Step into Mongkok Precinct in Jurong Point and you’ll feel as if you’ve been teleported smack into the bustling shopping and eating district of the same name in Hong Kong. It’s got the neon lights, the crowds, the shops, and best of all, the most authentic cha chan teng (tea restaurant) you’re likely to find in Singapore.
Running the kitchen at Legendary Hong Kong are eight specially scouted chefs from Hong Kong, each with 14 to 31 years of experience in his own specialisation (roast meat, dim sum, congee, wonton noodles, wok stir-fries, and bing sut, or traditional tea restaurant fare) – some of their resumes boast stints at the famous Yung Kee, renowned for its roast goose, and Michelin-starred Mak’s Noodle.
We picked these five items from the menu of over 300, which you absolutely must order.
1. Roasted London Duck ($30 for half, $58 for whole)
The fowl served here is imported from temperate Ireland, so they’re considerably plumper and fattier than the ones we usually get locally. It took the roast-meats chef 30 test ducks to arrive at the one they now serve – utterly tender flesh and meltingly soft fat under crisp skin, doused in a savoury sauce with spices and aromatics.
2. Custard Crust Bun with Butter ($2.50)
With a perfectly crumbly, sugary crust moulded to soft, slightly buttery bread, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another bo lo bao in Singapore that tastes just as glorious. Tip: it’s best washed down with a glass of finely balanced yuan yang, aka HK Style Tea & Coffee Mix (iced, $2.80).
3. Thick Rice Roll with Dough Fritters ($4.50)
There aren’t many dim sum houses here that offer this dish, so we were mighty pleased to find these chewy, deep-fried you tiao swathed in silky robes of rice sheets, then bathed in light soya sauce – so spectacular in its simplicity.
4. Wonton Noodle in Soup ($6.80)
The stars here are undoubtedly the slippery-skinned dumplings – bite-sized nuggets of pleasure with a tasty, slightly peppery filling of shrimp and minced pork. Go for the thin egg noodles (other options are thick egg noodles, thick rice noodles, and vermicelli), which are blanched in a series of hot, cold, then hot (again) water to keep them immaculately springy. And don’t miss the house-made chilli sauce, which delivers a real kick even when consumed in tiny doses.
5. Congee with Century Egg & Pork ($6.80)
The smooth, comforting rice gruel is anything but bland – it’s loaded with large chunks of jelly-ish century egg and shredded pork, cooked only when you order. We recommend letting it sit for five minutes before you dive in, to let it thicken and take on an even more velvety texture.
Legendary Hong Kong is located at #03-80 Jurong Point 2, tel: 6794-1335. Open daily, 11am-2.30pm and 5.30-11pm.