Weets Eats: Char siew the star of Char Restaurant
When Char Restaurant first appeared on the dining scene in 2014, the buzz was resounding. Everyone was raving about the roasts, especially the char siew.
Two years ago, Char moved to Jalan Besar. The hype dimmed, but good luck getting a table for dinner without a reservation.
Now with Chef Chi Leung Tse, a 20-year veteran in Cantonese cuisine who joined in May, Char is looking to make some noise again, with an ambitious 70 per cent change to its menu. It now also offers casual Cantonese dishes.
But fans need not fret - the char siew has remained, and there is a new version.
I am chill about how people eat their food. But I am triggered when people order lean char siew - they are missing the point of eating char siew!
So imagine my disappointment when - at first glance - I did not spot much fat in the Premium Slow-Roasted Char Siew ($20, 10 portions a day).
Even the glossy coat and aromatic smokiness from lychee wood could not distract me.
But that changed after my first bite: The meat is tender and juicy, without the parched chew that lean char siew has.
As impressive as the new char siew is, the Signature Char Siew ($6 per 100 grams, minimum 300 grams) still wins. It is fatty, juicy and worth the calories.
You cannot be a Cantonese restaurant without offering soup, and the Signature Double Boiled Chicken Soup ($10) is excellent.
Like most good soups, it looks unassuming. The milky colour is achieved by boiling chicken bones and cartilage, and it does not prepare you for how robust the soup is.
New on the menu is the Black Garlic Stewed Chicken in Casserole ($15.80).
This homespun dish is elevated with black garlic, which gives it a sweetness that some may like.
I was told the Charcoal Bean Curd with Spinach and Wild Fungi ($14.80) is the breakout star of the new menu.
Charcoal powder is added to the homemade bean curd, which gives it a gorgeous colour.
Each block of bean curd is steamed and deep fried before it is laid on poached spinach.
The garnishes and the skin of the bean curd registered salty to me, and I can handle my salt. But have this with rice and it should balance out.
The best part is that the curd is silky smooth.
BARBECUE BY THE POOL
On Friday and Saturday nights at Poolside Patio (Pan Pacific Singapore, tel: 6826-8240), enjoy a four-course barbecue menu for $78. Expect items such as Grilled Grass-Fed Australian Tandoori Lamb Cutlets, Soy and Mustard Harami Steak and Lemon-Marinated Red Snapper Fillet.
MUNCH ON MIFFY
Halal-certified Japanese-French cafe Kumoya (8, Jalan Klapa, tel: 6297-3727) is hosting a Miffy pop-up cafe, the first in South-east Asia. Expect dishes such as the Splashing Good Fun Japanese Seafood Curry Rice ($24.90) with fresh salmon tempura on Japanese curry. The pop-up will run from Oct 5 to Dec 31.
The Brotzeit Oktoberfest is happening from today until Sunday at VivoCity. Besides games, music and comedy, you get unlimited free flow of beer for two hours at $48 a person and a special Oktoberfest menu that includes the Meter Sausage ($39), a paprika-cheese sausage with wedges and sauerkraut.
HOT & SPICY
If you like it cheesy and spicy, get the KFC Hot & Cheesy Chicken, which is covered in a spicy cheddar marinade and sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese. To add to the heat, the chicken is served with a spicy romano sauce.
The individual meal is at $8.20 or get the box at $9.90.