$40-$60

Ash & Char, Telok Ayer: Gastrobar with New Menu, Delicious Chicken Wings and Blue Wine

Ash & Char at Telok Ayer recently updated their menu to incorporate different flavours from around the world that are familiar to Singaporeans. Perhaps the new tapas menu at night time can be likened to Westernized “cze char” with a fancy interior.

Something worthy to note on their tapas menu: Mayura Station’s award-winning chocolate grain-fed wagyu cubes served with sea salt ($18++). Apparently, there are only 5 other restaurants in Singapore that offer Mayura Choco wagyu. With high hopes, I gnawed and chewed – but still couldn’t taste any magic. Perhaps the kitchen was busy as the meat was prepared well done. Too well done. Thankfully it was not overly seasoned but I do wish it had more smoky flavour.

Also on the tapas menu is the chijeu buldak ($12++). With a hint of spiciness and loads of cheese, the honeyed chicken with gochujang (fermented red chilli paste) is a mix of sweet, spicy and umami. If the chicken is crispy, I would have loved this dish to bits.

The crispy kalemari ($12++) is a cute play on the combination of kale + calamari; You get squid coated in a crispy batter and kale chips. The squid is not overcooked, has a nice bite to it and lightly seasoned. The crispy cauliflower ($10++) is prepared with gremolata (lemon zest, Japanese breadcrumbs, garlic, soy and parsley), which enhances the dish. However the cauliflower is browned but not crispy.

The chicken wings come in 4 pieces, and they do not disappoint. They have a total of 7 flavours: Har Cheong Gai ($12++), US buffalo ($14++), Mexican Fiery ($14++), Korean Kimchi ($14++), Japanese Teriyaki ($12++), China Kung Pao ($12++), Thai Tom Yum ($14++). They are juicy, meaty, and fried to perfection.

Their signature char siu ($16++) is a tad too sweet and there could have been more char to give it a smokiness flavour as well as a contrast in the texture. That said, the pork belly is tender and fatty.

For more than finger food and for heartier mains, the tom yum seafood ($16++) is rich and creamy and spicy. However I would prefer it be less salty as I need to take care of my kidneys. But my dining companion loves it, so it is very much a personal preference.

The AC chargrilled wagyu burger ($22++) has a wagyu patty nestled in between two charcoal buns, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar and truffle aioli. The wagyu patty is not dry and has a nice sear but the charcoal buns could have been softer and fluffier.

Along with food, they also have cocktails. Mixed berry bramble ($18++), one of their signature cocktails, is a heady concoction of gin, raspberries, blueberries, lemon and blue curaçao. It is refreshing and fruity. They also have a special “blue wine” (Santa Cruz de Alpera Blue Frizzante Axul, $88++/bottle) which hails from Almansa, famous for its imposing 14th-century castle and red wines. It’s really a white wine dyed with an organic food dye. It is sweet and with an aroma that reminds me of peaches. We find it a little gimmicky but very Instagram-worthy.


Ash & Char
21 McCallum Street, #01-03/04, Singapore 069047
Tel: +65 8341 1951
M-Th 11am-12am, F 11am-1am, Sat 5pm-1am, Closed on Sun
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Food: 6/10
Decor/ambience: 7/10
Price/value: 6/10


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Written by Vanessa Khong. Vanessa is someone who enjoys checking out the local food scene. She believes the way to her heart is through her stomach.

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