Situated at The Clift, Ash & Char is located at the space previously occupied by the now-defunct Moo Bar & Grill.
Ash & Char is opened by the same people behind Rise & Grind Coffee Co. (still operating) situated at Bukit Timah Plaza. There are two distinct dining areas at Ash & Char, which was a feature brought over from the previous tenant; besides the main air-conditioned dining hall which is decked with wooden furnishings, patterned flooring and marbled table tops with a splash of blue and grey, there is also an outdoor bar area towards the right side of the shop space with beer taps installed. While the menu of Rise & Grind Coffee Co. seems to be targeted at the cafe-going crowd with brunch fare making up most of the menu, Ash & Char’s menu seems to “matured” in comparison with Western-Eastern fusion in the form of burgers, pasta (Rise & Grind Coffee Co.’s signature Tom Yum Seafood Pasta is available here; it’s the only item on the menu brought over from there) and grilled meat apart from healthier options such as the Grain Bowls.
(Korean Chicen Burger)
Ordering two mains to share, we went for the Korean Chicken Burger which comes with a slab of fried chicken and house-made Apple Kimchi slaw in between two buns served with sweet potato fries. The fried chicken was pretty well-sized, drenched in a house-made Korean soy sauce while marinated with a spicy sauce inside, achieving a flavour that’s savoury but overall not too spicy for a rather manageable flavour identical to the Korean spicy soy sauce. While the tang of the Kimchi can be a little weak for some, the apple strips infuse a sweet yet tart-ish flavour that somehow counters the overall savouriness of the burger. The sweet potato fries were also crispy and naturally sweet; a decent attempt of fusion flavours overall.
Since my dining partner could not have beef, we ended up sharing the Chicken Leg Confit. A simple dish executed well, the chicken leg was tender, juicy and flavourful — the skin delightfully crisp as you could hear the crackling when you try to slice the succulent and moist flesh. Sweet Potato mash was naturally sweet and works combined well with the savoury chicken jus that seeped into it, while the charred broccoli had this hint of smokey flavour amidst a sauce that carried a very Chinese touch that is reminiscent of comforting home-cooked fare — very well-executed overall.
There were only two desserts available, of which, we went for the Coffee S’mores Pie. Described as Coffee Ganache, Cookie Crust and Torched Meringue, it seemed to have lost the plot somewhere as the dessert felt more like a chocolate dessert without an evident hint of coffee. Don’t get us wrong — we loved the smooth, rich and decadent chocolate ganache, fluffy and lightly torched meringue; both were not overwhelmingly sweet along with the soft yet crunchy cookie crust, but the dessert would have been totally apt if it was named as Chocolate S’mores Pie rather than Coffee S’mores Pie somehow.
Coffee is brewed from a blend by Dutch Colony Coffee Co. which contains beans from three different origins. The result for the Flat White is a smooth and creamy cuppa with a fruity body and a nutty finish.
It is definitely interesting to see the people behind Rise & Grind Coffee Co. come this far; from a hole-in-the-wall cafe with a small open-concept kitchen spawn a second F&B concept in the heart of the Central Business District serving the office crowds for lunch and dinner. The menu seems to be rather fitting for the targeted crowd, especially with the move away from the brunch-centric menu of Rise & Grind Coffee Co. to more substantial offerings in this second concept, though it would be interesting to see if the east-meets-west fusion would be able to capture the crowds for most of the dining options in the area are seemingly more focused on a single type of cuisine. That being said, we would like to congratulate the people behind Ash & Char on the opening of this new concept!
Ash & Char
21 McCallum Street
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AshandChar