Makan buddy Benny today brought me to eat at his favourite Hong Kong or Cantonese roasts 烧腊 stall in Singapore. Benny has been a loyal customer of Xiang Ji Roast Chicken Rice & Noodles 香记烧腊鸡饭麵 in Bukit Batok for nearly 10 years.
There is always a queue at the little stall which is one of Bukit Batok's best kept secrets.
I managed to steal a moment from the busy boss.
Mr. Koh has been roasting meats for over forty years, starting as an apprentice in Singapore's Chinatown. Mr. Koh and wife have been running this popular stall in Bukit Batok for more than 10 years.
At Xiang Ji, things are still done the same, good old way as this big bag of charcoal and the well used roaster attest. Mr. Koh's wife and son Mervyn run the stall together with Mr. Koh as one family.
Benny ordered a mixed platter with sampling portions of roast duck, roast pork ribs, and siew yok (sio bak).
The roast duck 烧鸭 skin was roasted to a nice paper thin, golden crisp.
The meat was tender, moist and mildly flavoured, so it is good news for people who like lighter and less gamey flavours. Personally, I like my duck to have the taste of ......., distinct duck gaminess ;-D
The roast ribs 排骨.
The roasted ribs had nice charred edges. The tender, well marinated meat was quite sweet with a nice caramelised, charred smokey flavour.
I enjoyed chewing on that cartilage when I was younger and my teeth stronger.... woof woof ;-D
The big winner here for me is the siew yok 烧肉 (sio bak).
The crackly skin was roasted to a golden brown. The skin was not too thick and it was brittly crispy. The fat and the meat were tender, succulent and had a very mild porcine flavour which I liked.
After noticing the ropes of roast sausages hanging in the window, we decided to go for a second round even though we were already stuffed. Lup cheong 臘腸 (Cantonese style sausage) is seldom seen in roast stalls in Singapore. Since we were at it, we also threw in some char siew as well ;-D
Mildly savoury, moist and not overly salty. Nice to go with rice, if you are a lup cheong person ;-D
The char siew 叉烧 was tender and well marinated. The ratio of fat was a little less than my personal preference but would appeal to people who like less fat in their char siew. Flavour wise, this char siew was sweet savoury.
Benny threw in a large bowl of sui kau (shrimp dumpling) soup for good measure.
The large sui kau were stuffed with soft minced pork and shrimps.
I liked the taste and syrupy texture of Xiang Ji's brown source so much that I was basically drinking it by the spoonfuls. Slurping loudly. The savoury sweet brown sauce had a lovely smoky taste as it was blended with char siew drippings.
The chicken rice had nice garlic and chicken flavour but was a touch too moist and soft for my liking.
Clean tasting sambal chili with hae bee (dried shrimps).
Xiang Ji's roasts in BB289 kopitiam is one of Bukit Batok's best kept secrets which residents around it had quietly enjoyed for a decade ;-p
Xiang Ji is located in Bukit Batok's peaceful Nature View precinct and is just next to the Blk 289H multi storey car park, so parking is ample though the lower floors (1 - 3) are reserved for residents.
Thank you Buddy Benny for the lunch treat. Not sure how much this meal cost but Benny did said it was reasonably priced
Next time, we shall try Xiang Ji's roast and poached chicken, and wanton mee.
Restaurant name: Xiang Ji Roast Chicken Rice. Noodles 香记烧腊鸡饭麵
Address: BB 289 Food House, Block 289H, Bukit Batok Street 25, Singapore
GPS: 1.344372, 103.760370 | 1°20'39.7"N 103°45'37.3"E
Hours: 8:30am to 3:30pm
Date visited: 1 Mar 2015
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