Author: Alex Chua
If there’s something eventful in Singapore on 6 February, it would be the opening of Tendon Kohaku’s newest outlet at Chinatown Point. The largest seating capacity amongst the other three outlets, the 44-seater restaurant also boasts a private cosy corner that can host 12 to 14 diners. To make this a more remarkable and ceremonious occasion, Tendon Kohaku’s launched a new offering with a secret homemade sauce, exclusively available at Chinatown Point!
So what’s there to rave about the new opening of just another Tendon bar?
If you haven’t heard of them yet, Tendon Kohaku is widely recognised as the best tendon eateries in Singapore. You can find a long queue snaking out from its first outlet at Eat at Seven at Suntec City, and its about an hour-long, just to wait for a simple yet delicious bowl of rice with fried tempura atop. It’s secret? The draw factor lies in its rich batter, fresh ingredients and in-house sauce.
Now there’s something that could draw you specifically to its fourth outlet – the Seasonal (Winter) Special, Ocean Gems Tendon ($23) drenched in in-house secret wasabi sauce. Comprising of fresh catch such as prawns, oyster, snow crab, king crab meat, scallop and more, topped with glistening globes of ikura (fish roe).
Unlike the usual Tendon Kohaku’s bowls, there is no vegetables tempura here, just a galore of neatly stacked seafood. The tempuras are all fried in a special seaweed batter which lent a unique scent to the whole bowl. Among all the pieces, I particularly enjoyed the fried king crab meat and snow crab, both sweet and juicy, enwrapped with a noteworthy crunch. Initially I didn’t taste the distinctive tear-wrenching wasabi, it was only until further confirmation with the friendly service crew that I was supposed to mix the slab of wasabi paste on the outer bowl with the tempuras and the rice itself did I realize how the bowl should be consumed.
There’s a list of grain types for you to choose at no extra charge, and I chose the 16 multi-grain rice which is less sugar-loaded yet more nutritious.
Tendon Kohaku Chinatown Point
Chinatown Point #02-34 Singapore 059413
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 4:00pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Last Order 30 Min before closing
Author: Sandra Koh
Since its birth 4 years ago, Beauty in The Pot has never failed to tantalise our palates and vanity souls with its delicious and beauty-enhancing soup broths (yes, we couldn’t resist its collagen broth). Despite the sprouting of various hotpot competitors, the brand does not lose its shine and continues to charm us with the opening of its largest outlet at One KM Mall.
Spanning over 7,600 square feet, the new outlet distinguishes itself from its “siblings” by channelling a pink princess vibe. The walls and ceiling take reference from the beautiful cherry blossoms during spring, while the flooring features white marble stippled with pink quartz. All we would say is the place is certainly a wonderland (and perfect IG backdrop) for all the ladies!
Besides being a heaven for the femmes, the place serves as a great venue for holding company gathering (birthday parties too) with its “private dining rooms with individual pots” concept. These rooms can cater up to 10 people, and we like the fact that it can be combined to form an even spacious room. Moreover, each pot comes with an exhaust system, so you can just sit back and enjoy the hotpot session in a well-ventilated setting.
For the foodies, you will be delighted to know that the outlet serves up to 6 soup bases which includes Signature Beauty Collagen Broth, Signature Spicy Nourishing Soup, Herbal Drunken Chicken Broth, Cooling Coconut Broth, Vitamin C Tomato Sweet Corn Broth and the vegetarian-friendly Longevity Wild Pine Mushroom Broth. A single pot retails from SGD 14, while a quart pot starts from SGD 5 each.
Our favourite is the Cooling Coconut Broth, which comprises of young coconut flesh, chicken’s feet, spare ribs and snow fungus. It offers a subtly sweet taste that gradually changes to savoury with every sip, and goes down easy on our throats. We recommend pairing the broth with seafood and vegetables, as too much meat might mask off the light coconut flavour. The Signature Beauty Collagen Broth won the second place in our hearts with its rich and flavoursome taste. Every sip was so comforting, as the flavours linger in our mouths.
