Most Hong Kong roast enthusiasts in Singapore would know that Jiale (H.K.) Roasted Food stall had been ruling the roast meat roost at Marina South, Marina Square and MBS Rasapura for the past decade. Weeks ago, Jiale moved out of upmarket MBS Rasapura and moved into a heartland coffee shop along Upper Aljunid Road. This is good news to me as now more people have a chance to taste Jiale's famous fine roasts.
Mr Charles Tan, the Chef-owner of Jia Le is a roast meat veteran for over 3 decades. Jiale's roasts are in the distinct Hong Kong style as Charles apprenticed under HK masters for several years. All of Jiale's roasts are grilled with charcoal fire.
We visited Jiale in a group of 12 so we have a chance to sample more of their food ;-D
A little slab of Japanese kurobuta (Berkshire boar) char siew 日本黒猪叉烧 on the display shelf.
Jiale occasionally offers Japanese kurobuta char siew rice at SGD8 a serving. Charles uses Japanese kurobuta which is prized for it's streaky marbling and more flavourful meat and fats. Charles also accepts special orders for Japanese kurobuta char siew. Just call him at +65 9765 3779 to arrange.
The flavourful kurobuta char siew was indeed tasty. More tender, more juicy and richer in flavour than regular char siew. But, it costs 3 times more.
Jiale's regular char siew 招牌肥婆叉烧 is actually good enough for me as compared with the premium kurobuta ;-p Reason is Jiale uses jowl meat around the neck/ collar (colloquially known in Cantonese as 肥婆 or the "fat lady") which is tender and well lined with fat.
With the fat lady, I am happy enough. The fat lady was soft and succulent. The savoury sweet flavour was robust and intense on the surface and also in the juicy fibres (though milder). Compared to the kurobuta, the fat lady char siew relied more on the savoury sweet marinate for flavours. The charred and drier bits around the fat lady's edges tasted like bak kwa 肉干 (pork jerky).
The siew yok 黄金烧肉 (crispy roast pork belly) suited my taste buds as Charles was more light handed with the seasoning than most Hong Kong roasts places in Singapore.
The golden brown skin was crackling though I wished it was thicker and closer to puffy rice crackers in texture.
The 菜园贵妃鸡 Free Range Imperial Concubine Chicken is one of the memorable dishes at Jiale.
The chicken was poached in a broth of dried scallops, herbs and Chinese wines etc (instead of just plain water). The smooth chicken flesh was tender but still had a soft chewy bite. A translucent jelly layer of fat was sandwiched between the smooth skin and juicy meat. The flesh was infused with a slight savoury and herbal flavour which did not overpower the natural "chickeny" taste (which I like). There was also a subtle floral flavour and aroma from the Chinese rose wine 玫瑰露.
Served at room temperature and without sauce, we can really appreciate the free range chicken's natural flavours. 菜园贵妃鸡 is a Must Order at Jiale.
Jiale's roast duck.
The glistening reddish maroon duck skin floated off the flesh like a loose coat.
With every bite, the thin crispy skin released lovely savoury sweet juices with slight ducky (gamey) flavour. The meat was tender and succulent with deeply infused savouriness balanced with the duck's natural sweetness and gaminess.
A duck lovers' favourite. I love this.
Jiale also serves roast suckling pig, though I didn't try this. Next time :-D
12 of us shared the bill which came to SGD9 per person (SGD110 for all the food).
I feel Jiale is a welcoming place with a Master roast chef in the house, where families can gather regularly to enjoy quality roasts and chicken at reasonable prices.
Look out for Teck Huat Eating House - Jiele is inside.
Credit: Screen grab from Google Map
Restaurant name: Jiale (H.K.) Roasted Food 嘉乐(香港)烧腊 (inside Teck Huat Eating House)
GPS: 1.332885, 103.878774
Hours: 10:30am to 9:00pm daily
Tel: +65 9765 3779 (Charles Tan)
Date visited: 20 May 2015
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