Golden Charcoal Seafood Review – Zi char newcomer in Bedok with awesome bi feng tang crabs

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Golden Charcoal Seafood Review – Zi char newcomer in Bedok with awesome bi feng tang crabs

Golden Charcoal Seafood Review – Zi char newcomer in Bedok with awesome bi feng tang crabs

Golden Charcoal Seafood Review – Zi char newcomer in Bedok with awesome bi feng tang crabs

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Golden Charcoal

#01-435 Bedok 204

Golden Charcoal Seafood is tucked into a corner of a coffee shop at Bedok Blk 204, a mere 2-minute walk from Bedok Mall. 

It only recently opened, but it has already attracted a following, most notably after a TikTok video of their moonlight horfun – a dark soy sauce based horfun with a raw egg center – caught the eyes of Singaporeans.

Golden Charcoal has an interesting backstory too! The stall is helmed by Justin, a young finance professional turned zi char owner, and head chef Devid, who's Indian by ethnicity but speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese. 

chef devid

Devid also looks enviously young, but don't let that deceive you for he has over 20 years of zi char experience!

While we were there, we tried a whopping eight dishes, both seafood dishes and zi char classics. 

golden charcoal seafood bedok

Now, what better place to start off a zi char review than Singapore’s favourite? The crabs. We got two types, the white pepper crab and bi feng tang crab. On the first look, what’s instantly distinctive about the crabs is how it’s not as saucy as the pepper crabs we are familiar with.

golden charcoal seafood bedok

Golden Charcoal’s white pepper crab has a thickened gravy that mustn't be underestimated. Cooked with evaporated milk and a number of aromatics including curry leaves, the chef turns up the heat to thicken the sauce, condensing the flavours. 

However, the sauce was almost too spicy from both the pepper and added chilli padi. You may want to request for a milder version if you’re not up for a challenge. 

golden charcoal seafood bedok

Their bi feng tang (typhoon shelter) crab is a cooking method popularised in Hong Kong in the '80s. Origins of its namesake remains murky, but bi feng tang is characterised with an abundant amount of minced garlic and scallions, and fried till fragrant before crab or any seafood or meat is added in. 

It’s easy to burn garlic-centric dishes, turning the whole dish bitter in an instant. But Golden Charcoal shows us how this dish is like when it’s done right: impressively fragrant garlic flavour which enhances the crabmeat’s natural sweetness. There is no need to worry about the garlic being too pungent since it is mellowed after frying. The crisp fried garlic in this dish is a treat on its own, which is well worth the days of garlic breath following it! 

golden charcoal seafood bedok

We also tried their assam-style claypot curry tiger prawns. Chef Devid informed us that this dish is inspired by Indonesian cooking, but the final recipe is much his own formula. True enough, the curry doesn’t taste like typical assam; it’s also spiked with curry and kaffir lime leaves, creating a complex body of flavours that’s too easy to slurp.

The tiger prawns, another Singaporean favourite for its substantial springy meat, is the choice accompaniment for the curry since it’s larger than normal prawns. They’re also peeled for your convenience!

Another of their signatures is a house-made tofu. Their jim tam chiak beancurd features a chunk of seaweed tofu, deep fried for a crisp exterior. It’s surrounded by a moat of parboiled broccoli and mushroom. 

golden charcoal seafood bedok

The tofu dish is a welcome change among the more flavourful seafood dishes, if not a bit too light on the palate. 

golden charcoal seafood bedok

Next up is the clam claypot soup, which is a robust gingery herbal soup with a big splash of Chinese wine. They were generous with the clams which adds a phenomenal seafood sweetness to the soup. This was so good that I dabao-ed the leftovers home.

golden charcoal seafood bedok

The last dish I have to talk about is the yue guang he fen, or “Moonlight” horfun. This was just a regular menu item on Golden Charcoal before it went viral, but has since become their bestseller. The dish features a very prominent wok hei flavour that really complements the dark soy sauce based hor fun.

You can just see the darkened bits of char on the dish, just shy of being burnt. When the runny egg is mixed in, it gives the dish extra silkiness and body. If you’re a wok hei junkie, this is a must-try!

Singapore doesn’t have a lack of seafood zichar, and trust me when I say I know the pain of finding a good one. Afterall, seafood is pretty pricey and it sucks to bomb hard-earned money on subpar or unfresh seafood. I have more praises to sing about this one, but I think it’s nuff said; you’ll just have to try it out yourself! 

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