Mad Charcoal: Stellar hawker BBQ meats you legit must try for less than $20

How good can hawker western fare get? This mindset diminished as I was proven terribly wrong during my visit to Mad Charcoal, located near Yio Chu Kang MRT Station.

mad charcoal - storefront

With a huge charcoal grill placed at the rear of the kitchen, don’t doubt it when I say the team is mad about their meats.

What I tried at Mad Charcoal

I noticed couples opting for regular set meals or à la carte dishes while larger groups headed straight for the platters. My dining partner and I were convinced that the sheer size of the platters would be too much for 2 pax.

mad charcoal - lamb dish

The staff taking our orders also guaranteed that everything on the menu was a best-seller and it boiled down to personal preference. I chose the Lamb T-Bone with Sweet Potato (S$22.50) as a set meal. Undeniably, this was one of the most expensive items on the menu but I had to try if it was worth the splurge.

The dishes were served, and words cannot describe the excitement I felt at that moment. In terms of presentation, I simply could not believe that I was getting a premium standard at a hawker. The team definitely knows how to prepare and charcoal-grill the meats perfectly!

mad charcoal - lamb pink centre

The lamb racks were insanely smokey and bore a slightly crispy exterior. The meat juices released as soon as I sliced through the slab. While the centre was slightly pink, there was no gamey taste at all. Perfect!

Meaty Western: Western stall with tender marbled steaks, homemade sauces & free mushroom soup with any main

For those unaccustomed to the flavour of rare red meat, the purple cabbage slaw is incredibly effective in refreshing your palate.. The vegetable slaw accompaniment ensured that 3 large slabs of meat did not taste jelak by the end of the meal.

mad charcoal - herb compound

However, I could not resist finding condiments or sauces to pair with the grilled lamb. I found its match with the herb compound served in the Kurobuta Pork Steak exceptional.

During my next visit, I’ll make sure to request an extra portion of that condiment to accompany my lamb dishes. 

mad charcoal - sweet potatoes

I was thrilled at the shape of the Sweet Potatoes that came on the side. I am a hardcore lover of thick, chunky fries and so it was extremely satisfying munching on those golden sweet potato cubes.

I must also declare my love for their batter which was extremely thin but thoroughly seasoned. I could happily pop these delectable morsels into my mouth at every meal! 

mad charcoal - pork dish

Instead of the ever-popular Pork Belly (S$8), my dining partner suggested trying the Kurobuta Pork Steak with Ratatouille (S$19.50) instead. 

Oh my gosh! Just look at the beautiful symmetrical slices of fatty pork. 

mad charcoal - kurobuta pork slices

Speckled with white shards of sea salt and cracked black pepper, the sight of the grilled pork was to behold, to say the least. My dining partner and I could not resist the temptation to jab into the thick slices. Each piece also had an equal ratio of fat to lean meat.

mad charcoal - pork slice closeup

This was a dream of mine. The fat melted smoothly in my mouth, requiring little effort to chew. However, its oily taste may not be enjoyed by those who prefer leaner cuts. The herb compote present introduced an earthy element to the dish, but I found its pairing with the lamb more pleasant.

mad charcoal - vegetable stew

The ratatouille was thoroughly stewed and extremely soft. But this did not mean that it was overcooked; the vegetables simply absorbed its seasoning and were almost juicy.

mad charcoal - creamy pasta

We paired our grilled meats with their Creamy Spaghetti (S$7.50). The al dente noodles were heavily infused with a garlic flavour. The addition of cream sauce and an onsen egg elevated the flavour of the sauce. 

However, it was too jelak for me. My dining partner, on the other hand, devoured the entire dish and wished that every plate of creamy pasta served in hawker stalls tasted just like this. 

Final thoughts

mad charcoal - plating

While I visited the hawker joint in the early dinner hours, all the seats in the entire coffeeshop were quickly taken by sundown. Point to note— come early to snag seats. 

With a pint of refreshing ice-cold beer in one hand and perfectly-charred meat slabs in the other, Friday nights will never be better spent.

Expected damage: S$7 – S$30 per pax

We tried Singapore’s best-rated Western food stall

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Mad Charcoal

3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, #01-38, Singapore 569139

Our Rating 5/5

Mad Charcoal

3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, #01-38, Singapore 569139

Telephone: +65 8878 0280
Operating Hours: 12pm - 9pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
Telephone: +65 8878 0280

Operating Hours: 12pm - 9pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
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