The recently opened George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer at Boat Quay took over the space of what used to be Yangzhou restaurant. The 50-seater alfresco dining restaurant, set against the gorgeous backdrop of Singapore’s CBD skyline, specialises in traditional Penang favourites and seafood. The kitchen is helmed by a true blue Penangite, Executive Chef George Tan, with over 20 years of experience under his belt.
For appetisers, we started with freshly shucked live Canadian oysters (½ dozen for $18) which are very fresh and sweet-tasting.
The crispy pumpkin prawns ($20) are deep fried and slathered generously with the savoury and creamy pumpkin sauce (although I could not quite taste the pumpkin in the sauce). This tastes more like a less salty version of salted egg prawns.
The Penang thai style squid ($15) holds its own against the sweet and tangy Thai chilli sauce. The fried squid retains a lovely crunch and the squid is not rubbery. A lovely dish.
The kungfu pork ribs ($18) are less memorable. The pork ribs have a nice caramelisation on the exterior but taste ordinary. However, the dish is enhanced by the sharpness of pickled onions and the heat from the bird’s eye chillies.
One of the recommended main dishes is the Penang laksa fish head ($25). This is not the usual South Indian fish head curry that we are used to as it uses chicken curry. Spices that go into the dish include lemongrass, ginger torch flower, tamarind, curry leaves and chilli padi.
They use a red snapper of a decent size and the flesh is sweet and firm. The spicy and tangy sauce goes very well with rice and I like that the restaurant does not stinge on the veggies like long beans and eggplant.
The meat of the chilli crab (400g, $28 for 1 crab/$52 for 2 crabs) is sweet and fresh. Besides chilli, you can also request to have the crabs prepared in black pepper, salted egg or rendang sauce.
The XO signature hor fun ($12) in a comforting dish which comes with lots of crunchy bean sprouts and thick slices of fish. If the kway teow could have been more charred, then it would have been perfect to slurp it up altogether with the thick and savoury sauce.
To complete the dining experience, George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer also offers locally brewed craft beer (by Brewlander) as well as spirits that are inspired by our local heritage such as rojak and chendol gin (by Compendium) to go with the food. If you are having trouble deciding on what craft beer to get, you can order the tasting flight (4 x 150ml, $18) to try all 4 flavours.
The rojak gin ($12/glass, $122/btl) is amazing. The flavour profile is something that I have not come across before and this is attributed to the base spirit being made from distilled homemade mead with hints of torch ginger flowers. It then hits you with a bold botanical punch of juniper and lemon peel on the palate.
If the prices and quality remain consistent at George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer, I now know of a place that I can frequent in Boat Quay without feeling being ripped off. On a cool and breezy evening, this is a great place to sit down for a meal with family and friends.
George Town Tze Char
81 Boat Quay Singapore 049869
Tel: +65 6535 6277
12 pm – 11 pm, daily
You may be interested in…
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–Quan Ji 權記, Amoy Street Food Centre: Decent Cze Char Best Known for their “Yellow Cloth” Noodles
–Uncle Leong Seafood, Punggol: Unexpected Great Service and Extremely Fresh Crabs
This is an invited tasting. 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.