Hawaiian Kalua Pork
I’ve been to Dhoby Ghaut plenty of times and each time I walked past Charly T’s, I’ve always thought it was just another Western cafe/bistro/restaurant. And to add to that, I didn’t even know the place was called NOMU. But nevermind that, as for Charly T’s it is not just your regualr Western cuisine joint, but rather a doorway into a selection of International Cuisine that Charly himself experienced while he was globetrotting throughout the continents when he was younger.
Charly T’s is said to encapsulate the hometown flavours of each dish while bringing them to Singapore to let guests savour an experience beyond borders. From their famous Rotisserie chicken which has been wonderfully marinated for over ten hours and Asian creations like the Kampong Amber Sticks, coupled with choices of sauces of up to 9 varieties, this is one restaurant with a chill out vibe to Jazz, Food, Travel and more.
And to start off a weekend treat, Charly T’s presented the Spanish Omelette ($8.50). Only available on Weekends and Public Holidays from 9am to Noon, the Spanish Omelette wafted a light savoury fragrance as it was served. Accompanied by fried potatoes and toppings of tomato and chunky spam, this is tastily eaten with the side of crispy dilly bread made from dill and cottage cheese. Its hard to go wrong with a fragrant omelette and oh do ask for a serving of cream cheese to spread all around that piece of toast.
Wraps, I somehow have a rather indifferent desire to have them because they are usually too dry, too tough to bite through, and the filling is sometimes rather “ungenerous”. But this time round, I give Charly T’s Sesame Terriyaki Chicken Wrap ($12.50) a thumbs up. The wrap is soft to the bite with still a bit of chew that makes the wrap a wrap, and the stuffing is nicely balanced in sesame oil and sweet lipsmacking terriyaki sauce. Pair that with the chicken, it is a wholesome package in one. The butter garlic rice served along is fluffy and fragrant, though a little more chewy then desired.
Snap snap, lets have a close up shot!
Another wrap that is of highlight from Charly T’s is the Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Wrap ($16). Meaty bratwurst sausage that goes along nicely with the slightly tangy sauerkraut is meleded together with layers of cheese within. Chunky German Potato Salad is served as a side, making this one dish quite filling.
Kampong Amber Sticks ($13.50) gets its name from the Singapore Kampong Amber once located at Amber Road. This creation is skewers of marinated chicken breast meat with spices and grilled to flavourful degrees. As a leaf taken from the traditional satay, yes, this dish is served with a secret sauce of Kampong Amber with Roasted Peanuts and a more uptake Ginger and Lemon Japanese Soy. I tried it natural and felt that if there were more fats in the chicken breast meat, I would have screamed excellence. But it is still juicy with a hearty thorough filling.
Kampong Amber with Roasted Peanuts and Ginger and Lemon Japanese Soy Secret Sauces
And perhaps the most obvious dish would be the Charly T’s Famous Rotisserie Chicken. With up to 12 chicken being roasted rotisserie style at any one time in the chicken, wafts of marinated crispling roasty poultry is sure to slowly make its way to diners. Each chicken is marinated for over 10 hours in a mix of herbs, spices and sauces and thereafter roasted for a good 50 minutes before served.
The result? Juicy chicken with flavours well seeped through and a skin that is a medley of savoury, pepperish and slightly honeyed tones. It was the best dish for the day. And it comes in Quarter, Halves and the whole bird ($13; 2 sauces 2 sides,$24; 3 sauces 3 sides ,$42; 4 sauces 4 sides)
For something more unique and interesting is the Kalua Pork ($16) from Hawaii. Covered with Ti leaves, marinade and braised and roasted for hours, this is one dish that says Braised Pork Belly but in Smoky Hawaiian style. It looks very appetizing but while the shine is on the surface, this particular serving did not live up for its interior. It was a little too tough and a tad dry for me, and though it was pork belly, the fat has been “consciously” removed. I’m not sure if that will go well for locals but I do love some fat in my pork. Maybe its because of all the melt in the mouth Braised Pork Belly which my Grand Aunt made during the Chinese New Year that for the moment, I am a bit particular about how a good Braised Pork Belly should be like, be it Hawaiian style or not.
Charly T’s salads are served up large and wholesome. For the meal, I had both the Avocado Dijon Chicken Salad ($14) and the New Orleans Beef Salad. I especially enjoyed the New Orleans Beef Salad. Slices of Striploin are used are cooked slightly over medium rare, leaving it juicy and meaty. Slices of tangerine and fragrant vinegar dressing makes it an excellent salad.
There are eight sides (or as Charly calls them “Additions”). Each are at $4. And pictured above are the Garden Salad which very good despite its peculiar addition of ginger, Macaroni and Cheese, Fresh Vegetables Salad and German Potato Salad.
Mexican Sweet Corn, Coleslaw (German style and tangy, not creamy), Roasted Potatoes and Butter Garlic Rice.
And for desserts, I started off with the Lemon Cheesecake (Strawberry not included, tasting portion). Crumbly and not too sweet with little hints of lemon fragrance, it a light cheesecake.
For something a little heavier, there is the traditional Charly T’s Brownies (tasting portion). Nutty with little sugar, focusing much on the natural chocolate flavours throughout.
The Filled Waffles (tasting portion) is definitely a dish to look forward to when at Charly T’s. It is done very nicely with a crisp yet hearty waffle pancake stuffed with the filling of your choice. Fragrant syrup as an accompaniment is of good measure.
Homemade Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Creams ($4 ea) is surprisingly light and almost like a cross between a sorbet and a frozen yoghurt. The flavours are natural on the ingredients and not overly indulgent in sugary sweetness.
Drinks are not just your coke or pepsi at Charly T’s, there is always a selection of Spirited Beverages or CharlyT’s Odysseys to go for.
Foreground : Red Tang (Strawberry, Cranberry, Lychee)
Red Tang, CT’S Cool Aid, Green Flash, CA Breezing, Mojito
In essence, the International flavours at Charly T’s is an interesting and unique take on hometown dishes from places around the world all brought to the diner’s plate in Singapore. It is a good introduction to different cuisines and is a conversation starter for any table. The ambience is cool and casual, and with the outlet being open till 1am on Fri, Sat and Eve of PH nights, this looks set to be a place to hang out to chit chat all the way through while digging in to probably a whole Rotisserie chicken or two.
Thank you ORTU and Charly T’s for hosting the tasting session.
And oh btw, I leave it to you if you think Charly is a real person 😉
20 Handy Road
Level 1 NOMU (Beside The Cathay)
Tel : 6336 7789
Opens From :
Weekend Breakfast : 9am to Noon
Website : www.charlyts.com