Camp Kilo Charcoal Club has been on my to-eat list for some time now. I'm a sucker for anything barbecued, and unfortunately, the Hubs isn't a fan of sweating up a storm by a hot grill, flaming his own food. I just could never make it down for its weekend-only opening times, preferring to veg out pantless at home. Also, I was put-off by its somewhat tucked-away location at Kampong Bugis. Which, for the record, isn't in Bugis; it's somewhere in Lavender adjacent to the Kallang River.
Walking in the bustling courtyard, we were immediately struck by how painfully hipster the crowd was. So painful in fact, you could actually wear your sunnies throughout your meal, past nightfall, and not actually look out of place. Camp Kilo is, from what I can ascertain, designed as a sort of backyard bbq party, but its breeziness was so contrived, so pretentious, so exhausting, that urghh, it was excruciating.
We hated the vibe so much we actually half-hoped the tantalising smells wafting out of the open-kitchen wouldn't translate to deliciousness. But, the food turned out freaking awesome. Like brave-the-annoying-crowd-to-return-for-the-food awesome.
It's free-seating and semi-self-serviced at Camp Kilo. You order your food at the counter, make payment, and the food is sent out to u by the waitstaff, kept lean by the partial self-serviced concept.
The star of Camp Kilo, and an absolute cannot-miss, was the Boneless Lechon ($12), a Filipino roasted pork dish that's beginning to feel the love amongst the local palate. The skin, thick and crunchy was set off against the luscious salty tang of the meat. Insanely good, this one; the Half Jerk Chicken ($10) was a smidge dry at the breast but passed muster; the Grilled Prawns ($18) were sweet and fleshy, but a pain to peel; Another highlight was the sides of Chipotle Corn Furikake ($10), creamy with jalapeno butter and chipotle mayo; and Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts ($14) jazzed up with a tamarind dressing, Japanese rice puffs and scallions. Seriously fantastic, we doggy-bagged seconds of these home.
Camp Kilo Charcoal Club
66 Kampong Bugis #01-01
Tel: 9830 5262
Open Fridays from 5.30pm to 11pm;
Saturdays to Sundays from 11am to 11pm