There are also more than 20 condiments and sauces available, and as usual, patrons can choose to top up SGD 3.80 to enjoy the condiments and fresh fruits.
Some of the dishes that we recommend trying includes the Fried Beancurd Skin (SGD 4.90/half; SGD 9.80/full), Signature Homemade Fish Tofu (SGD 2/piece) and Ebiko Prawn Paste (SGD 18.80).
The Fried Beancurd Skin is irresistibly crispy, and you can enjoy it on its own or soak it in your preferred broth. Do not get fooled by its appearance, for it is not at all unctuous and hence not cloying. For the first timer, be sure to follow the 3 seconds cooking method, to get an interesting mix of textures (think beancurd skin with crispy interior and soft broth-soaked exterior).
The Signature Homemade Fish Tofu not only pleased us with its adorable shape but also its melt-in-your-mouth texture. In fact, one piece is never enough!
Handmade daily, the Ebiko Prawn Paste is shaped out of 100% prawn flesh. Every bite just sends a euphoric sensation down our spines as the Ebiko bits explode into a juicy punch in our mouths.
In conjunction with the opening, female patrons can look forward to receiving pink roses from the hunky male models during selected dates and times. Guests can also receive a pair of exclusive Beauty in The Pot chopsticks, along with an SGD 20 catering voucher (while stock last). Wait no further, and bring your fellow hotpot lovers over to Beauty in The Pot now!
Beauty in The Pot @ One KM
11 Tanjong Katong Rd One KM, Singapore 436950
Operating Hours: OneKM (#02-21): Daily 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Last order at 9.15pm)
OneKM (#03-38): Daily 11.30am to 3.00am (last order 2.15am)
Tel: +65 6702 2542
Author: Alex Chua
The Butcher’s Kitchen, one of the largest butcher retailers in Singapore with over 15 years of history, has launched Singapore’s first-ever Flaming Hokkaido Beef Bowl (U.P. S$23.90). Lauded as first-of-its-kind and doused with a Flaming cognac concoction for a culinary spectacle, contrarians would surmise that it is more sizzle than substance. But don’t just take my words, take it from the beef connoisseurs and gourmands and they are raving for it.
The reason? The meat’s origin – Hokkaido. Why Hokkaido? The island’s fairly low temperatures throughout the season allows the beef cattle to develop more fats naturally. Coupled with the fresh clean air, water and high-quality natural feed, making Hokkaido beef one of the highest quality in Japan. Rest assured that The Butcher’s stringent quality control ensures the meat imported are free of anti-biotic and hormone growth promotants (steroids).
Digging into this gourmet bowl is a delicious indulgence by itself. The beef slices are succulent, flavourful yet moist even after the flame. Topped with The Butcher’s Signature sauce and parsley for garnish, the cognac concoction imbues the premium beef with a subtle fruity and floral note. While you might not get drunk with this, the alcohol did elevate the taste profile and sensation of the meat.
And now there’s more cheer for your palate and pocket! As part of the Grand Opening Special, from 13 January to 14 February, The Butcher’s Flaming Hokaaaido Beef Bowl will go at 50% off!
Besides the star dish, there’s two other non-beef options: The Butcher’s Pork Bowl (U.P. S$12.90) and The Butcher’s Salmon Bowl (U.P. S$13.90). The Salmon features fresh Atlantic Salmon, which is farmed in Kvaroy, a tiny island off coast of central Norway. Lightly seared to retain moisture and a nice crisp at the edge, the salmon is something not to chomp down straight but to savour, every piece of it.
Liking The Butcher’s Pork Bowl is an acquired taste. Featuring The Butcher’s very own Thai-style Grilled Pork – the process of slow-roasting the meat allows the juiciness to be ‘lock-in’ while having the texture perfectly done. Imported from Linley Valley Western Australia, the Free-rang pork are of top quality and has a remarkable taste.
Overall, if you are looking for high quality, fresh and safe meat with a foretold knowledge of its origins guaranteed by the meat specialist, then you come to the right place. The Butcher’s Kitchen is quintessentially fine dining on delicious, top-notch meat without breaking the banks or the formalities.
