Charcoal BBQ Rice

Special thanks to Charcoal BBQ Rice for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Restoran Satu Sembilan Sembilan Lapan (1998美食中心) is a hawker center in Farlim. There are around 20 stalls here, selling different types of rice and noodle dishes.
Charcoal BBQ Rice (火炭烧烤饭) is one of these stalls. The owners were formerly operating at Angkiki Food Court (红支支美食中心) at Anson Road. To create something unique, the owners are now offering charcoal barbecued meats instead.
Just before opening, the owners prepare all required pork and chicken for the day. Instead of cooking gas, charcoal is used so that the meat obtains the desired toasty flavor.
Chicken and pork cutlets are carefully grilled over the barbecue pit. As the meats turn golden brown, appealing grill marks start to appear on the surface. Who can resist such lovely sight?
The menu consists of a dozen types of flavors, ranging from familiar ones like black pepper to more exotic ones like chili seed. There are three types of meats to choose from: chicken (RM6.50), pork (RM6.50) and fish (RM7.00). For most dishes, the meal includes a grilled sausage, an egg roll, vegetable of the day and chicken soup. Speaking of value for money!
The fish fillet here is dory fish. The owners deliberately use smaller dory fish so that the taste is more refined. Unlike chicken or pork, fish is not pre-grilled beforehand because its texture is broken down easily by intense heat.
Upon ordering, the meat of choice is heated on an iron griddle. Specific sauces are added depending on the required flavor. All sauces at Charcoal BBQ Rice are homemade, not sourced commercially. It is obvious that the owners go to great lengths to create their signature flavors.

Our first dish is Thai Sauce B.B.Q Fish Rice (泰式酱烧烤鱼排饭, RM7.00). The Thai-inspired sauce is made from lemongrass (香茅) and ginger flower (姜花). Fish fillet is topped with freshly chopped onion, shredded cucumber and carrots. The sauce is best paired with fish.
The Chili Seed Sauce B.B.Q Chicken Rice (辣子酱烧烤鸡排饭, RM6.50) is also a flavorful choice. Spiciness of bird's eye chili makes the gravy very appealing to adventurous customers.
We also tried the Orange Sauce B.B.Q Chicken Rice (鲜橙酱烧烤鸡排饭, RM6.50) which has refreshing citrus freshness. For reasons unknown, the owners found that this version is quite popular among senior citizens.
The Thousand Island Sauce B.B.Q Chicken Rice (千岛酱烧烤鸡排饭, RM6.50) is recommended if you enjoy something cream. Although not the sharpest sword here, it is definitely worth checking out.

One of the mainstream favorite here is Black Pepper Sauce B.B.Q Pork Rice (黑胡椒酱烧烤猪排饭, RM6.50). This particular sauce is the most compatible with pork.
The Curry Sauce B.B.Q Chicken Rice (咖哩酱烧烤鸡排饭, RM6.50) is another delectable choice. The gravy is made from mashed potatoes, giving it a starchy feel besides mere spiciness.
Last but not least, the Thai Milk Sauce B.B.Q Fish Rice (奶油酱烧烤鱼排饭, RM7.00) is my personal favorite of the day. This is not so much for my palate, but rather for its uniqueness. Using Thai spices with evaporated milk, this house-special sauce is formulated to pack a respectable load of pungency into your nasal passage. The level of spiciness is still bearable for me, but be prepared to get what you asked for. This sauce is most suitable with fish.
The spectrum of flavors here at Charcoal BBQ Rice is so bountiful despite its simple menu. Thanks to the owners' relentless pursuit for perfection, a meal here is very gratifying to the palate. Moreover, the pricing is very affordable, allowing most people to enjoy Charcoal BBQ Rice on a regular basis.

Name: Charcoal BBQ Rice (火炭烧烤饭)
Address: 288, Jalan Thean Teik, 11500 Air Itam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 016-403-6303
Business hours: 6:00pm-10:30pm, closed on Tuesdays
Coordinates: 5.39777 N, 100.28808 E
Directions: Restoran Satu Sembilan Sembilan Lapan (1998美食中心) is located at the commercial square near Sunshine Farlim. The hawker center faces the main road, Jalan Thean Teik. Charcoal BBQ Rice is one of the stalls inside. There are parking spaces surrounding the commercial square.

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