Clearly we're not the only ones who've heard/read the buzz about new restaurant Char at Guillenmard. So much has been said of their sticky black char siew and crispy roast pork that despite the location, I insisted that we try it one Saturday.
It was a good thing we made a reservation, because the place was packed. I don't think they were prepared for it, because we still had to wait about 10 minutes while they sorted out our table and fended off walk-in vultures who tried to steal tables from under the noses of those of us waiting patiently.
Thanks to online tips, we also pre-ordered a portion each of the char siew and the siew yok. Both cost $5 per 100g, with a minimum order of 300g.
Without further ado, let's talk about the char siew. We never got a chance to try the legendary char siew at Oversea Restaurant before they closed, so we can't compare it to Char's. I can say, though, that Char's is superb. It's everything I thought it would be - sticky caramelised exterior, with fatty, juicy, tender pork inside. It's not for the faint-hearted because the flavours are very intense, but that's exactly what I love about it.
The siew yok was also really tender and boasted incredibly crisp crackling. My one criticism though, is that they're a bit too heavy handed with the five spice powder, which tended to overwhelm everything else.
We also tried the claypot eggplant with minced pork, which was very tasty and went perfectly with hot steamed white rice.
Food is excellent, and the owners are very friendly, but the service staff, though polite, seemed a bit frazzled because of the crowds. Once they sort that out, I think they're on to a winning combination.
As befitting the name, the char siew is superb. Everything else is above average. The only drawback is the chaos in getting a seat. Even with our reservations,we had to put up with pushy people barging in and just grabbing their own seats. The staff try hard, but they really need a proper greeter to manage the crowds that gather at the door. Once you're finally seated though, the food comes to the table fairly fast, so at least the kitchen is a well-oiled machine.
393 Guillemard Road
Tues - Sun: 11.30 am - 2.30 pm; 6 pm - 10 pm