The Butcher’s Kitchen
Suntec City Mall, #02-472 Singapore 038989
Mondays to Fridays: 11am – 3pm/ 5pm – 9pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 11am – 9pm
Autho: Sandra Koh
Before we realise, we are only less than a month away from the gou (狗) den Chinese New Year. While our zodiac animal calendar is a repeating 12 years cycle, things seem to be more exciting when it comes to the variety of our well-loved prosperity Yusheng (thanks to the innovative chefs). Speaking of new Yusheng ideas, we recently got to try the first-ever soba yusheng at Japan’s number one soba restaurant –Nadi Fujisoba Ni-Hachi (and boy we’re totally digging it)!
The vibrant colours of the dish are not only an appetite provoker but an eye pleaser too. The dish is layered with strips of crabsticks, tamago, winter melons, purple cabbage, Japanese cucumber, ginger, carrot and radish and paired with a generous medley of fresh orange cubes, salmon, seasoned octopus, seaweed, jellyfish and tobiko. Being a soba specialist, the restaurant cleverly buried both the soba and fried soba below the colourful tower of ingredients to provide some added crunch and pulls all the ingredients together with its special sesame sauce.
All in all, the dish is refreshing and provides an interesting mix of textures (think crunchiness from the fried soba and chewiness from the cold soba). With the combination of fibre, protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, this scrumptious rendition will certainly make your reunion healthier. This yummy yusheng is affordably priced at SGD 38.80 (8 pax), and is available from 16 January to 28 February 2018.
Besides the innovative offering, the restaurant will also be launching the Girls’ Festival Special Set ($19.80, 1st Feb-31st March), meant to celebrate Hinamatsuri, or Dolls’ Day or Girls’ Day, a special occasion in Japan celebrated each year on March 3rd. The set comprises of 2 offerings- Chirashi Sushi and Hamaguri Soba, along with a Hinaarare snack.
The Chirashi Sushi sets itself apart from its competitors with the usage of carrot, shiitake mushroom, konjac, snap peas and tobiko beside the usual sliced salmon. We loved how the vinegared rice provided a slightly sweet and tangy taste that slowly lingered in our mouths.
While the Hamaguri Soba showcases 2 pieces of calm imported from Japan, perched atop a bed of al dente soba, all in the fragrant soup. The soup was rich and smooth with a strong yet not too overwhelming shouyu taste, in fact, it was really refreshing (thanks to the orange peel) and left us craving for more.
Toss to a healthier CNY with Nadai Fujisoba Ni-Hachi at:
100 Tras Street,
#03-14, 100 AM
Author: Alex Chua
Regular izakaya patrons here would be elated to hear that Kushikatsu Tanaka, Japan’s No.1 Kushikatsu Chain, is opening its first Asian outlet in Singapore. Boasting over 165 outlets in Japan alone, this Japanese bar has brought its famous Osaka-style fried cutlet skewers and signature special dipping sauce to the little red dot’s clubbing district – Clarke Quay. It would be a fierce fight among other izakaya and Japanese restaurants in this prime area, but Kushikatsu Tanaka is least afraid of competition. Here’s 3 reasons I feel why this izakaya can not only survive but strive against other establishments.
1) The Signature Golden Kushikatsu
From beef, prawn, asparagus, lotus root to even cookies and cream, there are over 30 variations of skewers to choose from. The great taste of the golden kushikatsu comes from their secret formula and preparation method. Using their own unique blend of oil, with panko flour, batter and sauce directly imported from Japan, ensures that original, authentic flavour are kept consistent.
That distinctive crisp and light taste are what draws its customers to visit again and again. Paired with the well-balanced savoury sauce with a slight tinge of sweetness, you can realize the painstaking details that the chef has placed into the making of the perfect kushikatsu. Do note that double-dipping into the sauce bowl is prohibited!
2) Chiritori Hotpan + Risotto
A great dish to warm the heart in the rainy December – early January period. This sizzling hotpan dish features thinly cut beef slices served on a bed of beansprouts, topped with beef offal and chili powder for a spicy and savoury flavour. After finishing the beef, you can throw in curry cheese risotto on the pan with curry powder, egg and rice to soak up the goodness of the remaining rich broth. This lovely dish reminded me of a quaint Japanese bar I had visited in Osaka this November, and it tastes exquisitely.
3) DIY Onigiri
I am somewhat surprised by the fact that I would fancy this dish. With just plain rice, nori and choice of topping, plus with abit of crafty fingers to roll the onigiri into the desired shape and size, the overall taste is satisfying rich with the rice made al dente. Pure simplicity bliss!
4) Bonus: Wide variety of Jim Beam Highballs
With over 15 varieties such as Triple Berry Highball, Triple Citrus highball and Aomori Ringo Highball, the restaurant prides itself as carrying the most comprehensive Jim Beam Highballs range in Singapore. Best yet, they are available at an affordable price of $6. Just remember to drink responsibly!
Kushikatsu Tanaka Singapore
3A River Valley Road, Merchant’s Court Clarke Quay
Block A, #01-01B, Singapore 179020
Facebook: Kushikatsu Tanaka SG/ Instagram: @kktanaka.sg
Author: Alex Chua
Having good skin is important no matter if you͛re male or female. Be it heading for job interviews, weddings or important functions to attend, a good first impression starts with a supple, glowing face to front. And here at DSkin, the leading anti-aging experts with over 10 years of presence in Singapore, is here to help me fulfil just that. See, I have acne and blemishes problem since secondary school days, and it got worsens after army. Compounded with work pressure, harsh office conditions and years of neglect, my skin is dull and lost its youthful suppleness.
The severity hits me on the face when the therapist took a simple skin analysis to identify my skin condition and problems I am facing. The hydration score revealed a severely dehydrated skin, and my sebum test showed (100%!) oily skin results. She explained that due to the dry skin, the skin secretes more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture, thus contributing to the build-up of clogged pores and pimples.
Everyone͛s skin conditions are different. D͛skin personalised the facial treatment regime according to the individual͛s skin condition. For me the Therapist recommended a 2-hour Triple Acne Facial Treatment ($198) to combat acne and to hydrate dry skin. Now its time to head over and pamper myself!
The treatment room itself is warm, cosy with natural soothing music. Starting off the facial with D͛Skin͛s in-house cleansing oil and cleansing milk, which is really gentle on the face with a calming scent. The expertly massage techniques, said to pressure points for better circulation, relaxes me so much that I doze off a couple of times during the session. Next came the extractions, which I know would be painful but is a necessary step to remove all those pesky pimples.
During the extractions, soft breath of steam breezes onto the face, softening the skin and pores to minimise the harshness during the process. It is best to leave the extractions to the professionals because, if we do it ourselves, it might cause inflammation and worse, really bad inflamed scars.
Moving on from the extractions, the therapist used an equipment to sanitize the face, zapping away all the bacteria and germs. She mentioned that it might hurt abit but I didn͛t feel any pain in the process. Once the face was completely ͚germ-free͛, a layer of hydration gel mask was applied, followed by a layer of netting and finally a delicious smelling oat mask that strangely makes me hungry. While the picture above looked quite comical, the cool tinkling sensation, plus the neck and shoulder massage made me feel like a million bucks.
Overall, I felt that the therapists here are very professional, customer-oriented and knowledgeable on their work. After all, D͛skin has been in Singapore for over a decade, further proving its reputation and professionalism in the saturated skincare industry. There͛s nothing that would hinder me from visiting again in another 2 weeks͛ time, and I look forward to that day for another 2-hour of pampering!
