Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC - WTF Review

Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
A taste of Singapore right on our doorstep.
The WTF team visited Uptown mall for a little food crawl for our dinner on a busy Saturday night. Since BGC is notorious for being crowded on weekends, we've decided to visit Uptown Parade which is a bridge away from Uptown mall.
Uptown Parade is home to some of the countries upscale super clubs and restaurant which will make you feel out of place if it isn't your thing. However, don't let the glamour, gorgeous woman and supercars intimidate you, we are here to enjoy good food so we move forward! We have a couple of selections but we've decided to try one picturesque restaurant, Char Dining.

We've been hearing a lot of good reviews about this restaurant and we are ecstatic to try it first hand because of their cuisine. Char Dining specializes in Cantonese food with western influences so we are looking at roast dishes, char siew and their meticulous use of herbs and spices. Enough talk, we ordered Soya Kampong Chicken - Half (PHP390), Roast Pork Belly with Beancurd in Casserole (PHP380), Egg Fried Rice (PHP150) and Chinese Kangkong (PHP195).
Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
Rustic yet elegant, only here on Char!
The place is spacious, grand and easy on the eye. It's not cramped and the lighting is perfect if you want to take that Instagram moment! They have couches or standard 4 seater and the servers are very attentive, neat and prompt. It's relaxing because it's quiet and unlike other restaurants (and very common here in the Philippines) where you will often here chit chats and what-nots from the servers or crews from the back-of-the-house. Kudos to the team for keeping the place serene, quaint and very relaxing. It didn't take long before our very first dish arrived, the Chinese Kangkong.

Chinese Kangkong (PHP195) of Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
Chinese Kangkong (PHP195)
The WeTravelFearlessly family loves kangkong especially our daughter, Chloe. Oftentimes we order variations of adobong kangkong or any kangkong dish just to be disappointed because of the lackluster result, the kangkong is often overpowered by seasoning and the freshness plus the natural piquant taste of kangkong is just washed away of soy, garlic, and other stuff. But I must say, Char Dining's Chinese Kangkong hits the spot and rejuvenated our perception on kangkong dishes, the unique taste of the kangkong along with their roasted ginger is just a perfect combination. It tastes fresh and bold which makes us grab for more. This my friend, is a perfect balance between simplicity and boldness. Oh and by the way, you get to choose what to put on your kangkong, you got: roasted garlic, sambal and preserved beancurd (this is also applicable to their other vegetable dishes)
Egg Fried Rice (PHP150) in Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
Egg Fried Rice (PHP150)
Here comes the Egg Fried Rice, simple yet delicate as it's generously showered by leeks, egg, cucumber, topped with fresh parsley. For PHP150, I think it's good for 2-3 persons and one thing, this is me being nitpicky, it'll be a bomb if you will add chopped parsley instead of using it as a garnish, it will add freshness to the fried rice and will add more color on the dish.
Roast Pork Belly with Beancurd in Casserole (PHP380) in Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
Roast Pork Belly with Beancurd in Casserole (PHP380)
Now these ones a winner, Roast Pork Belly with Beancurd in Casserole. For the price, we really expect that the serving on this one is larger and they did not fail to impress us. First off, the portion size, the beancurd OR tofu is big compared to the roast pork belly, I should have requested the tofu to be fried, I think it'll add more texture to the dish. Speaking of the pork belly, goodness, even though it's soaked in the rich thick soup it still retain its crunchy skin and the best part is that the meat to fat ratio is great, we get to take a scrumptious bite on the tender meat while the fat adds more layer of juiciness because of its fat.
Soya Kampong Chicken - Half (PHP390) in Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
Soya Kampong Chicken - Half (PHP390) ft. a bloody marrow
Okay, it has been a wonderful journey til one dish decided to ruin everything. The Soya Kampong Chicken, just when we thought that this will be the star of the night! It was presented really well and we were excited to dig into it. We heard that their Soya Kampong Chicken tasted like a duck which we're a fan off but when my wife sliced the leg, there was blood. I scrubbed it off and just told her to pick another part and viola, the bone and cartilage is red. I took a piece and sliced one myself and there you have it, red everywhere. I called our lovely server and told her the problem and she rushed to the kitchen and we thought they will fix the problem but NO, she came back and told me that "it's part of the dish". Okay before I continue, I must say, before this thing happens everything is going well, we are enjoying the food and we are really having a good time!
Char Dining in Uptown Parade, BGC
Back when we were still happy, note: no chicken around lol!
I'm no kitchen pro, my wife and I are kitchen graduates (HRM), I came from a culinary school and my mom also taught me about the rule on cooking chicken, if it's red it's bad! First of all, it's not okay to have blood in your chicken, it's unsafe and dangerous! Secondly, blood oozing from the bone marrow and bloody cartilage mean that the chicken was frozen when it was cooked. I don't know if their chicken is pasteurized or not because they did not provide any information so I instantly told them that BLOOD IN A COOKED CHICKEN IS NOT OKAY.

Making a mistake is okay, but being stubborn enough to say that it's how the dish should be is not okay. We were really disappointed because it was such a wonderful feast, we were making love with the rest of the dish but this single order ruined everything. What's more disappointing is that instead of not serving the thing and asking us if we would like to try something else, NO, they took the chicken reheated it or cooked it and it was barely eatable because guess what? It was overcooked!

Again, it will not happen if your chicken was not frozen in the first place. Hopefully, the top guys in Char Dining can read this, you guys served awesome food (aside from your horrible chicken) and the place is beautiful, please, we are begging you to get at least pasteurized chickens - indicate in your menu that it's pasteurized or DO NOT USE FROZEN CHICKEN.

We are willing to go back again and give it another try, we are dying to give this restaurant a perfect score but we can't because of what we have experience. We'll be back soon so please, no more... red days.
  • Place 
    • It's gorgeous, picturesque with an upscale vibe. Comfortable seats and rustic tables combined with their perfect lighting, perfect for that Instagram moment.
  • Service 
    • It was all good till that moment that the server said that the blood in the chicken is "part of the dish"
  • Price 
    • The quality versus price is out of the question here, if you are paying such price, you should expect quality ingredients, not frozen ones.
Let's rate them, shall we?
Food: 1/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 1/5
Value for money: 1/5
OVERALL: 2/5

What does Zomato say?
Char Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Location: 2nd Floor, Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue Corner 38th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Contact Number: +632 2469069 ext:512

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