So Good Char Chan Tang in Capitol Piazza is very different from the cha chan teng that I have been to in Hong Kong. Cha chaan teng in Hong Kong are mostly housed in nondescript buildings, such as the Mido Cafe I visited. You will probably walk past it without realizing if you didn’t go looking for it. So Good Char Chan Tang, on the other hand, looks so posh with its high ceilings and glass windows, it looks more like a fine-dining restaurant.
So Good Char Chan Tang looks so high-class, I almost didn’t dare to go in. But after scanning the menu, I heaved a sigh of relief. The prices are pretty reasonable and there are a couple of dishes which quipped my interest. So Good Char Chan Tang has quite a selection of rice and noodle dishes, bbq meats as well as congee. Hong Kong dim sum is available from 11am – 6pm. You can also find sandwiches and toasts which are popular items in Hong Kong cha chaan teng.
I made my order at the self-service machine at the entrance of the restaurant and took the seat that the helpful staff allocated to me.
So Good Char Chan Tang – The Food
I had fond memories of the baked rice I had in Mido Cafe so I ordered Tomato Pork Chop Rice 焗番茄猪扒饭 [S$9.50] which I imagine should be pretty similar.
The baked rice came in an oval stainless steel plate. Tender pork chop and tomato sauce covers on top of white steamed rice. The whole thing is then baked, judging from the charred top. I like that the tomato sauce is not overly sweet and the pork chop is tender. The whole dish comes together beautifully with slight smokiness from the charred surface.
I have had Chinese zhajiangmian and Korean jjajangmyeon but I have never heard of Hong Kong ‘Zha Jiang’ Noodle 港式炸酱面 [S$7].
The “zha jiang” is made with tomato sauce, which looks suspiciously like the tomato sauce used in the baked rice above. If there are minced meat, I didn’t taste it. It’s just tomato sauce on egg noodles. I can’t say I enjoyed it very much.
I was overjoyed when I saw Steam Fresh Milk Custard 炖鲜奶 [S$2.80]. It reminded me of the Double Skin Steamed Milk I had in Yee Shun Milk Company in Hong Kong. I couldn’t forget how velvety smooth it was.
Even though I ordered the hot version, what I got was lukewarm at best. It was obvious from the sunken custard to the uneven skin that this was not freshly-made. Temperature and aesthetics aside, the custard itself was bland and soggy. I won’t want the torture or eating this on anyone.
So Good Char Chan Tang redeems itself slightly with Almond Bean Curd 杏仁豆腐 [S$3]. The almond tofu was aromatic and smooth, sweetened by the juice that came with canned lychee.
It’s amazing how So Good Char Chan Tang managed to mess-up the classic Iced Red Bean 红豆冰 [S$3]. The only things I could taste was the evaporated milk and bland tasteless mashed azuki bean at the bottom.
I mean there were just three ingredients – azuki beans, rock sugar syrup and evaporated milk – how hard can it be? I think the main problem was the proportion of the ingredients. There was too little azuki beans at the bottom, too little rock sugar syrup to sweeten it and too much crushed ice on top. The crushed ice melted, further diluting the already bland concoction below, so all I could taste was the evaporated milk.
I would love to come back to try their dim sum someday, when I can no longer remember the ordeal today.
So Good Char Chan Tang
Address: 13 Stamford Road, Capitol Piazza #01-17/18, Singapore 178884
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 8am – 9pm, Saturday – Sunday 9am – 9pm