238 Thomson Road #03-04/05 Velocity @ Novena Square,
Author: Alex Chua
Different Wood, Different Taste
Nobody expects a custom-made griller in Hougang One, the heartlands of heartlands. The least of all me, who lived in approximate walking distance to the two-level mall since young. Here, at Meat Market, various cuts of meat sizzle and crackle atop blazing fire. One quick glance from the open kitchen window you can see beef ribs, chicken thighs, pork chops, sausages and prawns sat neatly in rows. For this month, lychee wood – a wood famous for smoking Peking duck, is used as the fire source. Come January, it could be apple wood – smoky with hints of fruity sweetness, or oak wood – which gives off an earthy smoke flavour. It is mid-December and nobody knows for sure. Such casualness, nonchalant demeanour in procurement gives it a certain neighbourhood charm and ingenuity which nowadays restaurants, usually owned by large corporations or private equity firms, found waning.
But don’t be fooled by Meat Market’s easy-going attitude and discount on its quality. Here are some comforting dishes that leaves me craving for more.
First up is the Thai Beef Aglio. The beef cubes are well-seasoned, firm with a refreshing sweet and sour taste. Served al dente, the linguine came with a generous dose of citrusy pineapples. While I would prefer a tender beef texture, this savoury dish definitely whets my palate for more.
Who doesn’t love salted egg? Generously slathered with homemade salted egg sauce, the lightly-crusted fried dory is surprisingly moist and juicy on the inside. Served with a side of fries, the reasonable-priced Salted Egg Fried Fish Focaccia makes a very convincing case for me to return back to this restaurant.
My boy friends and mah-jong mates would definitely dive straight into their favourites in this Fisherman’s Pride. Featuring all the familiar oceanic gluttonies that includes grilled prawns, scallops, salmon, squid and softshell crab, this all-encompassing platter would satisfy everyone at the table. I am particularly attached to the flavourful smoked squid which is served al dente.
And now for the die-hard carnivores – the Carnivore.
There’s never such a thing as too much meat, and I guess I could clean this up myself on a flat stomach. Heading straight to the beef, the meat possesses that nice slight pinkish centre with a thin layer of fat, and it proves to be tender, moist with a rich velvety texture. The grilled pork is equally tender, moist with a smokey flavour. The best among the assortment is the chicken, which is succulent and moist, with a slight crisp on the skin to give it a well-textured edge to the meat.
You can choose the accompanying sauce for the platter. From the usual classic BBQ sauce, herb vinaigrette to the mocha sauce for the more adventurous meat-eater!
Another local favourite – with a slight twist. The sugar-coated French Taste hides mellowly tau suan inside, complimenting the crusty bread on the outside. If you love donuts and ice cream, try the Donut Fries. Shaped into the shape of fries, the donuts became the dipper for the scoop of classic vanilla ice cream plopped on the centre of the bowl.
Hearty food. Creative presentation. Reasonably-priced. Checked, checked and checked.
There’s no reason not to give this sassy restaurant a try, just remember to come hungry. For me I would definitely revisit this place again with my bunch of friends who stayed around there. Because if I am satisfied, they should probably be so too.
1 Hougang Street 91, #01-40, Singapore 538692
Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Author: Alex Chua
There’s nothing sassier than a homely, nicely-wrapped crepes, the French affair not to be missed!
With a love for French food and with good business acumen, Le Cordon Bleu-trained owner and Executive Chef Daphane Loke opened SAYBONS, a restaurant that serves affordable French food 10 years ago. Now, the brand has expanded to 3 eateries, housed at Plaza Singapura, Junction 8, and OUE Downtown.
The recent revamp has included a refreshed logo, new store interiors, and vibrant product packaging to showcase a style that is reflective of a modern, chic French eateries. The eateries now possess a cosy and relaxing ambience that is conducive for guests to dine in and unwind!
Apart from SAYBONS intimate environment, its new and upsized menu is likely to entice you to come back repeatedly. Like the 10 Years in Shots ($10), Chef Daphne cleverly serves up soup shots to customers to experience the taste of SAYBONS over the years. I would give 100% for its creative presentation to the otherwise plain soup-in-the-bowl. The ten soups featured are Watercress Chicken, Red Capsicum, Cauliflower, Carrot Coriander, Golden Pumpkin, Potato Leek, Broccoli Cheddar, Tomato, Seafood Bisque and Wild Mushroom.
