We were invited to Full of Luck at Holland Village several times but we rejected them, preferring to visit anonymously to write an honest review as is our usual practice. It is by the same team behind the established Li Bai at Sheraton Towers, so there were some great expectations before we went, and we were not disappointed.
They serve progressive Cantonese food here, modernised for a young crowd although the people I saw here on that day weren’t very young. They have whole-day set menus for two or more people at $31, $48, $58 per pax. Although we went during luc(k)ch and their weekday lunch sets are priced affordably at $14, $17, $21, we decided to go a la carte because neither the set menus nor lunch sets consist of all the signature items. And we only want the best.
When you’re making a reservation on the site, they ask you if you want to reserve a plate or two or three of char siew ($16). I thought, “Come on. Stop hyping it up. It can’t be that delicious” but I reserved a plate anyway. When I was there, the table beside ours ordered a plate of char siew EACH. And they are old people in their 50s and 60s. By 2pm, I heard the servers inform each other that it was sold out.
And it is fantastic. The meat is tender and fat but still has some texture and isn’t greasy. It is glazed with honey, which is caramelised and forms a crunchy crust, and there are some sugar on top, giving a nice grainy texture.
The stir fried carrot cake with xo sauce ($6) is one of the highlights at Li Bai, and they replicate it here. The carrot cake is made in-house and is stir-fried with lap cheong and bean sprouts. It’s up to par, nothing amiss.
The signature chicken wings (6pcs, $8) are too skinny but the marinate goes deep into the bones. It tastes like turmeric with a hint of lemongrass and curry powder. Unique and rather tasty.
This is a weird dish: it’s a cheese tart topped with chilli crabmeat and pomelo (3pm, $10). It is rather creative and the tart shell is nice, crumbly and so soft we wondered how they placed them on the plate. But the combination of cheese and chilli crab doesn’t complement each other. It’s not terrible, but it just sounds more interesting than it tastes.
Our least favourite, Genghis Khan pork rib ($16), takes 45 minutes to cook. It uses USA premium pork ribs with homemade Mongolian sauce which is made from soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. I have not eaten a good Mongolian sauce before and this hasn’t changed. The meat doesn’t fall off the bone and the flavouring is indecisive.
But on the whole, we were impressed by the whole setup. Clean lines for the decor. Very comfortable. Delicious food. And pretty good service, especially by Liu Yu Rui. She is cheerful and attentive. We paid $78.40 for two persons.
Full of Luck Club
Holland Village, 243 Holland Ave, Singapore 278977
tel: +65 6208 6845
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Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.