With charcoal toast, charcoal waffles, charcoal burger buns, charcoal-covered peanuts and doughnuts, it’s natural to think Old Chang Kee’s charcoal curry puffs was pushing it a little far. The gut benefits of toxin-fighting activated charcoal in an irresistible, succulent deeply-fried puff? I don’t know.
But OK OCK, I’m having my second this week while typing this and that has to mean something. I tried this only because Old Chang Kee’s seasonal limited run curry puffs have never disappointed. The delectable Chili Crab’O was especially memorable and I appreciate them reinventing the wheel with hyperlocalizo dishes like Rendang during the Hari Raya season.
Honestly, having tried charcoal in other foods and liking the slight but distinct grittiness and sweetness, I was a little sad that the bamboo charcoal pastry had the exact same taste and texture of the usual OCK curry puff.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing at all since the sixty-year legend of a Rex Cinema curry puff does have an incredible exterior worth mentioning. And it’s trans-fat free?! Doesn’t matter how much truth there is in that, and what else this curry puff ISN’T free of. Life was hard being raised in a family that throws out anything deep fried or artificially sweetened so secondary school-catered OCK curry puffs made up for a lost Singaporean childhood.
Pretty surprised by how similar it looked to the advert on display, too.
The generous, generous filling in this BBQ Chicken’O is nothing short of divine. I’ll describe what I’m having now – it’s piping hot bite-sized chicken chunks, button mushrooms, sliced green and red chillies and a mix of herbs and spices that’s probably not replicable. The thing that pleases me most is how sloppy the insides are while the crust holds perfectly. It feels like a meal in itself. What art for $1.80 – and like I thought the first time, you probably would snag 2 for $3 had you known it was this good.
PS. Thank you Old Chang Kee for kindly confirming that there really is bamboo charcoal in the pastry. Click on the photo below to like their Facebook Page and stay tuned for their rather underrated contests!