The people behind Jones the Grocer have brought in Sydney-based burger chain Charlie & Co to Singapore – the first outlet is in the basement (B4) of ION Orchard, alongside other eateries which have a storefront facing the public, and seating behind. The selling point of Charlie & Co’s burgers is that they feature 100% Australian wagyu beef.
I was actually slightly apprehensive, because I’ve always felt that “wagyu”, just like “kurobuta”, is a sometimes unnecessary tag-on these days – an attempt for eateries to elevate their dish above the ordinary. And of course, to charge more in the process. While you can probably taste the quality of wagyu beef in a dish where the meat is quickly seared, say, a steak or teppanyaki, it may not be the best choice for a burger, since the high fat content in wagyu beef will just render out while the burger is being cooked.
Anyway, my reservations in this case were misplaced. The burgers we had were really good, all things considered. A had the Classic Charlie Burger, with lettuce, tomato and choice of cheese (he picked aged cheddar), and I had a burger with bacon and double cheese (aged cheddar, by default). Mine packed a ton of flavour with the cheese and bacon, but perhaps a bit too much. I think A’s was overall more balanced.
The beef patties were juicy and flavourful, but I do have to highlight one point – the beef was minced quite coarsely, which we happen to really like because it adds texture in every bite. I can imagine some people not really liking this aspect though, on the basis that they think the coarser bits are too gristly.
We were surprised to read some articles/reviews mentioning a long wait for the food. When we were there at lunch time on a Saturday, only 2 tables (including ours) were occupied and our food came in very good time. Maybe they’ve since ironed out any initial teething problems.
IMO, this is the best burger under $20 in Singapore. I hope business isn't usually as quiet because I don't want this place to close.
Charlie & Co.
2 Orchard Turn
#B4-56, ION Orchard
Mon to Sun: 10 am to 10 pm