London Fat Duck @ Scotts Square: Patience Duly Rewarded

One and a half hours. That’s how long it took for my family to try out our beloved London-style roast duck at London Fat Duck. In the end, we concluded the wait was worth it! You may already know LFD is one of two new eateries in Singapore offering extremely fatty roast ducks that can only be found in London or Four Seasons in Siam Paragon, Bangkok. With these two eateries, there is now a possibility that our craving for London ducks like those found in Gold Mine, Bayswater, London will be satisfied. However I heard the other eatery at Capitol Building is severely disappointing. Not wanting to risk wasting calories, my family decided to check out the better-reviewed LFD in Scotts Square Shopping Mall.

We braved the dreaded weekend Orchard crowd, queued for what-seemed-like-eternity, but we had no regrets. I’m not going to lie. The wait was a b*tch! And the only thing that stopped short of classifying the queue as a royal pain in the ass: Maison Kayser. Just opposite LFD, we shared some pastries while waiting. This held us over the agonizing wait. But the entire time we were watching LFD’s queue number monitor like a hawk in case we missed ours and all hormones broke lose. The number on the monitor was at “1” when our queue number was “24”, we had a long wayyyy to go.

But you know what, we all agreed in unison that the wait was worth it! I don’t remember when we last all agreed a place was good so LFD was memorable. We LOVED every dish right down to the extremely oily chilli, but saved by its fragrance and spiciness, and the white rice. Every flavour and seasoning was spot-on! By the end of the meal, we were already planning our return trip. But we decided my Dad, who works nearby, shall come and taopao for us to eat in the comfort of our own home. No one was up for queuing.

On to the most important point of this post, here’s what we had on the Sunday afternoon:

Shrimp Wanton Soup. On first taste, we exclaimed “taste like Hong Kong!” I can’t describe it but the fragrant broth transported us back to Hong Kong. It felt good. We were sold on first slurp. And we were equally enamored with the large thin-skinned wantons were filled with a delicious blend of crunchy shrimps and minced pork.

Seasonal Vegetables in Oyster Sauce was exactly as described but this being the only veg on the menu, was saved by the kick-assed chilli..

Signature Black Pepper London Duck Bun. This is the famed buns akin to the Dim Sum favourite Bo Luo Buns and well worth the hype! I could not get enough of the fragrant buttery bun topped with a crisp peppery crust. We liked this dish very very much. I assumed the pepper top was going to be strong and off-putting but no, it balanced beautifully with the duck filling. Do order a plate, or two, while you are there.

  Barbecue Pork with Honey Sauce (Char Siew) we liked this very very much. So much so that we ordered a second plate even before we finished the first. And you know what? The second plate was even better! Smoky and sweet caramelized exterior with the tender meat. Thanks to this porky goodness, we pledged loyalty to LFD and this was even before tasting the famed duck.

My brother-in-law ordered this Pig Liver Noodles. He was very happy with it, said the noodles tasted like those in Hong Kong.  Signature London Roast Duck (Half). The pièce de résistance arrived after a long wait and we succumbed to it. It was good but to be honest, not as magical as the heydays of Four Seasons, Bayswater, London. Having said that our craving for London-style duck was satisfied thanks to the tenderness of the meat, luscious roasted skin with a good thick layer of fat underneath, and the meat devoid of any gaminess. We were almost in heaven and will be back for more! The sauce, on the other hand, could be improved. Thicker perhaps? It’s o.k. because we had the chilli to dip it into. The chilli really rocked our socks.

Hong Kong Crackling Pork Belly. Crispy skin, tender not-so-fatty pork, we had a second plate of this.

If you plan to try out LFD, do go with a game-plan and bring along tons of patience. The service can be a bit slow and inefficient as there are many servers but only two ladies can take orders. One of the ladies forgot our repeat order (I so knew this was going to happen given the crowd) so I reminded her after 10 minutes… If you are going with a group of more than 3 with large appetites, order multiple servings of the Char Siew and Pork Belly at the beginning. They take a while to be served. Oh by the way, the Char Siew was sold out by 1:48pm this afternoon! It pays to be a kanchiong spider and check on your order. While waiting, I suggest coffee at Maison Kayser or Dome opposite while you wait. Bring along a magazine or heck, the whole of Kinokuniya. Just be prepared to wait. The restaurant allows take-aways and orders to be made over the phone. I’m not sure if it is accurate but my family is going to try it out at the end of the week and I shall duly report back.

All in all, LFD is a great addition to the Singapore Dining Scene! I foresee many return trips and take-aways. The restaurant should expand. I feel for the empty boring mall. It really felt like a ghost town. Now I only hope the high-level execution can be sustained for as long as possible. Hope you have an equally good time at LFD.

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