Two Wings at Essen in the Pinnacle at Duxton

I stayed at Everton Park (the oldest HDB in Singapore, at Outram Park) for 2 years before moving to my current place, and I would pass by Pinnacle (Singapore’s fanciest HDB, and newest too? I liked the Outram Park area because it was quiet but also incorporated both the old and the new…) very often as I was walking to get groceries at the local NTUC. I remember the tacky looking Kopitiam back in the days, with the typical food court fare of the soup stall, mixed veg rice etc. Needless to say it was rather insipid and I didn’t go back for a second time.

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Fast forward 2 years, and the spunky looking Essen has replaced the old Kopitiam at the ground level of Pinnacle. Catering to the more upmarket residents above, it features various Western food stalls, one of them including Two Wings. The atmosphere is a trendy vibe, almost like we were in a cool bar rather than a food court.

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Two Wings owner, Jeremy Loh, was inspired to re-brand the 40 year old family recipe passed down the generations from from his granduncle (which also has apparently been passed on to other stalls like the Victor Famous Fried Rice Chicken). The chicken wings are said to be massaged everyday to drain the blood off, and uses bigger wings imported from Brazil. The skin is one of the thinnest and crispiest I have tried,  perhaps the reason that, surprisingly, the wings are not as greasy as most other fried wings. The batter is seasoned with hints of spices, upon biting which reveals piping hot, moist and tender meat. Although it may be mellower compared to more spice-filled chicken wing joints like KFC, it allowed the natural chicken-y juices to burst through.

The quality is said to be kept consistently with the original stall at Bukit Merah (non-airconditioned one), with his family members helping to run the Two Wings at Essen. The Chicken Wings are priced at $8.50 for 4 pieces, $12.50 for 6 pieces and $24 for 12 pieces. There are other options including the Chicken Burrito, Spring Chicken, and of course the combo meal I ordered.

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The Finger Platter Deluxe ($23.90) is a smorgasbord of fried and salad items, including 3 of the famous Chicken Wings served on a cute wooden board,  can feed 3 hungry people. It also contained Crispy Chicken Strips, Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Fries and Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Carrot & Veg sticks on a special dip sauce. This match definitely went down well; the fresh and crispy veggie sticks tasted so refreshing after all that fried food, and the creamy mayo dip was strangely addictive, which I was informed is Jeremy’s wife’s grandma’s homemade special mayo dip recipe. Everything on the platter was freshly fried without any overused oil taste and no greasy residues. I love that we got sweet potato fries rather than the typical potato fries too! The mozarella cheese sticks were unique, and indeed chewy and springy (but it hardened easily in the aircon). We shared it among two pax so it was too heavy, but it’ll be just right for 3 people.

IMG_2901We got an extra side of  Mashed Potato Salad ($3) was also nicely seasoned with hints of onion and sour cream, just like the good old chip flavour. The service crew there were kind enough to microwave the salad for us (mashed potato tastes better hot in my opinion…).

The photo doesn’t show, but we later picked up the chilli sauce, which is a homemade recipe lovingly made over a few hours on a daily basis, including fresh ingredients like homemade chicken broth. The chilli was indeed really good; similar to the chicken rice chilli but with a zestier kick and a spicy zing.

It’s one of the best fried chicken wings I’ve had in Singapore, and true to say that you definitely can’t just stop at one wing; two wings should do the trick! I love the fact they lovingly create everything from scratch with old family recipes too.

All prices stated are nett (no GST and service charge).

Website: http://www.twowings.com.sg

Two Wings – Essen At The Pinnacle
No. 1 Cantonment Road #01-01 The Pinnacle @ Duxton, Singapore 080001
Closest MRT: Outram Park
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9pm Daily
Tel: +65 9667 0368

The flagship branch:
Two Wings Bukit Merah
119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 Salute, Singapore 15119
Closest MRT: Queenstown
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm (Tues-Sun)
Tel: +65 9667 0368

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Tung Lok Teahouse – Square 2, Novena and Far East Square at Telok Ayer

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I saw the cutest baos ever on a Facebook from the Tung Lok Restaurants group: they are shiitake mushroom clones, down to even the stems, but made of steamed bread! Working near Novena, I took the opportunity one lunch hour to check it out.

As its name suggests, Tung Lok Teahouse was designed to echo the retro ambience of an old teahouse in Singapore during the 1950s-1970s, adorned with Peranakan furniture to match. The one at Novena had no windows, with a yellow tinted lighting, so it unfortunately didn’t really replicate that experience, but I could appreciate the concept displayed through its decor. They serve top-notch traditional Teochew/Pernakan-style food with a modern innovative twist; thus prices here are slightly steeper than your typical restaurant. It was a rather quiet day as there weren’t that many other patrons. Service is warmly genuine, and the waiters made an effort to find a comfortable seat for me (yep I was a brave lone diner!) when I expressed the table I was at was too cold, and they proactively offered to refill my warm water cup.

