Adventure, baby!

Katong

CHARLY T’s: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Katong, Singapore

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

I very rarely order roast chicken when we go out – for the simple reason that, more often than not, the chicken comes out pretty dry and tasteless. Actually in general, I never order chicken in restaurants.

So I was really interested when I heard that Charly T’s¬†specialised in rotisserie chicken!

I was really surprised to discover that it’s not just rotisserie chicken that they serve, but a whole variety of dishes from around the world. It kind of makes it hard to decide what to get ūüėČ

The interior of Charly T’s is welcoming and family-friendly, with lots of high chairs and an outdoor patio area with a large TV screen. But the calling card is the¬†play corner.

My kids made a BEELINE straight for it!

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

On one Sunday a month, Charly T’s hosts a full-blown kids event with an instructor…. FOR FREE. Kids are eligible when¬†accompanied with dining adults.¬†Not trying to sound stingy or anything here.. but any place that keeps my kids occupied for a good our for free is tops in my books!!

This month, the activity was “instrument making”.

It was a really simple concept and used simple craft materials, but was such a good idea and one that I’d never thought of before. The kids happily decorated the backs of 2 paper plates, stapled them together so they formed a drum/tambourine, and threaded through large bells to make them jingle-jangle. What a hit it was!

Chris was a champion and guided both kids through the craft making  Рthough if your kids are a bit older, they can just be left there whilst you eat in peace.

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

After that, we relaxed with an Iced Latte and Iced Lemon Tea.. whilst the kids played around the area for a bit and shared a freshly-squeezed Green Flash juice РGreen Apple, Orange, Pineapple ($7).

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

Of course, we¬†had to try the Rotisserie Chicken with 2 side dishes¬†($14.50)! We were told that they pride themselves on chilled, never frozen, chickens that are marinated for over 12 hours before they are slow-cooked Rotisserie-style. Mmmmmmm……..

The meat was plump and tender, and I liked how crisp and smoky the skin was. But most of all, I thought the sesame (I think?) dipping sauce it came with was excellent. The kids loved it smothered all over their chicken! Speaking of which, both kids pretty much ate half the chicken each. I was kinda impressed.

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore
Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore
Our two side dishes was the Garlic Rice, which was full of flavour and a total must order, and the Macaroni and Cheese, which I liked but wasn’t kid-friendly for my kids as it has a mild peppery flavour due to the red peppers in the sauce. It’s a healthy version of mac and cheese, by the way, which uses less cheese and incorporates cauliflower into the sauce, but is still very tasty.Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

I insisted on the¬†Kansas City BBQ Pork Ribs($22)¬†because saying “no” to pork ribs when they’re on the menu is criminal. They were meaty and tender, but still had ‘bite’. The meat was mostly lean, which I appreciated, and the BBQ sauce wasn’t too rich or sweet. I swapped my Vegetables side dish for German Potato Salad, and I’m so glad I did, because ¬†the warm potato salad was delicious because it came with lots of bacon bits studded through it.

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

The¬†Kalua Pork ($20) was described as… uh… Kalua Pork on the menu, with no other description. I wouldn’t have ordered it if I hadn’t been told that it’s actually slow-roasted pork belly. I repeat: THIS IS SLOW-ROASTED PORK BELLY PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And thus, this was our star dish of the meal. It doesn’t look very attractive in the photo, but believe me, this is one of the best pork dishes I’ve ever had. The pork was so juicy and tender and silky it was absolutely sublime. I normally don’t like the fatty bits, but I ate up the thin slivers of fat inbetween the layers and felt it added to the silkiness of the texture of the dish. I didn’t even bother with the accompanying sauces – the pork was perfection eaten on it’s own.

I flipped to their little menu board that describes their dishes, and saw this “the¬†pork belly is marinated in ti leaves for 48 hours and slow-cooked to perfection – fork-tender and moist.” Now it all makes sense.

A total must order! I would go back for this dish alone.

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

So there’s this outside patio area that’s totally enclosed by railings so it’s safe for young children to run about in. And since no one was dining there, and since we have a kid that cannot sit still in his high chair after eating *stares at Carter*, we chucked him out there!

He was kept pretty entertained and we could eat whilst watching him (we were seated next to the glass doors/windows) overlooking the patio).

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

We opted for the cryptically named (to me!)¬†Kaiserchmarrn ($16).¬†I was keen on it after being told it was “cut up pancakes in a bowl with ice cream“. You can’t go wrong with THAT! ¬†And true enough, fluffy warm pancakes studded with raisns arrived at our table, all chopped up and served with a scoop of ice cream. Awesome comfort food. The kids went nuts over this one….

