Full of Luck Club: An Offshoot From Li Bai Restaurant
Full of Luck Club, a recent entrant at Holland Village, is the sister restaurant of the renowned Li Bai Restaurant. However, the concept here is different from the established and popular Li Bai known for its exquisite fine dining cuisine. The focus is on casual setting as they expect a younger clientele plus families on weekends. The two-storey shophouse with an open kitchen and bar seating area, can accommodate 97 diners.
The menu is also different with the emphasis on smaller plates or “bites” and there is a good selection of drinks. It’s not surprising that some of the dim sum dishes as well as the desserts from Li Bai are available here.
I learnt that Li Bai’s chef had a hand in coming up with the menu. As a regular patron at Li Bai, I was curious to check out the quality at Full of Luck Club.
Fortunately, the dim sum prices here are the same as at Li Bai. I tried the following dim sum for comparison—deep-fried crispy prawn rolls with mango (3 pieces $6), baked BBQ pork puff (3 pieces $5.40), steamed scallop and vegetable dumpling (3 pieces $6), stir-fried radish cake with X.O.sauce ($6.80) and crispy beancurd skin rolls with shrimps and chives (3 pieces $6). There was not much difference in quality except that the stir-fried radish cake portion was smaller.
An innovative dish is the bao which is made like a burger, and it is steamed with ingredients in between.
I opted for the Kung Pao Fried chicken—a classic taste of spicy chicken accompanied by lettuce, dried chilli and crushed peanuts as the filling. The second choice was the braised pork belly where the meat was slowly cooked till tender with lettuce, pickled lotus roots, fried shallots, peanuts coriander and bird’s eye chilli. Although there is chilli in both baos, it wasn’t spicy at all. In fact, I could hardly taste the chilli. The baos are Chinese versions of burgers and they are interesting combinations which may take off as a fast food item. There is also a take-away counter for those who want to satisfy their immediate cravings.
There are 5 varieties to choose from except for a fried dessert option: the hokey-pokey ice cream ($6) that comes with cocoa chips, toasted marshmallow and creamy honeycomb ice cream.
There is also an interesting dish under the ‘Light Bites’ called The golden sand corn with salted egg yolk ($4.80). This is more like a snack and goes well with the wines, cocktails or Chinese craft beer served at this outlet. The latest craze now is for all things fried or baked with salted egg yolk, and this snack ticks all the boxes.
There are dishes under “Sharing Plates” if one is still hungry. I opted for the braised spinach beancurd ($16) which differed slightly from Li Bai. The pieces of beancurd here were much smaller and they came with braised mushrooms and dried scallops.
The crispy aromatic duck ($35 for half, $70 for whole) was different and tasted like duck confit served at French restaurants. The duck was small and the skin was fried till crispy. In fact, it looked more like a small bird or pigeon. Unlike the Peking duck where the skin is something we savour, the duck was prepared differently. In true Peking duck style, you are supposed to wrap the meat with a steamed Chinese pancake and top it off with cucumbers, shredded spring onions and hoisin sauce.
Desserts served here are almost the same as at Li Bai. The usual favourites are the sweetened almond cream served hot ($6), sweetened cream of mango and pomelo with sago ($6) and grass jelly with aloe vera served chilled ($6).
Portions served at Full of Luck Club are small. If you want ambience, Li Bai is the place to go. At Full of Luck Club, trendy and casual is the way to go and you can even walk in with your flip flops, T-shirt and shorts.
243 Holland Avenue
Opening Hours (Daily):
11 am to 11 pm (Sunday to Thursday)
11 am to 1 am (Friday and Saturday)