Sometimes a restaurant’s look is determined by the whims of its owners, sometimes by the concepts and plans of the marketing team. But there is a third type, where the sheer weight of a tradition of cuisine soaks into the decor as well. Wo Peng Cuisine is of this last type. The deep space it occupies on the third floor of Furama City Centre is a visit to the sort of Cantonese restaurant still prevalent in Hong Kong but dying out in Singapore - pastel tones, trolleys of all sorts, extensively upholstered and clean and yet a little ramshackle. There’s even a wooden signboard, and couplets for the Chinese New Year.
Camphor Tea Duck ($68) is another skill test of a dish, a Sichuanese rendition of the Cantonese staple where the duck is first smoked over camphor twigs and tea leaves. The resulting duck looks a little darker and less glossy, but the smoke has done its work, leaving a distinct fragrance and tightening the skin and fat. The meat within is juicy, with little hits of salt throughout.
Served in a little stack like the gold ingots we all hope we’ll get this year, the Nian Gao ($19.80) round things off nicely with a whiff of coconut in the yielding, gooey centre, wearing a thin, crisp jacket of batter. Yam Cake ($18.80), meanwhile, is nicely grainy and studded with more diced meat and sausage.