Even before London Fat Duck at Scotts Square was opened, I already knew of its existence as I passed by it during renovation and again on the first few days of opening. But I had no inclination to enter because of the misleading and prevaricating name:
(1) the Hongkong-styled restaurant has nothing to do with three Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, Fat Duck in London, which is often voted as the best restaurant of the world.
(2) The Singapore restaurant also has nothing to do with the famous Chinese restaurant, Four Seasons, in London Chinatown, famed for its roast duck for poor Singaporean students studying abroad.
In fact, London Fat Duck is from Singapore, by Singapore-based company Fei Xiong, and Akashi. And the duck isn’t even from London! It’s from Ireland!
Roast Duck (half $26)
Besides the misleading name, another reason why I didn’t visit earlier is because the restaurant is modeled after Four Seasons. Since I have already visited Four Seasons in London and in Singapore, why should I bother with an imitation? Why buy Louie Wuitton when I already own Louis Vuitton?
And then, I visited Dubai, and returned to Singapore, craving for Chinese food. Besides, I ran out of newish restaurants to visit. And I have read favorable reviews from my esteemed fellow bloggers. All omens screamed London Fat Duck! London Fat Duck!
Crackling pork belly ($13.80)
The moment I stepped in, I thought, “Crystal Jade.” I thought, “Do we really need another Crystal Jade?”
But when the food arrived, I was wrong. I was wrong on many levels. This isn’t a Crystal Jade; the duck here is in a class of its own. I was wrong about it being a poor imitation, because the duck tastes so much better than Four Seasons’s. Although London Fat Duck’s parent company, Fei Xiong, also owns Legendary Hong Kong, and although Legendary Hong Kong also imports the same Irish duck, and although some have said the two ducks taste similar, I don’t think so.
Char siew noodles ($7.80)
The duck ($26 half) at this restaurant is extremely fat–sometimes there is more fat than meat–but doesn’t feel greasy, and although it is drenched in sauce, parts of the skin remain crispy to give a nice crunch.
At first, I thought they should have a platter on the menu for all three roast meats, duck, char siew (bbq pork), and sio bak (pork belly), like what other restaurants do. But after trying their expensive but mediocre sio bak ($13.80 for 9 miserable cubes), and the overly charred and bitter char siew, perhaps it is wise of them not to provide a platter which would dilute the excellence of the duck.
Black pepper duck bun (3 pcs $4.80)
But the other dishes are not bad. The noodles of the char siew noodles ($7.80) are addictively crunchy, much better than Mak’s Noodle. The signature black pepper duck bun ($4.80) is fiery enough. And the Hongkong-styled wontons were bouncy. Chiobu, who has been there twice in a week, recommends the litchi boat-style congee and the egg tart.
As a derivative of Four Seasons, London Fat Duck has definitely outshone its master. London Fat Duck markets itself gimmickily–like its name–as the “wagyu of ducks” but I think it should be marketed as the Huawei Phone of ducks, copying the technology of iPhones, and making it better and cheaper; I make this statement as a sincerest form of compliment and praise to London Fat Duck.
Although the restaurant is a Huawei phone, it is not phony. I have no brand loyalty, and would prefer the cheaper and more delicious restaurant. For this visit, we paid $73 for 3 persons, or $25 for one.
On our second visit, we were very well served by a waitress named Ivy. We were celebrating my mom’s birthday, and she offered to take candles and light from the kitchen. She took us plates for the cake cheerfully. Although they were very busy, Ivy and another female (assistant) manager didn’t neglect our needs.
Unfortunately, the lady captain also chased us from our table. And we had to leave without finishing the cake!
We paid $150 for 5 adults and a child this time.
London Fat Duck
6 Scotts Road, #B1-16/17 Scotts Square, Singapore 228209
T: +65 6443 7866
M–F: 11am–10pm, Weekend & PH: 10am–10pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.