The Escargot Gratin with 3 Cheeses ($11) is surprisingly good. Served as an appetiser or snack, the six plump escargots are well-seasoned, rich, buttery and flavourful. Blue, Gruyere and Gouda cheeses lends a different taste profile to the escargot, and giving it a nice gooey texture as well.
The new SAYBONS menu features a selection of 5 risottos. The heartiest of the 5 is the Curried Pumpkin Risotto ($12.90). This al dente risotto features a natural pumpkin broth with a hint of curry powder to lift the flavour of this humble vegetable. It is well-spiced up enough and had some texture and bite, which fits just right for my palate.
Next is my personal favourite, the French Galettes. With a total of 6 French Galettes to choose from, ranging from the Cajun Croque Chicken Madame Galette ($14.90) to Grass-fed Sirloin Steak Galette ($17.90+), you would be spoiled for choices on which to choose from. As for me, I zoomed in straight to their popular Norwegian Salmon Aurora Galette ($14.90), which features succulent smoked Norwegian salmon and quenelles of cooked salmon with mayonnaise. Coupled with a robust galette and selected greens, it is simply a matchmake in heaven!
You might wonder what’s the difference between a galette and a crepe. A galette uses a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour, unlike just the wheat flour used in crepe, this provides a denser texture and nuttier nuance to the galette.
For the 10th anniversary special, Chef Daphane creates a dessert that truly encapsulates and celebrates its French-inspired cuisines properly – Rum & Raisin Flambeed Crepe ($9). Soaked in Myer’s Rum for 18 days straight, the golden raisins are wrapped together with generous slices of banana and toasted slivers of almonds. Topped with a smooth vanilla ice cream, just one spoonful would sway you to the charm of this cosy, unpretentious French eatery.
SAYBONS – C’est Si Bon
SAYBONS OUE Downtown
6 Shenton Way, #01-24, Singapore 068809
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5pm, closed on weekends and public holidays
Author: Sandra Koh
Though the Japanese food enclave may be nicely tucked away at Shaw Centre’s Food Republic, yet it is definitely no less of a gem. Not to be mistaken as part of Food Republic, Japan Foods Garden (JFG) is actually a cluster of authentic Japanese concept stalls that offers all foodies the opportunity to relish an array of yummy and affordable dishes at a go!
This November, for the first time ever, JFG is introducing Japanese Sizzling Hot Stone Bowls. Being Don-lovers, we totally couldn’t our excitement, that’s why we ordered both the Curry ($7.80) and Oyako Don ($8.80) versions to share. Be prepared to squeal in delight like us when you see the generous amount of gooey cheese and runny egg yolks.
Between the 2, we definitely prefer the curry one for it provided a well balance between savouriness, sweetness and mild spiciness. Unfortunately, the Oyako Don was marred by it bland flavour, even dripping the teriyaki sauce over it did not seem to enhance the flavours at all. Moreover, the rice was a little too mushy for our liking. Perhaps the only saving grace was the chicken bits, which were cooked to tender perfection.
Despite that, do not let what we say deter you from trying the Sizzling Hot Stone Bowls, for taste is subjective. Do try out the other flavours such as Beef Curry ($11.80), Mentai Chaduke ($9.80), Salmon Egg ($10.80), Mabo Tofu ($9.80), Cream Sauce Dora ($10.80) and Gyu Don ($9.80) and let us know how they fare (:
Other than the Hot Stone Bowls, we also tried the signature Lemon Steak ($18.80) from the teppan range. Made from US Angus Beef, the thin slices of beef is doused in a delectable citrus sauce and carefully sizzled on a hotplate. We were really satisfied with the steak, for they were not only juicy and tender, but exuded an interesting smoky flavour with subtle hints of lemon, that lingered in the mouth with every bite. Do get the seats right in front of the counter to witness the mouth-watering show as the chef cook the meat on the flat iron griddle.
One word of advice: Be quick to capture the perfect foodfie and sink your teeth into the beef right away to savour the meat at its optimal tender state.
