79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk: $0.99 Chinese bbq skewers hidden in Farrer Park

Located in the heart of the city just behind City Square Mall is 79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk. This Chinese establishment, along Flanders Square Road, is a haven for lovers of authentic Chinese BBQ.

Chuaner - storefront

Specialising in chuan (Chinese BBQ skewers), this vibrant eatery offers a variety of mouth-watering grilled meats and vegetables, perfectly seasoned and cooked over open flames.

Chuaner - interior

The exterior of 79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk is a striking blend of traditional charm and modern flair, creating a cyberpunk aesthetic. Neon lights in vibrant hues illuminate the facade, with playful icons and Chinese characters adding to the authentic atmosphere. The bright, colourful signs draw attention and create an inviting, energetic vibe, reminiscent of a bustling street market.

Chuaner - interior

The interior is not a let-down, either. I was surprised at the low metal chairs and tables that resembled the height of stools along the streets in Vietnam. As much as I loved the aesthetics and the novelty of these stainless steel furniture, this 193cm body of mine definitely had difficulty fitting into them.

Chuaner - tissue paper

Even with my limited knowledge of Chinese characters, I giggled to myself as I read the Chinese puns on the walls. Walls littered with red and white papers and Chinese calligraphy, the interior struck a balance between modern contemporary Chinese city vibes with classic cultural elements.

What I tried at 79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk

Chuaner - skewers

Having seen the menu and gasped at the affordability of the Chinese BBQ skewers, I got right into it. The restaurant’s menu boasts a wide range of skewered delights, including tender lamb, juicy chicken, and flavourful seafood, all prepared with traditional spices and techniques that transport you straight to the bustling streets of China.

Chuaner - potato strips

We first started with Fried Potato Strips (S$8.90). These potato strips are cut into thin julienne slices, creating a texture that is both crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The dish is lightly sauteed with garlic, green onions, and chilli peppers, imparting a savoury and slightly spicy flavour. It includes vinegar for a tangy twist, enhancing the overall taste.

Chuaner - potato strips

Perfect as a side dish or snack, these potato strips are a delightful blend of simplicity and bold flavours, reflecting the diverse and vibrant nature of Chinese culinary traditions. Enjoy them as part of a larger meal or on their own for a tasty treat.

Chuaner - skewers on plate

The Chinese BBQ skewers arrived in a timely fashion, metal skewers on metal plates – fuss-free.

Chuaner - skewers

The first of many was the Milk Corn (S$0.99) – tiny, easy-to-eat corn kernels on a stick. This was extremely convenient to eat corn as you did not have to fuss about dirtying your hands on a whole corn. Unlike what I had expected, the corn was not as crunchy and was instead very soft. The outer kernels are very tender and biting into it slowly releases the sweet corn juice.

Chuaner - skewers

The other cheap skewer is the Pork Belly (S$0.99) skewer. Each skewer is coated in a mouthwatering blend of spices and flavours that enhances the rich, succulent taste of the meat.

The pork belly chunks are perfectly grilled, with a crispy exterior and a tender, juicy interior. The seasoning provides a delectable blend of salty, spicy, and aromatic elements, making each bite exceedingly tasty. This preparation style is common in street food markets and is frequently appreciated as a tasty snack or appetiser.

Chuaner - skewers

This same marinade and seasoning is also applied to the Marinated Lamb Meat (S$0.99). Similar to the pork belly, this was juicy and was not as gamey as I had expected it be. My only gripe with it was that the sizes of Chinese BBQ skewers differ – some skewers had larger chunks of meat than others.

Chuaner - pork belly skewers

Different from the ones outside, Chuaner’s Pork Belly With Enoki (S$1.79) is unbelievably affordable.

The pork belly is typically marinated with a blend of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a touch of sesame oil, then wrapped around bundles of enoki mushrooms.

Chuaner - skewers

The skewers are then grilled or barbecued, seasoned with cumin, Sichuan pepper, and chilli powder, enhancing the smoky and savoury flavours. The result is a succulent, flavourful bite with a delightful mix of textures—the crispy, juicy pork belly complements the tender, slightly-chewy enoki mushrooms perfectly. This dish is a popular street food, celebrated for its rich taste and aromatic spices.

Chuaner - skewers

If you are more of a beef person, fret not because they have also got US Flavoured Beef Eye Round (S$1.19) or Marinated Beef Tenderloin (S$0.99). I personally could not taste the difference between these two. If I had to choose, I would say go for the cheaper option. They’re both equally tender as they are not overcooked. The touch of cumin cuts through any gaminess of the beef as well.

Chuaner - french bean skewers

Vegetarians will also be happy to find an array of delicious options, from Grilled French Bean (S$0.99) to Beancurd Skin With Onion (S$0.99).

Chuaner - beancurd skewers

Not being a fan of coriander, I found the Beancurd Skin with Onion, which was heavily filled with it, quite repulsive. If it had been wrapped with just onions, it would have offered a burst of earthiness that would have contrasted nicely with the otherwise meaty skewers.

Chuaner - potato skewers

For starch, I recommend the Potato Slices (S$0.99) on a skewer featuring thinly-sliced potatoes, perfectly seasoned and grilled to a golden crisp. Each bite offers a satisfying crunch, enhanced by the smoky flavour from the grill. The skewered potatoes are versatile, often seasoned with a blend of spices that add a punch of flavour.

Chuaner - scallion pancake

Scallion Pancakes (S$2.90) are a favourite for their thin, crispy texture and aromatic flavour. These pancakes are meticulously prepared with finely-chopped spring onions mixed into the dough, then rolled out and pan-fried to perfection.

Chuaner - scallion pancake

The result is a golden, flaky pancake that exudes a fragrant aroma, making it an irresistible snack or side dish.

Final Thoughts

Despite the extremely cheap skewers in a very central location, 79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk does have its bad points as well. One that was bugging us throughout the night was the lack of staff and slow service. With only 2 waiters in sight and 1 dishwasher, this medium-sized establishment does see delays when there is an influx of diners.

Chuaner - interior

With all that said, I definitely think I will be back for its really cheap Chinese BBQ skewers and even a beer to cool off the night. This Chinese-run establishment does see itself being fully packed for the night so I highly recommend coming down early to secure yourself a spot.

Expected damage: S$10 – S$30 per pax

New in town: Thirteen BBQ Bar 十三烤吧 — Serving authentic Chinese fare like skewers & mala pork belly, closes at 2am

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk

20 Flanders Square, Singapore 209305

Price
Our Rating 4/5

79号烧烤 Chuaner Talk

20 Flanders Square, Singapore 209305

Telephone: 9798 6852
Operating Hours: 12 pm–12 am (Daily)
Telephone: 9798 6852

Operating Hours: 12 pm–12 am (Daily)

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