Char Restaurant popular for its roast pork and modern zhi char dishes has opened a British Bistro called Monkswood. Brilliant, or not?
Char has moved to Jalan Besar, while Monkswood has taken over its original site at Guillemard Road. Not entirely sure if this is the best move though.
Owner Anthony is actually British and Monkswood was started because he missed the food of his youth.
Although there is a national nature reserve in Cambridgeshire England also called “Monks Wood”, the bistro is named after the owner’s house he grew up in Woking Surrey.
While the menu does seem to have a wide offering of British-inspired food, I wished the entire concept could be more thematic.
They specialise in Pies, with types such as Steak and Ale Pie ($19), Fish Pie ($18), Pork Pie ($16), Cottage Pie ($15) and Shepherd’s Pie ($15).
Other expected inclusions are Fish and Chips ($22 – cod enveloped in crispy herb batter with triple cooked chips), Bangers and Mash ($18), Steak and Chips ($32), Roast Chicken ($22 for half) with desserts of Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam ($8), Apple Crumble with Warm Custard ($12) and Bread and Butter Pudding ($11).
There are more traditional items such as Toad-in-the-Hole ($16) – sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter.
Of course a staple of every British weekend, the roast in which the ribeye is served with roast potatoes, roast vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.
Add to that, lashings of beefy gravy.
Some hits and misses there.
I liked the fillings of the Steak & Ale Pie ($19) with chunks of tender beef steak and vegetables cooked in a thick gravy flavoured with Worchester sauce, thyme and black pepper.
However, the crust didn’t quite work on for me – doughy, not flaky enough, and a tad thick.
The Scotch Eggs ($8) was already served cut, though I would have personally preferred it to be served in whole first (leave the cutting to the customers). Also, could be bigger, juicier, fuller.
There was a common thread in all the food we ordered, including the Bread and Butter Pudding ($11) – all somewhat ‘underdone’, just about 10% or so more ‘hot’ would have made all perfect.
If you would like to while the day away, do it with scones with jam and clotted cream and a pot of tea. There is free wifi.
Monkswood By Char
393 Guillemard Road Singapore 399790
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Tues – Thurs), 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 11pm (Fri), 11:30am – 11pm (Sat – Sun)