Since we were still feeling hungry after the teppan, we went ahead to try the Oyster Trio ($16.80), which consisted of oysters topped with mentaiko, butter seaweed, and garlic chips. The butter seaweed one was our favourtie, for it provided a sweet caramelised flavour with hints of seaweed that did not overwhelm the taste of the oyster like the other 2 flavours.
We completed our dinner with a plate of lip-smacking Pork Tonperi-yaki ($7.80). The omelette was filled with generous portion of beansprouts, cabbage and duo miao that not were not only crunchy but juicy to bite on. We especially love how well the sweet-savoury tonkatsu sauce blended with the mayonnaise, to provide a tangy flavour that did not overshadow the flavours of other ingredients. It was really a satisfying way to end our night.
Running out of dinner ideas? Why not visit Japan Foods Garden then?
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #B1-01
Telephone: 6493 7300
Operating Hours: 11 am -11 pm (Daily)
Author: Alex Chua
There’s something roasting at CHAR – the Cantonese cuisine specialist located along the trendy eateries and pubs of Jalan Besar. One, the new Head Chef, Chi Leung Tse, joined the restaurant in May this year, bringing over 20 years of culinary experience in Cantonese cuisine, with past stints at the famed Raffles Hotel, Imperial Treasures and more. Two, he revitalised almost 70% of the CHAR menu, adding his personal repertoire of Cantonese dishes, which includes the succulent Premium Slow-Roasted smoked char siew (above).
If there’s something that unites all insatiable carnivores, it’s the aroma of the slow-roasted meat, the texture and flavour when you bite into it. Using Kurobuta pork belly, this premium version has a higher amount of lean to fat and the marbling provides a firm yet moist bite. Prepared fresh daily, the whole process takes hours in low heat to render the fats and to retain its juiciness.
Do note that there is a limited number of portions (150g) served per day and will only be available during dinner. And with the tact that each reservation is only allowed one portion of the Premium version, so it’s best to reserve a table before it goes out.
With a signature recipe sauce that consists of over 30 ingredients, specially blended to pack as much umami as possible, the Signature Char Siew (above) achieved that perfect golden ratio of melt-in-the-mouth fat and tender lean meat. It took well over a year for the owners to perfect the sauce.
A little background on the CHAR owners. Launched in 2014 by Anthony and Alvin Ung, two Vietnam born brothers who managed to harmonize their different experiences to establish this restaurant. Alvin, a chef by profession, has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese cooking. Anthony, on the other hand, loves Western-style food preparation techniques but via Asian ingredients and produce. The bros put a unique twist on traditional Chinese roasts such as char siew, roast pork and roast duck, accompanied with a delectable Cantonese-based menu like the Charcoal Beancurd with Spinach and Wild Fungi (below).
Beancurd is one of my favourite go-to food, and this dish definitely tops as one of the best block of beancurd I’ve ever tried. Silky-smooth and savoury, charcoal powder is added to give this humble staple a subtle flavour and black appearance. The light broth consisting of oyster sauce, dried scallop and wild mushrooms, helps to infatuates the taste profile of this exceptional dish.
You can taste the freshness with that lovely crunch in Passionfruit Prawn Ball. Marinated in homemade mixture of seasonings before it is lightly dusted in flour and deep-fried to perfection, the prawns were then tossed in a sweet-tangy passionfruit dressing to give that luscious and creamy glace.
The thing I find about CHAR is its strong, robust play on flavours. Therefore, the Signature Double Boiled Chicken Soup came across as refreshing and balanced the palate well. The milky, collagen-filled broth is resulted from the hours of boiling chicken bones and cartilage. Inside this bowl consists of chicken, morel mushrooms, white cabbage and dried scallops which harmonizes the flavour fully.
Overall, CHAR could well be the one of the best spot for family or colleagues to indulge on modern Cantonese cuisine. The restaurant also serves a respectable selection of ciders and ales specially handpicked by the Ung brothers to complement the variety of roasts on the menu, so food-drinks pairing enthusiasts might want to check out this neat restaurant too.
363 Jalan Besar Road Singapore 208994
Operating Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Monday)