Chachako, Jurong: Cha Cha Back to the Drawing Board

Chachako at Jurong Point is a new brand under the Revenue Valley Group, which also manages The Manhattan FISH MARKET, Tony Roma’s and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Chachako serves grilled Asian fusion food without service charge, pork, and lard.

The menu is confusing but essentially, it’s like those grilled seafood hawker stalls, you know, the sambal sting-ray kind. You choose a grilled meat (grilled beef/fish/ chicken/prawns) and choose to pair the meat with one homemade sauce (a choice of six different sauces, top-up of $1.50 for an additional sauce). One of the sauces that stands out for me is the chermoula, a marinade originating from North Africa, a blend of lemon, garlic, herbs and spices such as paprika and cumin. It goes well with seafood and chicken as the tangy and bright notes from the lemon add a zing to the dish.

Among the grilled meats, I would recommend having the grilled grain-fed black angus beef (200 grams, $32.90) with the peppery BBQ sauce. The beef is tender and well-seasoned. It also has good char and smokiness. Another sauce worth trying is the tom yum to pair with the grilled salmon ($22.90). The thick sauce is rich, spicy and piquant. This goes well with the rice balls but I find the rice is too mushy. If you do not like the spicy food, steer away from the tom yum sauce.

For sides, the crispy nano fries ($4.90) is a misnomer. The nano fries taste much better when I dip them in the sour cream as the dip helps to distract us from the sogginess. It could have been better if there is more seasoning on the fries.

The sisig-style chips and salsa ($5.90) is inspired by the Filipino dish Sisig, made from parts of pig head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. Chachako’s rendition of sisig comes with papadum and nacho chips; and served together with garlic minced beef, homemade salsa and nacho cheese. While the papadum does not go well with the nacho cheese, it is crispy and tastes good on its own. The bright and clean flavours of the salsa enhance the otherwise plain tortilla chips.

Riding on the Hallyu (or Korean wave), the K-sauce chicken wings ($5.90) are deep fried and marinated in gochujang (fermented red chili paste). The chicken wings are dry; They are decent but nothing memorable.

Chachako offers all-day breakfast as well – toasties (or UFO-looking closed sandwiches) are made with white bread with a choice of 4 fillings: Kiasu Katsu ($5.90), Ham Slam! ($4.90), Kaya Craze ($3.90) and Candied Cheese ($3.90). Both my dining companion and I enjoyed the Kiasu Katsu as the breaded chicken cutlet is well seasoned and we are treated with egg porn when the egg yolk oozes out after slicing it into half. You have to eat them while hot as the bread becomes soggy.

On the whole, Chachako is confusing without any clear direction. The menu is a mixed bag of Asian-influenced jumble. What is the main focus here? Why is Asian food paired with nachos? If it is a grilled restaurant, why are the chicken wings deep-fried? What are sandwiches doing in an Asian restaurant? Furthermore, there is no truly outstanding dish that would make me want to try again. Hopefully, with time, Chachako is able to iron out teething issues and deliver on its promise to serve mouth-watering, home-cooked meals to be shared with family and friends.

Jurong Point #01-32, 1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 648886
Tel: +65-6316-5827
8am – 10pm, daily

Food: 6/10
Decor/ambience: 6.5/10
Price/value: 5.75/10

You may be interested in…
D’Grill, Punggol: Whole Fish & Chips and Sambal Hotplate Seafood
Jiao Cai Hotplate BBQ, Yishun Park Hawker Centre: 2nd-Generation Hawker Cooks Amazing “Wok Hei” Seafood
Grill Central, Tanjong Pagar: Grills of Well-seasoned Meats and Homemade Sausages
Nude Grill, Marina One: Contemporary Asian Grill House Serves Fantastic Food

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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