Ever since I started working in the CBD, discovering a new hang out spot is one of the things that I look forward to the most. The WEROC Group has recently acquired and relaunched Ash & Char - the refreshed chic gastrobar nestled along the bustling MacCallum Street.
I walked past Ash & Char on multiple occasions, their open bar concept is what attracted me to give this new kid on the block a try.
With a name like Ash & Char, you'd immediately think of nice charred and tender meat. And that's what you'd get with the Signature Char Siew here. In my opinion, this is possibly one of the best Char Siew I've ever had in Singapore. No red-coloured char siew here! The meat was soft and tender with a sweet sticky and charred layer on the outside. Absolutely perfect!
We had the Wings Can Fly platter, which allows you to pick 3 different flavours of wings from a selection of 8 flavours. We had the Har Cheong Gai, Teriyaki and Korean Kimchi. A whole mix of Asian-flavoured wings.
The Har Cheong Gai Wings, I could tell it was freshly fried and tastes great along with my drink. This is another favourite dish here! And I would recommend pairing this with some beers.
The Teriyaki Chicken Wings was something I could not get enough of these! The wings were done perfectly, being tasty and screaming "umami" without crossing the line of being too salty. I kept finding constantly reaching to get a few more.
I was not a huge fan of the Korean Kimchi one, as I personally am not a huge fan of Kimchi. But if you are, this is definitely one to have.
Next came some tapas and we had the Chijeu-Buldak, which is essentially Korean cheesy chicken. Again, in my opinion I found the flavours a tad too blend for my liking. I would have preferred it if the chicken was a bit spicier.
Another tapas we had was the Chocolate Mayura Choco Wagyu. The word chocolate on the menu made my tastebuds anticipate a blend between two of my favourite food - chocolate and steak! However, I was told that the cows were fed with chocolate, instead of the beef being cooked with chocolate. And in my opinion, I could not taste the difference between this beef and beef from regular cows that were not fed chocolate.
Here's a personal favourite from the tapas section: the Crispy Kalemari, featuring crispy battered calamari with premium kale. The batter was very light and super crispy and the kale went surprisingly well with everything.
We know many who aren't big fans of vegetables, but the Crispy Cauliflower is definitely one that everyone can enjoy. The cauliflower is roasted to a nice crisp and served with gremolata, which is a blend of lemon zest, panko,garlic, soy and parsley.
For mains, I first had the Mentaiko Salmon Aburi Bowl. For a non-Japanese restaurant, I guess Ash & Char did do an acceptable job with this dish, though it wouldn't be my go-to dish here.
Next up was the AC Char-Grilled Wagyu Burger. I found the beef patty a little too dry, but maybe that's because it was cooked well-done during the tasting event. The patty was topped with truffle aioli and sandwiched in between two charcoal buns.
Although I did not try the Messy Rocker Burger, I must say the presentation of this dish is a 10/10. It is a unique burger made from their signature char siu served with a sunny side up and sambal XO sauce with a side of fries in a banana leaf. Do try it if you have the chance!
A comfort food for many, we had the fish and chips, which was rather filling and the perfect dish for big eaters out there.
From the pasta section, I tried Creamy Smoked Duck pasta first, I found it not too bad but it does get a bit heavy due to its creamy texture.
I much preferred the Tom Yum Seafood pasta, which gave a slight spicy tinge (albeit not spicy enough to my liking). Overall, this dish was easy to eat and one of my favourite dishes here.
Here's a must-try drink: the Santa Crus de Alpera Blue Frizzante, otherwise known as "Blue Wine". I know the blue colour might seem a little odd at first, but rest assured that the deep blue colour is from a food grade colorant. Also. the alcohol percentage is a little lower compared to regular wines, making this easy to drink. It has a very sweet aftertaste, resembling a Moscato. Hence, this would make the perfect dessert wine.
For cocktails, I had the signature Mixed Berry Bramble, it was sweet and topped with fresh fruits. With all the fruits, the alcohol taste was rather masked, making this cocktail dangerous, just the way I like it. I highly recommend this cocktail.
We also had the Whiskey Sour, which is a simple mix of Whiskey and lime, but boy, oh boy, Ash & Char were pretty generous with the Whiskey.
Overall, my experience at Ash&Char was a pleasant experience. I'll definitely be back again for some of that blue wine and deadly cocktails!