July 19, 2013

Charco Restaurant Cafe, Empire Shopping Gallery: A Taste of Charcoal inspired ceations!

Serving up Dishes with a little Charcoal!

I have passed this place a few times but I never made it in. Located in Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang, Charco Restaurant Café specializes in Charco Bread, Italian Food and Asian Fusion. The ambience is themed in cream and black with dark wood furniture. It is comfortable and quite contemporary in some ways to match its cuisines. I was particularly attracted to the wall of charcoals tightly piece together with the name of the restaurant set inside.

A recent invite lead to this gathering at Charco. Owned by Chef Bernard, whose passion for food is very obvious from the way he speaks fondly of food, he wanted foodies to enjoy food made from fresh and wholesome ingredients. A man who has eaten possibly some of the best cuisines in the world from his travels, he believes that any food can be great if prepared well with fresh and quality ingredients.

Drinks for the night deserve much ravings! Charco Smile is a blend of black sesame and other goodies, making the thick smoothie creamy and luscious at RM12.80. My order of Virgin Cucumber Passion Mojito for RM10.80 is superb. I love the bits of crunch textures of the cucumber in the citrusly and minty cooler. Same goes for the Virgin Lemongrass Mojito, at RM10.80, the cooler is delicious and refreshing. I didn’t miss the alchohol in this Mojito!

Tortilla Dippy with Balsamic Mushrooms

It’s quite simple but flavors are pretty good! Crispy tortilla chips are served with yummy earthy sautéed balsamic mushrooms and served with a creamy sauce and side salad. It’s a good and light snack for sharing or simply has this as a light lunch. Price RM13.80

Jumbo Chicken Satay with Condiments

A house signature, it is indeed jumbo-sized. Thick cuts of lean chicken meat marinated with lots of spices and grilled to aromatic perfection. I can taste a good amount of lemongrass among the spices and the flavors are well balanced with a little sweetness and spices. Served with raw onions and cucumbers with creamy peanut sauce, I personally didn’t even think the satay needed the sauce since it was so flavorful on its own! 8 jumbo satay skewers with condiments for RM19.80

Salmon Aglio Olio

Another trademark of Charco is their homemade charcoal pasta. Priced at RM24.80, one gets pieces of pan seared salmon on sautéed pasta with some vegetables, garlic and chili. I loved the pasta as it has a good al dente bite and is laced with sufficient flavors of garlic and chili. I would have preferred a whole piece of salmon rather than pieces as small pieces tend to be fully cooked and I happen to prefer my salmon a little undercook for a soft and creamy texture. The pasta is served with a nice big piece of the house Charcoal bread grilled with garlic butter. This is nice and toasty with garlicky flavors…

Lamb Kofta De Coulis 22.80

Served with the same charcoal pasta, this one is smothered in a thick chunky tangy tomato sauce and topped with a grilled lamb kofta and lots of cheese. I really like the thick chunky sauce as it has a great depth of flavors. The cheese flavors is also pretty heavy here so if you are not a cheese fan, make sure to the staff to go easy on it. I love cheese so this is just lovely for me.

Dippy Lamb Stew

It’s a hearty stew with a cute name. House made bread, similar to a brioche, with side salad is served with the tomato based stew. Pieces of lamb are braised till tender among the usual medley of root vegetables. Something you would want on a rainy night. Priced at RM23.80.

Charco Nasi Lemak with Bumbu Chicken

A platter of Malaysian all-time favorites! Loving the fluffy ‘lemak’ pandan coconut rice served with a flame grilled chicken Maryland marinated Bumbu style and all its usual condiments of sambal, fried anchovies with peanuts, boiled egg, blanched kang kung and crispy crackers. The chicken gravy is redolent of spices and has a sweet and savory nutty taste. High points for the smoky aroma and the chicken was tender and so flavorful. The big platter comes with a price tag of RM20.80

Stir Fried Egg Noodle

This is decent, one gets a nice stir fried noodles with a good wok heat. It does have lots of shredded vegetables for a nice texture and is filled with seafood. I also spied some egg and it is flavored with a savory and lightly sweet sauce. I did add some chili for a good dose of heat to the noodle. Price RM15.80

Mee Mamak

Even before I arrived at Charco, rumor has it that Charco serves up one of the best Mee Mamak in town. Yes… it seems that the rumor is true… it was a very delectable bowl of mee goreng! Great wok heat flavor and the yellow noodles have been well cooked to be soft enough to absorb the spicy saucy Mamak flavor. Studded with seafood too, the noodles are fairly wet, making it really moist and flavorful. A hefty price tag of RM18.80 but I would order this simply because I like it.

Charco Signature Cheese Cake

We were told that only the very best was used in this cake and we can certainly taste the ultra-creamy and smooth soft baked cheese in this cake. Though it looks rather ordinary when served, once you have a taste, you will understand that this is really a very special cheese cake. Using a blend of soft cheeses, this one melts upon heat and turns silky and luscious on the taste bud. RM10.80 for an order.

Chocolate Flourless Cake

My advice on this one… be selfish and don’t share! Flourless with an intense cocoa sensation, this cake is so sexy. It’s rich and creamy, replicating a thick mousse texture. There is an option to add on a scoop of Haagen Daz ice cream and I say go for it. If you are going to indulge, you might as well go all the way for the pinnacle of ecstasy! For the cake alone, it’s RM10.80 while an order of the ice cream with the cake goes for RM16.80. Utterly decadent!!

Strawberry Chocolate Ganache Cake

By now, I have concluded that the desserts here are awesome. Though Charco only has four desserts, any one of the four will satisfy gourmet sweet tooth. Another great chocolate cake with a few layers, there is a nice strawberry flavor in the cake although one cannot see it. This dessert goes for RM11.80 per piece.

Opera Cake

Opera cake is famous for its various layers that meld beautifully in a bite. This one a good but I seemed to prefer the earlier three. Don’t get me wrong, no faults here but the earlier three was so outstanding. It is well made and has great flavors for the price tag of RM10.80.

Charco Restaurant Cafe is focus on serving wholesome bread and pasta among its Malaysian favorites and they do it well. The menu is tight enough to offer choices of what they do best without crowding it. Everything is made on the premises to ensure that the food is wholesome with quality ingredients hence the prices are on a higher end. On a personal note, drinks and desserts are simply the best here. It’s great for casual dining, especially if you are craving for wholesome flavors!

LG36, Empire Shopping Gallery
Jalan SS16/1,
Subang Jaya
47500 Selangor
Tel: 03-5612 5183

Business Hours: Mon to Sun   10am – 10pm


  1. Cooked using charcoal fire? Should be extra tasty especially the charco-grilled or barbecued stuff...

  2. I like the texture of their pasta, very springy~

  3. Gosh, charcoal noodles! I'm so gonna go crazy over this, i want this badly T.T

  4. The mee mamak looks tantalizing enough but rather heftily priced. Dippy Lamb Stew looks good, very comfort-food-like!

  5. I'm admiring the fat satay & Charco Nasi Lemak with Bumbu Chicken..also the cakes. hehe...
    Long time din go to Empire Shopping Gallery edi...

  6. I'd love to give that Charco Smile a taste.

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  8. i saw this when i was at Empire few weeks back, but didn't try this as it's pretty empty inside..

    but look at the food! so yummy! would like to have the satay and nasi lemak! the bumbu chicken is waving hallo at me :D

  9. the food is not up to standard n very xpensive.. waited for very long ... poor service...

  10. CHARCO at Empire already closed shop. Came and gone so fast!

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