Char Restaurant, previously at Guillemard Road, has just moved to this building along Jalan Besar in late January. Right opposite the previous well-known Lavender Food Square. Saw a review from Daniel Food Diary and decided I need to taste that special signature Char Siew.
Reached about 7pm for dinner with my parents and was surprised that the restaurant was already pretty packed. The décor reminded me of The Refinery and Dose! Cafe, the familiar hanging incandescent lights with black & wooden furnishings. Service staff were pretty prompt and attentive even with the crowd. And we quickly ordered a few dishes we are familiar with to “assess” the standards.
We went for the double roast combination (SGD$24) which had good portions of both the Special Char Siew and Soya Sauce Chicken. The sauce on the char siew looked like black gooey honey and taste wise, it’s actually pretty similar to Ah Yat’s Char Siew. It’s sweet & salty, and the pieces of char siew were sinfully oily just the way we like it. The Soya Sauce Chicken was super tender with savoury soya sauce seasoning, even the white meat was soft and enjoyable.
The beancurd was definitely house-made, judging from the odd shape and soft texture. The chef might have forgotten to add some seasoning as the gravy was a little bland, we didn’t enjoy it that much.
This is our all time favourite to go with white rice. A claypot of pork belly, stir fried with green peppers and onions, together with salted fish. According to my food-specialistic parents, Char used salted threadfin (午鱼) in this dish. The fragrance and saltiness from the fish, combined with the crunchy peppers and the oily pork belly – this dish alone is enough to finish one whole bowl of rice. It definitely exceeded our expectations.
Chinese spinach cooked till it’s soft in a garlic broth with three types of egg – salted egg, century egg and the normal chicken egg. We have had this dish many a times before. It’s usually either very wet almost like a soup or dry after cooking for a long time with the spinach soaking up the broth. This one from Char is right in the middle. We loved the strong garlic broth with the eggs, and the addition of fried whitebait however the spinach could use a little more time in the wok. It should be soft for this dish.
Did we enjoy the meal?
We were discussing at the end of our meal on what dishes to try on the next visit. The table beside us ordered the Roast Crispy Pork Belly that looked so good, so it was short listed for priority order next time!
Char Restaurant is opened daily except Mondays, 11:30am till 2:30pm for lunch and 6 till 10 pm for dinner. Do call to make reservations especially if you have a big group. You could also visit their Facebook and make reservations there. Their biggest table sits about 8-10 people on the first floor. And on the second floor there’s a full bar seating, which I have not explored on this visit but will definitely do so on the next.
363 Jalan Besar