November 10, 2017
CHAR Restaurant @ Jalan Besar - Fantastic Char Siew, Roasted Delights & New Dishes On The Menu!
If you have no time to read this post, here's the summary: CHAR is totally char-ged with deliciousness!
Have some moments? Perhaps you can have a look at the char siew photos and imagine what I'm trying to put across. Better still, just read what I wrote lah haha.
Since opening in 2014, CHAR Restaurant has been steadily building up a reputation for serving up one of the best char siew or Chinese-style barbecued pork in Singapore. Though it has been quite a while since I last visited CHAR's former premises at Guillemard Road, the ambrosial taste and lovely tenderness of their pork belly char siew remains unforgettable in my heart.
The recent trip to CHAR's current location along Jalan Besar rekindled that lingering feeling all over again.
The stellar offering of roasts still remain on the menu, launched by Alvin and Anthony Ung, the pair of Vietnam-born brothers who founded CHAR They had spent most of their lives living and working in the United Kingdom before moving to Singapore.
Alvin is a chef with over 30 years of experience working in Chinese restaurant, while Anthony loves experimenting with Western food preparation techniques but using Asian ingredients and produce.
Combining their individual culinary skills and passion for cooking, they put a unique twist on traditional Chinese roasts such as char siew, roast pork and roast duck.
Native Hong Konger Chi Leung Tse joined the team in May earlier this year as the new head chef, bringing with him 20-years of experience in Cantonese cuisine. 70% of CHAR's menu is now revitalized with a host of his personal Cantonese dishes.
The united power of these three CHAR-masters is a force to reckon with.
To start, some soup is ideal for warming the tummy, and no bowl did it better than CHAR's Signature Double-boiled Chicken Soup ($10, limited bowls per day). The robust broth is the result of boiling chicken bones and cartilage for hours to extract all the flavors of the ingredients, before being portioned into individual portions and double-boiled with chicken, morel mushrooms, white cabbage and dried scallops.
I like how the soup left a sticky feel on the lips with each sip. I think it's because it's full of collagen!
The highlight at CHAR is of course its char siew offerings.
For the Signature Char Siew ($6 per 100g / min 300g), just the recipe sauce alone took the brothers a year to perfect and consists of over 30 ingredients! The pork belly cut is specially chosen for its ideal ratio of fat and lean meat. It then goes through a three-stage secret cooking procedure, where the final stage is infusing the special recipe sauce and meat through a blast of extreme heat in the oven.
Always wondered what "melt-in-the-mouth-tender" feels like? Just take a bite of this char siew to understand. So soft, so fat, so lip-smacking good with that caramelized dark sauce!
There is also the newly-introduced Premium Slow-Roasted Char Siew ($20 per portion) using Kurobuta pork belly which has a higher amount of lean to fat, and the marbling provides a firm and moist bite.
The pork is marinated in special sauce for over two days, and then slow-roasted over charcoal and lychee wood that imparts a distinct aromatic smokiness to the meat.
If you prefer your char siew with a little more bite without sacrificing any of its juiciness, this would be it! Do reserve in advance as it is limited to 10 portions a day, and only available during dinner.
Be it our preference for chicken, beef, pork, seafood, beancurd or vegetable dishes, there is a good variety on the menu for us to choose from.
The few that we had - Passionfruit Prawn Ball ($22), Fresh Wild Yam with Pork in Sambal Sauce ($13.80), Black Garlic Stewed Chicken in Casserole ($15.80), Charcoal Beancurd with Spinach and Wild Fungi ($14.80) - were all well-executed and tasty.
These creations are best enjoyed with plain White Rice ($1.50) which really accompanied the savory flavors well. My advice is to just go ahead and order no matter what is being said about carbs being no good for diet plans. Just eat it moderation lah!
For noodle options, the Crispy Egg Noodles with Kurobuta Pork ($16.80) came highly recommended.
Most of would not be unfamiliar with the zhi-char style dish where noodles are crisped in hot oil, and topped with gravy and loadful of ingredients. CHAR serves up their version with fresh egg noodles and slices of tender Kurobuta pork. We slurped everything up even though our tummies are almost filled to the brim.
The restaurant also carries a respectable range of ciders and ales for diners to complement their meal with.
Address: 363 Jalan Besar Road, Singapore 208994
Contact: +65 6842 7759 / +65 9661 3578
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm (last order 2pm) and Dinner 6pm-10pm (last order 9.30pm) / Closed on Mon
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST. Information is correct at point of published date.
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