no water refills, no one checked on us and it was a real challenge getting a waiter’s attention.
Overall the food was nice – Chinese food that fits well to a western pallet. I think its dishes and tastes lacks the same innovation and boldness found in the decor. Even though we enjoyed most of the food, no dish really stood out and the flavors weren’t memorable. Together with a glass of ginger ale, and 10% service charge automatically added to the bill, we payed 110 SGD ($83 / 285₪).
We got our dessert from Sweet Monster, also located inside this mall. They have the coolest branding, colorful monsters of all shapes and kinds!
I ordered the Strawberry Ice Cream (6.80 SGD / $5 / 17.5) – soft serve with strawberry popcorn, and savored every bite of it. The popcorn transferred taste to the ice cream and added extra flavor to the milky and creamy ice cream.
Opher got the Caramel Macchiato (6.80 SGD / $5 / 17.5), topped with caramel sauce. The ice cream wasn’t overly sweet and the portions are very generous, and the flavors are strong.
Much recommended! And I couldn’t leave empty ended and got me a cute mug that serves me well.