Charsiew. The stuff of some of our culinary dreams. Most charsiew shops also sell other roast meats, most typically roast pork, roast duck and sometimes roast chicken. But this new little store tucked in Old Airport Road Food Centre is special. It only roasts charsiew. Only charsiew. With rice, with noodles, or on its own. One must really admire the dedication to fully specialize.
The shop is rather new, and the hawkers are young, fresh, and educated. They have a Facebook page with frequent updates and they answer FB comments promptly. They exude passion for their cooking, and the specialization to only offer char siew is admirable. Interestingly the signboard says "since 1970". Possibly inherited the business? I will ask them the next time what's up with that. Surely the chaps who man the shop are too young to be even born in 1970.
The charsiew they offer is the KL style variety...black, sweet, caramalized, crisp burnt edges. The meat is marinaded and roasted in-situ. The stall is supposed to be open from 10:30 to 4pm. But frequently it is sold out by 1pm, most days even earlier. Perhaps they need to do their roast planning better, so as to maximize the availability. I arrived at 11am, a good time. No queue, and the meat still warm from the rest after roasting.
The charsiew is reminiscent of the Oversea one which I waxed lyrical over, but has since disappeared from Singapore. It is fat-ish, but not too fat. Just the right amount of fat for a full flavour. The meat is very tender, and excellent mouth feel.
And it is crisp on the edges, slightly burnt at the ends. Superb. The umami is wonderful. Served with garlic flavoured rice. This was the upsized $4.50 portion. A regular portion is only $3.50. They also offer a premium charsiew which I did not try. I was told it is made from fatter pork, and more flavour.
The charsiew is probably the best I have tasted for a long time. And will be my new reference standard. Highly recommended.
01-122 Old Airport Road Food Centre