Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore active senior travel & lifestyle diary. Food posts are gifts to hawkers

Fatty Cheong @ ABC Market ๐Ÿท Bu Jian Tian Char Siew Noodle with Butcher's Secret Cut

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In Singapore, Fatty Cheong at ABC Market is synonymous with "bu jian tian" ไธ่งๅคฉ char siew to go with their egg noodles or plain rice. They were the pioneers that make char siew with this cut of pork popular with Singaporeans

Stall name: Fatty Cheong ่‚ฅไป”่ฏฆ็ƒง่…Šไบ‘ๅž้ข


Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-120, Singapore 150006, ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre


Hours: 11:30am - 8:00pm (Thurs off)



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Fatty Cheong has two stalls at ABC Market - all the roasts are prepared at stall #01-120. Here they serve roast duck, roast pork belly, and "bu jian tian" char siew with either rice or egg noodles.


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They have another Fatty Cheong outlet at the same food centre at stall #01-52 that serve egg noodles with various toppings like fried chicken cutlet, curry chicken, etc., and also their famous "bu jian tian" char siew.


Pro-tip: If you only want Fatty Cheong's "bu jian tian" with noodles, then get it here to avoid the queue at stall #01-120. It is the same char siew - I saw them carry the freshly roasted char siew from stall #01-120 to stall #01-52 ๐Ÿ˜‰


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Five dollars got me a generous heap of thick char siew haphazardly piled on a mound of egg noodles sitting in a pool of dark sauce. There were some token greens (choy sum) and a dollop of sambal chili (optional, free of charge but need to ask). Then, there's that obligatory, token bowl of soup.


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I am here for my fix of Fatty Cheong's famed "bu jian tian" char siew.


You know..., I never like the term "bu jian tian" or literally "never see the sky or light". You know.., if you are the imaginative think too much type ๐Ÿค” This cut is also often referred to as "armpit" which sounds even more unappetising.


In Hong Kong, they called it "fei kei yok ้ฃžๆœบ่‚‰" or "aeroplane meat" which isn't much better in whetting my appetite either.


The Spanish call it "secreto" or butcher's secret cut. Yeah, it's where the "armpit" is. But, "butcher's secret cut" does sound more tantalisingly delicious, don't you agree?


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Unlike pork belly which is also a good cut for char siew, the distribution of fat and lean meat in "aeroplane meat" is rather uneven due to the "odd" shape of the cut.

The fat is soft, creamy and juicy while the lean meat is tender and squeaky to the bite, with the caramelised outside layer a little chewy like jerky. The variations of texture in every bite is one of the things that make "aeroplane meat" interesting.


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Fatty Cheong is relatively light handed in seasoning and marinade, so the mild sweet savoury flavours do not completely mask the pork's natural flavours. I like it that I can taste the natural taste of pork underlying the char siew, when I pay attention to it.

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They gave me a piece of ๅ‰็ƒงๅคด or char siew head - the bottom part of the strip of hanging meat nearest to the flame in the charcoal oven and where the dripping seasoning / marinade collect like sooty savoury honey. The sweet savoury flavours are most intense here and there is also a charred taste. It's leathery and chewy to the bite.

Precious to those who appreciate it, but just burnt ends to those who don't. 


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The noodles come in a pool of dark sauce and oil with savoury sweet flavours complementing the char siew's sweet savoury taste.

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The light springy crunchy noodles were tasty as they were well coated with the savoury sweet sauce.

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If you find the sweet-savoury, savoury-sweet blend a bit monotonous, you can spice things up with their savoury sweet spicy hot sambal chili sauce. I like it that they have fried whitebait in their chili sauce for that umami and crispy bite.


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Over the years, a few other "bu jian tian" chiew siew wanton mee have come up in the Singapore hawker scene. Fatty Cheong's rendition is still among my favourites.

Other "bu jian tian" wanton mee you might want to try out: 


Chong Yu Yuan Wei @ Tiong Bahru Food Centre ๐Ÿ‘ˆ click


Weng Kang Ji @ Golden Mile Food Centre ๐Ÿ‘ˆ click


Fei Fei @ Yuhua Village Food Centre ๐Ÿ‘ˆ click


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Over at Petaling Jaya near Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), there's a wonderful char siew place called Famous Seremban Favourites.

The boss who is quite friendly wouldn't tell us what cut of pork he uses. So it remains a "Secreto" - the "butcher's secret cut".


Read more about the legendary char siew of Famous Seremban Favourites ๐Ÿ‘ˆ click


Written by Tony Boey on 14 Apr 2021

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