If you’re into Southeast Asian comfort food found at hawker centers and night markets in places like Singapore and Malaysia, but not so much into 20-hour flights, head to Chard. This small spot near Union Square from the Laut team has some seating at a narrow counter with a couple of stools—but we mostly like to come here for takeout when it’s a Tuesday and cooking is out of the question.

Nothing on the menu costs over $15, and the Api Api Burger is an essential order. That burger is actually a spicy fried chicken sandwich with pickled papaya and carrots, and it has a ton of heat. We also like the soy-braised noodles with roast pork and wontons, but no matter what you order, get the fries dusted with a terrific lime seasoning as a side. As you wait for your food, you’ll see people walk in and disappear behind an unmarked door like they’re on their way to Narnia. Don’t mind them—they’re just heading up to Singlish, Chard’s upstairs bar.

Food Rundown

Chard review image

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Api Api Burger

The name may throw you off, but this fried chicken thigh sandwich is absolutely worth ordering. The more bites you take, the more the heat level builds. Literal sweating happens every time we get this thing, but we still can’t stop eating it. Pro tip: Throw the shrimp chips that come on the side in your oven for a few minutes.

Singlish Fries

These thick-cut fries come sprinkled with a slightly spicy and tangy powder that’s reminiscent of the seasoning used for zaab chicken wings at some Thai restaurants. Although good on their own, the fries are even better when you dip them in the sweet aioli made with salted eggs.

Chard review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Wonton Mee

When we need some carbs, we love to get these stir-fried, soy-braised noodles with steamed wontons, roast pork, and sambal. If you pour the cup of white pepper broth that comes on the side into your bowl, you can turn this dish into a noodle soup.

Chard review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Roti John (Lost In Translation)

You’ll taste a mix of strong flavors in this open-faced sandwich. It comes with minced curry beef, an omelet layer, drizzled sweet chili sauce, Kewpie mayo, and crispy fried onions—all on top of a pressed burger bun. After a few beers, this is the first thing we want to order.

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