Hipster bao sandwiches and truffle hor fun? Tuck into Cantonese cuisine with a twist at Holland Village’s newest Chinese restaurant
Walk into Full of Luck Club, and it’s immediately apparent that this ain’t some Granddaddy’s Cantonese restaurant. The mural-covered space is modern, playful and obviously aimed at the millennial generation. Although mentions of salted egg yolk and truffle on the menu brought out the culinary cynics in me, Full of Luck Club plays with these progressive tastes while retaining traditional Cantonese flavours.
My introduction to the restaurant’s contemporary take on Cantonese dishes was the golden sand corn with salted egg yolk – the crunchy, salty sweet corn and salted egg yolk crust was a toothsome start to the meal. The other starters were much more familiar, but no less well done – poached wontons in chilli soy and crunchy chilli-glazed fried chicken wings with a bean paste batter. The latter, I felt, would’ve paired perfectly with the restaurant’s selection of Asian craft beers.
My palate teased, I was served more substantial dishes like the restaurant’s speciality, a sort of hipster take on the bao. Think a burger-style dish with the buns swapped for halved ‘mantou’ buns. The first two that arrived were the smoked duck and panko-crusted portobello bao. The smoked duck was tender and smoky, while the portobello bao distinguished itself with a slice of roasted pineapple for a nice hit of sweetness. The standout bao, however, was the braised pork belly bao. The soft, fatty meat covered in lashings of thick sauce was complemented by a unique addition of crunchy pickled lotus root.
Up next was a Cantonese classic, a half of crispy duck done Cantonese-style served with hoisin sauce, cucumber, shredded spring onions and steamed Chinese pancakes (more akin to popiah skins than fluffy American pancakes). Half the fun of this this was putting together my own little wraps. I couldn’t help but stuff mine with way too much duck, but despite my messy wrapping skills, I ended up with a delightful duck roll.
It’s easy to become cynics when it comes to truffle-infused dishes. After all, aren’t you tired of gasoline-smelling fries doused in truffle oil? The next dish – the moonlight truffle beef hor fun, however – avoids overwhelming the palate, with the truffle oil merely teasing. The backbone of the dish is as it should be: velvety smooth hor fun and tender slices of beef in gravy. What truly impressed was the exceptional wok hei that’s so often missed outside hawker centres.
If it’s a Cantonese craving you seek to sate, don’t let Full of Luck Club’s modern décor and hipster vibes fool you. This restaurant’s more than proved its flair for updating traditional dishes with modern twists, and even the folks who prefer their less adventurous Cantonese cuisine will find lots to love at this hipster bao joint. Whichever side you’re on, this club’s unquestionably open to all.
Full of Luck Club, 243 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278977.