Charisma D'Venue is a Halal semi-fine dining restaurant offering a unique gastronomic experience blending local South East Asia cuisine with western technique at an affordable price. Chef Fauzie is the Chef in charge of the innovative menu, with the ever popular Charisma Biryani (or Briyani)
Located opposite Kwan Im Temple in Joo Chiat, this place can be very catchy in the evening. The restaurant decided to use purple lighting and you can spot this place from far away. The decoration is simple, yet modern and sophiscated. Once you enter the restaurant, you can see at the end there is chairs displayed for Malay wedding function. Oh ya, did I mention that Charisma D'Venue can also cater to your special events, such as wedding.
As catchy as the purple lighting is, it is the bane for photographer. It made the colour of my photos out of whack. In respect to other people dining in the restaurant, I always try to limit the use of flash as much as possible. Therefore, my apologies if the picture looks weird.
Since Biryani is the most popular this in this place, we ordered their famous Biryani Lamb Shank ($18.80). The generous size of lamb shank is well braised, tender and fall of the bone. The gravy is excellent, robust, rich in flavour and goes well with the rice. The rice is flavourful and al dente, without the overpowering spices that you normally find in Indian Biryani. The mango chutney is a good counter balance for the richness of lamb shank. Although the dish is served with dalcha, we find that is just not necessary. The gravy from the braised lamb is enough to bind the rice and the meat. Yummy!!
|Biryani Lamb Shank
Another winner here is Charisma Calamari ($6.80). The fried calamari is crispy on the outside, and it is tender and juicy inside. The curried seasoning on the batter gave a distinct touch to the dish. The salad on the sides is fresh with a nice mango dressing. The yoghurt mint dipping sauce is unique, kind of Greek style, but if it is not that watery, the yoghurt sauce will complement it better.
While the above two dishes are a winner, the two other dishes that we tried can be improve. Pan Fried Seabass ($16.80) – served with baked potato, mango chutney in mango puree sauce. Firstly they did a good job with the skin, it is crispy, however when they put the mango chutney on top, it just messed up the whole thing. Some part of the skin became soggy, the onion in the chutney is too overpowering for a fish dish. It will be better to substitute the chutney with other vegetables, use more subtle sauce and don't put anything on top of that beautiful crispy fish skin.
|Pan Fried Seabass
Charisma Grilled Chicken Wing ($7.90) – served with peanut sauce. Good concept, however failed in execution. Although the chicken wings are well seasoned, The wings and peanut sauce were burnt. When we gave feedback to the management, they made a new one for us to bring back. I applaud their service orientated commitment. During our dinner, the service has been good and efficient.
|Charisma Grilled Chicken Wing
While the food can have its up and down, the mocktails here is a must tried. With the price ranging from $3 to $8.50 depending on ingredients, it sure is refreshing and flavourful. We tried Sunrise, Nojito (non alcoholic version of Mojito) and avocado smoothie. All get our thumbs up. Kudos to the mixologist.
|Mixologist At Work
Overall, Charisma D'Venue delivered on their promise on affordable price fusion food. With the combination of some winner dish and mocktails, this is a destination for everybody, especially our Muslim friends.
Voucher Give Away:
Our dinner here is partly subsidised by using the voucher provided to us. Chubbybotakkoala.com is giving away 4 vouchers to 4 readers, each value at $25 (to be used by 31st October 2013). If you want this voucher, just leave a simple comment below this review. Winner will be announced on Saturday, 14 September 2013. Organiser's decision is final.
Food & Drink: 7/10 (Biryani & Mocktails 8.5/10)