Saturday, March 11, 2023

Char Restaurant @ Jalan Besar - Celebrates Nin Years With A Refreshed Menu


Lauded for its excellent Cantonese roast meats, especially its Char Siew, Char Restaurant at Jalan Besar celebrate its ninth anniversary and presents a scintillating new line-up of unique dish offerings and inspired renditions of familiar classics.


Double Roast 4.2/5

Inevitably we had to have the Cantonese roasts. We started with the Double Roast ($38) of their Signature Char Siew and Crispy Roast Pork. The char siew is still as good as I remembered, with the right portion of fats and lean meat. What impressed me most was the crispy roast pork, which fares better than the last time I had it.

Mala Char Siew 3.8/5

One of their new offerings is the Mala Char Siew ($20). The idea is interesting, but the housemade mala sauce lacked the piquant numbness I expected. It can't help associating it with Lan Gan Ma or Gan Xiang instead of mala. Putting the expectation of its description aside, it is still a well-executed dish.

Pig's Stomach with Anxin Chicken Soup 4.2/5

The Pig's Stomach with Anxin Chicken Soup ($32) is a hearty and belly-warming soup. The flavourful double-boiled soup is given an added punch with the addition of white peppercorns. It also comes brimming with tender pig's stomach slices and a whole fall of the bone chicken leg. The soup can be more peppery though.

Okra Banana Delight 4/5

The Okra Banana Delights ($15.50) is a novel pairing that I have not seen or eaten anywhere before. The sauteed okra in sweet and spicy sambal sauce comes with torched sliced bananas. A weird combination, but the banana's sweetness did provide the balance. However, is it necessary? Probably not.

Spicy Sichuan Chicken with Ice Cream 4/5

Another unusual combination is the Spicy Sichuan Chicken with Ice Cream ($18.80). It is a quirky take on the classic La Zi Ju which the juicy deep-fried chicken chunks are served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Once again, I don't know whether the hot and cold combination is necessary though it did not throw the dish's balance off.

Hometown Beancurd with Minced Meat 4/5

Handmade daily is the Hometown Beancurd with Minced Meat ($16.80). The egg beancurd is silky smooth, tossed in a lip-smacking housemade premium soya sauce, with a crowning of minced meat.

Tornado Butter Egg Prawns 4.2/5

From the seafood section, we had the Tornado Butter Egg Prawns ($22), which showcases the chef's skill in making the buttery egg floss, enveloping the succulent tiger prawns with fragrant curry leaves and chilli padi.

Crabmeat Fried Rice 4/5

Wrapping up our dinner is a hearty staple plate of Crabmeat Fried Rice ($19.80) comprising chunks of prized Sri Lankan crab meat, shiitake mushrooms and a generous spoonful of tobiko over the fragrant wok hei imbued egg fried rice.

Overall the dishes at Char Restaurant are still up to the mark. However, some of the new creations are not innovative but gimmicky. While they didn't throw the flavours off, it was also unnecessary, such as adding banana to the okra and ice cream to the spicy Sichuan chicken.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

363 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208994
Tel: +65 68427759/ +65 96613678
Nearest MRT: Bendemeer (DT Line), Lavender (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 1130am - 230pm, 530pm - 930pm

1) Alight at Lavender MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to Horne Road. Turn left onto Horne Road. Walk to the end of Horne Road. Turn right onto Tyrwhitt Road. Turn left onto Beatty Lane and walk to Jalan Besar Road. Cross the road and walk to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Bendemeer MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn right and walk down Kallang Bahru Road towards Lavender Street.  Cross the road and turn right onto Lavender Street. Walk towards Bendemeer Road. Turn left onto Bendemeer Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

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