Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Best Singapore Roast Meat List. Mei Mei Roast Duck 妹妹李记烧腊

It happens... you know, after trying a few stalls we found nothing very inspiring while stomach space hit ¾ full. We needed something to save the day. While nursing his kopi O siew tai pok, Seetoh suggested swinging over to Ubi Road 1, to Kay Lee Roast Meat's former roast chef's kopitiam stall. (Kay Lee Roast Meat was the legendary roasts shop sold to Aztech Group for S$4 million in 2014 - every Singapore foodie knows this story.)

We came to this corner coffee shop in a flatted factory in Ubi Road 1 in the lull of the late afternoon. Most of the shops here are car workshops, so many of the customers here are vehicle mechanics. A hearty, meaty lunch of traditional Cantonese roasts with rice, deliciously powers many of the working folks here.

The dingy little roasts stall was tucked away in a corner but even at this quiet hour near closing time, there was a steady stream of people who know their roasts, finding their way to this humble little stall.

When Seetoh said Kay Lee Roast Meat's former roast chef, I was expecting to meet a middle aged gentleman with a grease splattered apron. It turned out that Kay Lee Roast Meat's former roast chef is a petite friendly lady in a purplish pink spotless apron 😄

Ms Lee Kui In 李溎茵 came to Singapore from Kluang in Johor, Malaysia when she was 16 years old. She started work in a horticultural nursery at Thomson Road. She then joined Kay Lee Roast Meat in her early 20s, staying with Kay Lee till 2005 to set up her own roasts stall. Ms Lee must be the only lady traditional Cantonese roast chef in Singapore - the type who works with charcoal fire and Apollo oven (a tandoor).

Ms Lee is known by her nickname 妹妹 Mei Mei which means "little sister". Hence, Ms Lee's stall is named Mei Mei Roast. Her youthful looks belies her two decades of roasting experience at Kay Lee Roast Meat and 10 years on her own. Didn't dare to ask Mei Mei her age but she did mention that she "collected CPF" already 😄

Now to Mei Mei's traditional charcoal roasts. As usual, we went for the fatty cut char siew 半肥瘦.

Mei Mei's char siew was excellent - it goes straight to my top of the mind list of best char siew in Singapore.

The meat was juicy tender and the fat was like a slice of sweet juicy pear (but smoother). Chewing the meat and fat together produced a gently squeaky mouth feel. Every bite released sweetness from the meat and fat juices which combined deliciously with the savoury sweet toasty flavours from the charred, glazed outside.

Mei Mei's char siew had just the right level of marinade sweetness that complemented the fresh pork's subtle natural sweetness. It was not cloyingly sweet like the Kay Lee Roast Meat franchise stalls of today.

Mei Mei's charcoal roasted duck was excellent too.

The meat was tender and so... juicy with moderately savoury sweet juices. The golden brown skin was crisp and had a nice savoury taste layered with a bit of toastiness.

While you are here, get also Mei Mei's duck soup with salted Chinese mustard (this was Seetoh's takeaway).

Mei Mei is a master of flavours - the savouriness was gentle and it was well layered with a bit of sweetness. This was one the best duck soup with salted vegetables that I have tasted.

4-Star (out of 5). It was a great day. Mei Mei Roast was definitely worth a trip to Ubi Road 1 for her excellent char siew and roast duck. It's the nearest thing to the legendary old Kay Lee Roast taste you can get today.

Mei Mei sells char siew at S$46 per kilo and roast duck at S$50 a bird.

Restaurant nameMei Mei Roast 妹妹李记烧腊 
AddressBLK 3014, Ubi Road 1, #01-308, Singapore
GPS1°19'50.6"N 103°53'39.8"E | 1.330723, 103.894382
Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Ubi station (Downtown Line)
Tel9820 8391
Hours: 11:00am - 5:00pm (closed at 3pm on Sat & Sun)

Non Halal

Date visited: 20 Jun 2018

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  1. now you know my lil hidden gem in this god forsaken corner of singapore..seetoh


I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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