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The Wild Mushroom with Black Truffle Baos (S$4.80++) is a triplet of adorable steamed buns that have a soft fluffy interior with a beautiful mottled pattern of a mushroom. The crusty exterior is an ever-so-thin layer that seems to resemble the texture of tiger bread, which is made painting on rice paste and sesame oil, which dries and cracks into a crust during the baking process. I’m not sure if that’s how they made the pattern but doesn’t it look uncannily like the tiger bread: perhaps with some soy sauce to give it the black/brown hues? Nevertheless it’s quite a work of art and Tung Lok reports it took the chefs 6 months to perfect the recipe!

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I was a bit let down by the presentation as the other food bloggers (and the display outside the restaurant) had posted gorgeous photos of the buns complete with peanut /fried shallot garnishings on a pretty ceramic plate, but mine came out looking plain in a bamboo steamer. Nevertheless, one bite into the bun and all qualms were set aside; the fillings had king oyster mushrooms, shiitake, tea tree mushrooms, wood ear fungus, black truffle oil, and truffle abalone sauce). It was bursting with umami magical mushroom-y goodness (the abalone sauce gives it a great kick in what would otherwise be too monotonous in fungi); mushroom lovers will love this! Supply is limited to 50 baskets everyday, so the manager suggested that if you want to come back for dinner (yep the dim sum menu is available then, and LOL yes I love them that much) you can always call in to reserve it before you come in so that you can make sure you get your hands on these adorable fungi imposters.

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I also had their Steamed Glutinous Rice with Diced Chicken wrapped in Lotus Leaf (S$4.80++). This was very good, as I am usually very picky with lor mai gai and this hit the spot. Well-cooked (but not soggy) grains of rice (with specks of red rice) with morsels of salted egg yolk and succulent lean chicken. I’m glad that unlike many restaurants, Tung Lok did not seem to use fat as fillers for the dumplings.

I’ve always liked the restaurants under the Tung Lok group (did you know Slappy Cakes is under them as well?), and Tung Lok Teahouse definitely hit the mark for good quality dim sum. I will do a re-post here of the second visit I have coming up 😉

The dim sum menu is below. You can find their set menus online though, (including items like the Braised House Special Beancurd with Fried Conpoy, and Fried Assorted Vegetables served in Yam Ring).

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TungLok Teahouse
#01-73/79 Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive, Singapore 307506
Tel: +65 6893 1123
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 11:00am – 02:30pm & 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Nearest MRT: Novena
Website: http://www.tunglokteahouse.com

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Reprise for second dinner visit on 24/8/15 at the outlet at Far East Square

Far East Square is like a maze of various buildings and the restaurant was not easy to find. This outlet seems to have a slightly more yesteryear ambience than the one at Novena.

They served an appetiser at each table, and these blissful bites of crunchy sesame seed praline walnuts were very addictive; too bad they are a hefty $4.00++.

The Sweet and Sour Chrysanthemum Fish ($26++) was done well with a lighter, crispier batter than the typical economic rice fare combined with some extra pine nuts and capsicum, but I couldn’t really taste the chrysanthemum. Guess what I just realised: the term ‘chrysanthemum fish’ means the fish is cut into the shape of a chrysanthemum flower, not that it has chrysanthemum inside! I can’t help but think it’s similar to the ones you can get at the Tze Char stalls though.

The Fried Assorted Vegetables served in Yam Ring ($24.00++). I didn’t really like the yam ring here: it was too thin (not enough yam), too oily, not crispy enough, and has a ngoh-hiang spice taste that doesn’t match the yam well. The fillings inside though, including the prawns, were fresh and juicy.


The Braised House Special Beancurd with Conpoy Crisps was good, with generous servings of soft tofu within leathery, crispy spinach skin at the top and mushrooms, atop a bed of green spinach. This was the better of the main dishes we ordered, and although the sauce tempered the taste, I felt it was doused in too much oyster sauce and there weren’t many mushrooms.

I also couldn’t help but order a second mushroom bao. They’re that good haha. But this time it looks a bit less realistic (more whites showing) and one of the buns was slightly torn, but still tasted awesome. RX picked up that there was a subtle chocolate flavour in the dark crust too.

Coconut and dessert fans will love the Chilled Snow Lotus Pudding With Ice-Cream Served in Young Coconut ($8++): an ever-so-light, melt-in-mouth, smooth and slippery (my tongue was floating on coconut water cloud nine) snow lotus pudding, vanilla ice cream, mango cubes, drizzle of evaporated milk. The young tender coconut meat was easily scraped off the shell for a highly commendable dessert. I have no idea what snow lotus is and it seems very elusive in my Google search as it looks more like a herb than any kind of pudding ingredient, but they do this pudding so right.

The restaurant was nicely spaced out without much crowd. I’m not sure if it were just the dishes we chose, but I thought the food was a bit hit-and-miss for the price you’re paying, but the coconut dessert is absolutely out of this world.

Prices stated are not inclusive of GST and service charge.

TungLok Teahouse
Far East Square, 9-13 Amoy Street, #01-01, Singapore 049949
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer
Tel: +65 6877 1123
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm (Mon – Sat), 10am – 2:30pm (Sun & PH), 6pm – 10:30pm (Daily)