Saturday, 10 October 2015
Roast Paradise Char Siew Old Airport Road Food Centre Singapore JK1263 烧味天堂
When I bumped into my friend Andrew in Johor Bahru, he enthused about Roast Paradise at Old Airport Road Food Centre, his new found favourite char siew stall in Singapore. Andrew said Roast Paradise serves Kuala Lumpur style char siew. Having been a fan of KL style roasts after living there for several years, I was really excited to check out Roast Paradise.
Roast Paradise is the baby of buddies Kai (left) and Randall. I said "baby" because Roast Paradise just opened two months ago.
Kai and Randall who used to work together at an events company, went to apprentice for four months at one of KL's top roast shops, Famous Seremban Favourites. (Despite it's name, FSF is in Petaling Jaya not Seremban.)
Kai let me take a peek into the red hot roaster - well marinated strips of pork loin roasting over charcoal fire, dripping sticky juices.
Not very photogenic but char siew enthusiasts salivate - knowing exactly what this means. Translucent fat, deeply marinated meat, caramelised crispy outside with charred edges, sticky grease and syrupy juice dribbling down in slow motion.
Buay tahan lah (in English means "oh lord, I cannot resist").
First, we had a bowl of Hakka noodles - something I am seeing in Singapore for the first time. Made with mee pok instead of mee kia (the usual style in Seremban) or lo shi fan (KL style), this is a very competent bowl of Hakka mee. The flat egg noodles were cooked soft al dente while the minced pork and pork sauce were mildly savoury and aromatic with gentle porcine flavours. This Hakka mee pok is Roast Paradise's answer to Singapore's iconic mee pok. With a few tweaks like bumping up the savoury intensity a notch, this could well be the next mee pok craze ;-p
But, good though the noodles or minced pork may be.... it was overshadowed by the char siew, the char siew.
In the past, I often joked that the best KL wanton noodles are just excuses for their awesome char siew. So, I think this good Hakka mee pok here is just an excuse for Roast Paradise's brilliant char siew :-D
We were supposed to tabao (take away) this char siew (SGD44 per kilo) to eat later at home.
But, one bite followed another and before we knew it, they were all gone while we were still at the hawker centre :-D The char siew chopped in the bold, thick KL style was slightly crispy outside while moist and tender inside. The flavour reminded me of bak kwa (pork jerky), sweet savoury but with way better texture.
The char siew came with a dish of chili sauce and a savoury dipping sauce. Dip tasted them. They are ok but I like to eat my char siew neat :-D
This char siew is highly addictive like candy. Kudos to Kai and Randall - two months into the business and achieved this standard. Keep up the great work, keep improving and stay grounded :-D
Andrew, Randall said you buy his char siew by the kilos.... 了解...... 了解...... understand, understand.
I'll be back for these too. Very soon. And, often.
Restaurant name: Roast Paradise 烧味天堂
Address: Stall #01-122, Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore
GPS: 1.308052, 103.886070
Hours: 11:00am to 4:00pm or till sold out, usually 2:00pm (closed on Monday)
Tel: 97867396 / 91891017
Date visited: 10 Oct 2015
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