It was a chance meeting with Alex, the boss of Star Chef Skudai restaurant 星名廚 in Taman Sri Skudai.
I was having a late lunch at the famous 822 Super King Duck at Taman Ungku Tun Aminah. Even though it was already 3:00pm, 822 restaurant was still full of customers. So, we did the usual thing in Johor, which was to share a table with a perfect stranger.
When our char siew and siew yok arrived, I started to do what Johor Kaki always does. I was totally absorbed in taking photos of the food and writing down notes about how it tasted.
All this while, Alex the "stranger" with whom we were sharing the table was observing our "odd" behaviour curiously.
When I finally paused and returned back to "reality", Alex introduced himself. We soon had a nice conversation about my blog and my vision about putting every good Johor hawker on the World Wide Web. Alex then shared that he is the owner of Star Chef Skudai restaurant 星名廚 in Taman Sri Skudai and invited us to visit.
As we were between appointments and so had a little bit of spare time, we accepted Alex's gracious invitation and was next at Star Chef Skudai restaurant.
At the well appointed, air conditioned Star Chef Skudai restaurant 星名廚, Alex invited us to try his Chief Chef Chia's signature pork ribs 镇江排骨.
We were hardly hungry as we just had excellent char siew and siew yok at 822 Super King Duck restaurant, yet we managed to polish off Star Chef Skudai's signature 镇江排骨 pork ribs easily :)
The ribs were an interesting blend of flavours and textures making it a memorable taste and bite experience.
The savoury and slightly sweet sauce enveloped a gently crispy, caramelised outer layer.
Sinking my teeth pass the crispy caramelised layer, revealed the moist, juicy and tender meat inside that was naturally sweet.
The friendly Chief Chef Chia kindly allowed me to photograph him in action.
Deep frying the specially marinated pork ribs in hot oil.
Chief Chef Chia tossing the deep fried pork ribs in a super hot wok to sear in the flavours and caramelise the outer layer.
Just across the road from Star Chef Skudai restaurant is Star Chef Skudai duck which was started more than 20 years ago by Alex's father. Alex offered us some of his braised duck which we initially declined as we were totally stuffed - we had been "find" dining in JB since the morning :)
But with our appetites whetted by Star Chef Skudai's delicious signature pork ribs, we reluctantly picked up the thin slices of braised duck. Well, we couldn't stop after that until the whole plate of braised duck was gone :) After the first bite, we somehow found space in our stomachs for the braised duck :P
We were struck by the tenderness of the braised duck slices and the delicateness of the herbal braising sauce.
The tender duck also had that subtle, distinctive gamey flavour of fresh duck meat. When I asked Alex how to get duck meat so tender and flavourful, he shared that Star Chef Skudai uses only live ducks.
The braised duck came with this special chili sauce which was tangy, and only slightly spicy hot and sweet. The chili sauce complemented and enhanced the taste of Star Chef Skudai's duck meat very well.
Our stomachs filled, we bid the friendly Wee family good bye and went on to our next stop in "find" dining in Johor.
Star Chef Skudai 星名廚 restaurant has many other interesting dishes which I will be coming back for :)
Restaurant name: Star Chef Skudai 星名廚
Address: 1, Jalan Emas Putih 4, Taman Sri Skudai, Johor Bahru
Hours: 10:30am to 2:30pm and 5:30am to 10:30pm (Closed on Thursday)
Date visited: 10 Sep 2012
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