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

I was already lusting over the¬†Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich ($8) since I’d first eyeballed the menu when we arrived, so of course I ordered it pronto. I realised when it arrived that it was actually quite similar to the¬†Kaiserchmarrn dessert we ordered! Both had vanilla ice cream, and both had sweet carbs with raisins. So silly of me.

I’d recommend ordering either one, but not both at the same time!

Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore Charly T - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 

Charly¬†T’s are doing a 3-Course¬†Christmas¬†Set Menu (until 31st December), but we went a la carte when we were there. They also have a Festive Bundle (until 1st January) as well as a Chinese New Year Prosperity Bundle (from 1st January to 30th January).

The next¬†kids activity event is being held on 19 January 1-2PM, and is a¬†Chinese New Year Fish Making class! Fab for bringing along their handiwork when you go round visiting relatives ūüėČ

Plus, on the way out, I spotted a sign with this on it: Facebook LIKErs get 15% off when paying with Mastercard”. It’s a good deal ūüôā

 
Last Bite: Charly T’s is a HUGE hit with their free instructor-led kids activity event each month. It’s an excellent way to keep the kids occupied whilst you enjoy a tasty lunch. The Kalua Pork is a must order!

Highchairs: Yes
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: Yes (in the mall)
Kids’ menu: Yes

Charly T’s
112 Katong Mall $03-15
112 East Coast Road
Singapore 428802)
Phone: 6636 4701
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sat – Sun: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm

TRATTORIA BONISSIMA: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Katong, Singapore

A perfectly done Tiramisu at Trattoria Bonissima

 

Come to think of it, I don’t often eat Italian food in Singapore. I don’t mean the random, mainstream Italian food catered for the masses (OMG I really sound like a food snob here! Eeek!! Sorry!) but rather classic, rustic, homestyle Italian. I guess partly because they tend to be fine-dining and pretty expensive, so I feel like I have to be celebrating an occasion to warrant the splurge.

Trattoria Bonissima¬†has really good reviews online (yes I’m the type to go suss a place out before I eat there), and it’s not hard to see why. Helmed by Italian chef Andrea Badiali, Trattoria Bonissima is a casual, cozy restaurant serving hearty Italian food. All decked out in blue and white linen, it feels homely and lovely, with very warm and friendly service.

Inside Trattoria Bonissima

 

Carter, very comfortable sunning himself by the window

 

I was really surprised when I opened their menu. It boasts a really wide selection of dishes! Of course, it meant I was ummm-ing and ahhh-ing trying to figure out how¬†not to order 305246 dishes for myself ūüėČ

The food came out swiftly, and they even help you portion out the dishes if you’re ordering to share. A very nice touch.

 

Hunter going to town on their complimentary bread

 

The first dish (and IMHO the best dish) was the Stracciata Рthinly sliced striploin on a bed of rocket, dressed with truffle oil, balsamic and parmesan.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

It was so good, we actually couldn’t quite believe it. I actually wouldn’t have thought of ordering this dish if I saw it on the menu, and so was very glad that we were recommended to.

It is seriously good. 

The striploin is gorgeous. Silky, tender, melt-in-your-mouth. And what makes it stand out is this complex concoction of truffle oil and balsamic… which had us smacking our lips in delight. You know how balsamic sauce on a salad can just be¬†too tangy and a bit much? I guess they must use really high quality balsamic.. and it’s also tempered with the fullness of the taste of truffle oil. The blend goes together like one freakin’ happy marriage and makes the beef just taste splendid.

It went very well with the juicy, sweet tomatoes, and is a wonderful appetizer that is a total MUST ORDER when you visit. Seriously, you’re mad if you don’t order it. The portion size is also hefty and excellent to be shared.

Boy, I pretty much typed up an essay on just this one dish. But oh geez it’s so bloody good I can barely stand it! I’d go back there for the Stracciata alone.

Stracciata – thinly sliced striploin on a bed of rocket, dressed with truffle oil, balsamic and parmesan ($19). FAINT.

 

The other appetizer was this astonishing tower of Calamari Fritti. Don’t be silly an order this appetizer just for yourself, as it’s large enough to be a main meal. You definitely need to share this.

The tumble of calamari come in large rings, dipped in a light batter and are all crispy and airy. At first, the light colour of the batter made me think it was undercooked (I’m used to the darker brown versions in Australia), but nope, the batter was all light and well cooked. I found the calamari itself to be not as sweet as I normally like them to be, but they were very good dipped in the aioli.

