The Place I visited Charlie’s Peranakan Food with more curiosity than expectations. Tucked away at the basement of Golden Mile Food Centre, there is so much history behind this hawker stall which has been at its current spot for the past one year plus. Some brief history – the stall was started by Charlie’s mum 42 years ago at a coffee shop in Geylang, before they subsequently moved around to Bukit Merah, Redhill and its previous Katong location in a restaurant setting. After its Katong restaurant, Charlie took a break for 8 years before they reopened at Golden Mile Food Centre; just opposite another of our favourite Peranakan-ish restaurant, Folklore.
The Food Home cooked Peranakan food at its best. The menu is quite extensive for a hawker stall selling Peranakan food, which is a rare sight these days. The prices of the dishes range between S$6 to S$12 on average, with some usual favourites for me like Ayam Buah Keluak (S$12), Beef Rendang (S$10) and Ayam Ponteh (S$8).
Buah Keluak is one of my favourites and so the Ayam Buah Keluak (S$12) is obligatory. The Indonesian nuts here are filled generously and is a total joy to have. It is an acquired taste which will not appeal to everyone, but definitely worth a try. Some Buah Keluak versions I had elsewhere gets too cloying after a while but not the case for Charlie’s version.
The next dish is a must try, an interesting dish called Nangka Lemak (S$7) which is rarely seen in most Peranakan restaurants these days. Nangka means jackfruit which is what this dish is all about. The flavours of young jackfruit here is complemented perfectly by the coconut gravy, with loads of the soft jackfruit fibre which is soaked well in the gravy. I love this dish.
Another interesting dish which I have never tried before is Belimbing Pork (S$12). Belimbing refers to starfruit which can come in either yellow or green. The belimbing adds sourness to the curry here, which kind of grow on me as I had more of it. The pork slices also carry hints of sourness from the gravy, which go very well with white rice.
Rants Frankly, other than the fact that there is no air-conditioning, I have no rants for Charlie.
Will I Return Again? I love hidden gems and Charlie’s Peranakan Food is one of the best hawker stall I have had in the past year. The food is simple, reasonably priced, no frills and authentic home cooked style. This is the kind of hawker stall and food which is so close to my heart and I wish that it will stay for long. I can’t wait to bring more friends back to try the Beef Rendang next!
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 2.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Charlie’s Peranakan Food
505 Beach Road, #B1-30
Tel: +65 9789 6304
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am to 7.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter