Singapore’s Tung Lok Seafood Is Now In Manila

If there’s one thing I miss about Singapore, it’s their authentic chili crab. Flashback to many years ago: I remember dining in a restaurant near Marina Bay, choosing the crab from the aquarium, and then pacifying my then-pescetarian senses when the giant platter of chili crab finally arrived on our table. In full battle gear of gloves, bib, and mallet, I cracked open every inch of that crab, slurping on the juicy morsels while wiping off the last drop of chili sauce with my Nth serving of mantou (steamed buns).

I’ve recreated that core memory in Manila, thanks to the same group that brought Tung Lok Signatures to our shores last year. Tung Lok Seafood, one of Singapore’s top seafood restaurants, opened its first Philippine location in S’Maison, Conrad Manila, in February.

Kate was here.
TungLok Seafood is in S Maison, Conrad Manila, next to the Dessert Museum.

Tung Lok Seafood has four private rooms, two semi-private rooms, and a main dining area that can accommodate 92 guests.

I attended the media launch this month and was treated to their signature dishes curated by their Singaporean and Cantonese executive chefs. My top picks are as follows:

Mala fish skin is an appetizer of fish skin fried to crisp using a batter mix of Sichuan peppercorn, chili, and salted egg. Trivia: The Tung Lok group was the first to create a handful of iconic Singaporean dishes in the 1990s, such as this one.
For a more western picking, get the cherry tomatoes. Refreshing and simple, these chilled cherry tomatoes are soaked in sweet and sour plum sauce. Keep it on the table as a palette cleanser when you need a break from all things spicy.
Sauteed prawns with broccoli and black truffle sauce smells as good as it sounds.


The star of the show, the signature chili crab, is swimming in sweet and savory tomato-and-chili-based sauce. Each order is served with a side of fried mantou, a.k.a. steamed buns that are best dipped into the chili sauce before devouring. You better wear that bib as it will get messy.
Deep-fried garoupa is served with green mango and sour-spicy sauce to balance out the crispy fried taste of the fish.
Firecracker chicken is one of Tung Lok Singapore’s iconic dishes. You’ll get bite-sized chicken fried with a variety of spices such as dried chili and Sichuan peppercorns. Warning: This is no ordinary spice. Our entire table of writers teared up after a bite of this dish.

My all-time favorite Singaporean and Malaysian dish is spicy curry laksa noodles. Just like the Filipino adobo, every restaurant and household has its own version of the laksa. In Tung Lok, you’ll get a bowl of rice noodles, tofu, seafood, and sprouts in a classic mix of curry paste and coconut milk.
Looking to feel less guilty about all the fried dishes? Two-way kale gives you two versions of the healthy leaf—crisp and steamed.

Sauteed elephant shell clams (sans the shells) with a heaping serving of string beans
Among all the dessert options, the taro paste with coconut sauce was a pleasant surprise. It looks like an ordinary dessert, but once you’ve tasted the silky hot taro topped with sweet coconut sauce, you will keep eating until the last slurp. It’s the best way to cap a meal full of oil and spices.
@replikate Singapore’s Tung Lok Seafood is now in Manila! ☀️ #TungLokSeafood ♬ Burning – The Whitest Boy Alive

Carnivores, don’t fret! They also serve meat and poultry cooked Singaporean-Chinese style.

Tung Lok Seafood 同乐海鲜 is located at Level 1, S Maison at Conrad Manila, Coral Way, Pasay City, Metro Manila.

Photos by Kate Alvarez. Additional photos courtesy of Love and Light Productions.