The restaurant also prides themselves (or, at least our waiter introduced it with a big flourish!) on their Pepperoncino flakes, which are dried chilli flakes that pack a potent punch of flavour. You can dip the calamari in this too, or sprinkle it on pizza/pasta.

Calamari Fritti ($16)

 

The¬†Salsiccia – tomato, mozzarella, homemade pork sausage was a large pizza dotted with very yummy sausage. It is a very typical Italian pizza that comes with a scattering of ingredients, and you’re supposed to enjoy the fresh tomato sauce and dough.

I will be frank here. And I don’t know how else to put this without sounding like a¬†greedy pig…¬† but… I like my pizzas with thick crust! You know, Pizza Hut style? I know all the food¬†connoisseurs¬†and Italians are now rolling their eyes in disgust, but I like it thick crust simply because it…. errrrrr…. fills me up. I find that when I eat thin crust pizza, I can eat a whole ton and not be that full. I NEED MY CARBS.

So, if you’re a proper foodie and like authentic Italian pizzas, you’ll like it. If you’re kinda greedy like me, you’re better off sharing this with someone and ordering a pasta or main dish as well ūüėČ

Salsiccia – tomato, mozzarella, homemade pork sausage ($21)

 

Man, the pastas here are top notch. 

The¬†Linguini Alle Cicale – crayfish in pink sauce was my personal favourite. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, and I’ve decided that ‘pink sauce’ is my favourite for pastas, which is basically a term for a tomato cream sauce. Trattoria Bonissima offer pink sauce for quite a few of their dishes and I am a total convert. I particularly like it because it’s not as rich and flat as a cream sauce, and not as tangy as a tomato sauce. It’s somewhere inbetween.

There were large chunks of crayfish in there, which were lovely and sweet against the sauce of the pasta. The portion size is substantial too.

Linguini Alle Cicale – crayfish in pink sauce ($22)

 

Here’s where we were a little¬†silly¬†and ordered TWO pastas that were almost identical. Duh! Kicking myself for not having ordered their¬†Lamb Chops¬†or¬†Steak, which have rave reviews online. I forgot to when we were ordering!¬†*facepalm*¬†

And so ended up getting the¬†Linguini Merluzzo Porcini – codfish, porcini mushrooms in pink sauce. It was, errrr, basically the same as the pasta earlier, but this time with fat slices of cod fish instead. So silly of us, right?! Fortunately, the cod fish was silky smooth and the porcini mushrooms were really tasty, so we were happy eating two similar pasta dishes… despite the “d’oh” moment ūüėČ

Linguini Merluzzo Porcini – codfish, porcini mushrooms in pink sauce ($26)

 

Obviously I insisted on the¬†Tiramisu. Can never resist this dish though I’m frequently disappointed by it in Singapore. I¬†specifically like my Tiramisu very wet and moist, with a high cake ratio.

This one is spot on.

What more can I say? Look at the photo below!

Tiramisu perfection

 

I’d heard that the¬†Lava¬†Cake was a must order, so promptly got that too. Made with rich French chocolate, this little molten pot of goodness gives you the choice to¬†flamb√©¬†– which they light up at your table – excellent entertainment especially if you have kids there. Be warned though, the alcohol does mean the sweetness of the chocolate is brought into stark contrast with the alcohol flavour – so this particularly suits those that aren’t too fond of super-sweet desserts.

It’s served with vanilla ice cream, which brings down the richness of the molten chocolate (and boy, is it molten, almost like a thick chocolate pudding!). I would prefer a creamier vanilla bean ice cream though.

Lava cake

 

Doesn’t this make you want to *poke* your finger into the photo and take a lick?!

 

Me with Chef Andrea Badiali (who was willing to take a very touristy shot with me without complaint. Haha)

 

There’s also a big sign in the¬†restaurant¬†with this cool offer: Get a complimentary dessert of the day (worth S$9) with every S$50 spent, paid by Amex card.

Be careful¬†when¬†visiting their¬†Facebook page, it contains heaps of photos of their food… not good to view on an empty stomach….

I was there for lunch, but I actually think it’d be really nice for a dinner date. It’s cozy and serves up some fab food. Plus, I’m craving that¬†Stracciata again!!!
 
Last Bite: Trattoria Bonissima serves up delicious home-style Italian food. Their Stracciata and Tiramisu are a must-order!
 
Highchairs: Yes
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No
Kids’ menu: No

Trattoria Bonnissima
308 Tanjong Katong Road
Singapore 437091
Phone: 6346 5845
Prices: $$$
Hours: Mon: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm, Wed – Sun: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm

 
This food review was first published at Beverly’s Adventures!