Charly T’s – Spreading its Wings

10 04 2012

This was an invited tasting by Charly T’s.

SMU students should know Charly T’s well. After all, its flagship outlet has been operating at NOMU (besides The Cathay) since December 2009. Having patronized them 3 times and counting, I’m no stranger. In my humble opinion, they do a mean roast chicken, one that is way better than Kenny Rogers. So last week, I headed down to their new outlet at 112 Katong (also known as I want to Katong) to check out their latest offerings.

Apart from their signature rotisserie-style chicken, the menu features many other items that are inspired from Charly T’s (the owner’s nickname) travels around the globe, though I’d regard them as mere peripherals compared to what Charly T’s is best known for.

Charly T’s I12 Katong restaurant seats approximately 100 in total, including an 8-seater private dining room designed to reflect Charly T’s eclectic heritage.  With the addition of “Charly’s Porch”, an open-air porch which seats up to 24, guests can watch “live” sports matches on a 60” widescreen, a perfect spot to unwind at night over a selection of house wines, beers and cocktails. For more booze for your buck, head down before 7pm to enjoy their happy hour rates.

Charly T honed his mixology skills while working in London at the popular Lamb and Flag Pub. He nearly lost his job as his fresh juice concoctions were favored over the pubs’ other spirited beverages. These refreshing juice Odysseys ($6.50++) are now available at Charly T’s, with options such as the Green Flash (a mix of green apple, orange and pineapple) and Red Tang (a mix of strawberry, cranberry and lychee). Ironically, I found the Green Flash a lot more tangy than the Red Tang, especially since sour green apple juice is used as the base. Between the 2, I’d go for the Red Tang.

Charly T’s love for Rotisserie Chicken was first conceived in Hamburg, where he grew up in. His signature dish comes in 4 flavours, priced at $13-$15 for a quarter chicken with 2 sides, $24-$27 for half a chicken with 3 sides and $42-$46 for a whole chicken with 4 sides. In line with its new outlet opening, Charly T’s has conceptualized 2 new flavours (Black Pepper and Kansas City BBQ), adding on to the previous 2 (Original and Kampong). Amongst the differing flavours, I felt that the main difference lies in the chicken skin rather than the meat, where the infusion of flavours from the marinate is most apparent, especially since the chickens are marinated for a whooping 13 hours before being slowed-cooked rotisserie style. What you get thereafter is a crisp exterior and juicy meat one can never find in a Cold Storage Roast Chicken.

4 Sauces came with the chicken (from top left clockwise): Chimichurri (A traditional Moroccan sauce of cilantro, garlic and cayenne pepper sauce and our favourite based on general consensus), Sesame, Hot Sauce and BBQ. The chicken is good enough to be eaten nude though, especially when it comes out of the grill piping hot.

To complete the meal, guests can choose from a delightful range of side dishes such as the German Potato Salad, Fresh Vegetables, Macaroni & Cheese and Butter Garlic Rice, which comes as sides to complement the savoury chicken. The sides are available as ala carte orders as well at $4++ per portion.

The Kalua Pork ($16++) from Honolulu, is a spin-off of an indispensable dish found at Hawaiian luaus or feasts. Giving off a hint of smoky flavour, the pork belly is well marinated and slow-cooked. However, I felt that the pork meat was rather stringy and too lean for my liking.

The Chicken Schnitzel Burger ($14++) commemorates Charly T’s many visits to Vienna during his mid-teens. An Austrian-German staple, the dish features an escalope-style chicken coated in bread crumbs, fried till golden brown, and served with a helping of CT fries. The breaded chicken fillets are generously portioned, and rather succulent for breast meat.

I had some issues with the CT Beef Burger ($10.50++) as the beef patty was much too chewy and bland. Its saving grace is that it comes with a side of nachos that goes really well with the hot sauce.

For Dessert, I’d recommend the Apple Strudel ($8++), which is served with a scoop of either French Vanilla ice cream or Hazelnut Brownie ice cream. We opted for the Hazelnut Brownie which I felt could be better if it were richer, creamier and more chocolatey. The apple strudel was really good though, very crispy like a spring roll with saccharine caramelized apple fillings.

We also find Kaiserschmarrn ($14++) being served here. An Austrian German dessert, Kaiserschmarrn, loosely translated means Emperor’s Mishmash and there is actually a story behind this which you can easily find on the web. It is a type of warm and fluffy caramelized pancake sprinkled with powdered sugar, raisins and served with a generous scoop of French Vanilla ice cream. I would suggest sharing this since it can get a little too doughy and starchy after a while.

Overall, some hits and misses. For the risk averse, sticking to their signature roast chickens are your best bet.

Special thanks to Charly T’s for hosting this meal.

Charly T’s

112 East Coast Road, #03-15 I12 Katong

Tel: +65 6636 4701

%d bloggers like this: