p Picks and Pecks: review: pudu siew yuk

Sunday, November 3, 2013

review: pudu siew yuk

address: 30, Jalan Nyonya, off Jalan Pudu
tel: +603 2145 2512
hours: 12:30pm - 3pm (Monday to Saturday)

I have to admit that I had never been to Wong Kee before 2013. What rock have I been under, you ask!? After all, CNN Travel listed it as #13 in their list of top 20 restaurants in KL in 2012! Based on this, I have the sneaky feeling that a lot of tourists have probably been here before I even poked my nose into this coffee shop... but then again, I usually buy most of my roast pork from the market, so that I can pick at pieces of crispy skin as I sort through my usual Sunday market flotsam and jetsam.

Wong Kee is located in the shadows of Berjaya Times Square. If I did not have a guide, I doubt I would have found this nondescript coffeeshop. The day was terribly warm - it was the height of the haze season in KL, but that was part of the reason why we braved the noonday sun to get here - we were hoping to avoid the reported crowds!

We arrived promptly at 12, having been warned that customers start to queue and book tables early despite the store owner only lifting his cleaver to chop the siew yuk at 12:30pm. Happily, there wasn't a huge crowd - apparently fear of smog does deter some KLites from food! Not this guy though - he seemed pretty determined to get his siew yuk, no matter what the cost!

The operation here is partially self-service - you have to help yourself to bowls of soup, while waiting for the ladies to come around and take your drink orders. 

I felt that the soup was rather underwhelming. I love soup, even on hot days and I found it to be rather bland, with meager pieces of veggies and bones for soup stock. We had ordered both roast chicken and siew yuk for lunch,
and the chicken arrived first. I didn't think the chicken was anything special - at least the white meat was still juicy enough, and not stringy and dry.

But the pork... oh, the pork! It came last and I was already quite hungry and I thought that it had a great balance of fat and meat. You can see at least two layers of fat in the picture, and the meat itself had a bit of fat marbling throughout, ensuring that it was juicy and tender. The skin was so crispy that I could hear the echoes of it crackling as I bit into it - something that is only successful if there is enough fat on the ribs.

Would I come back again? Yes, I would - haze or no haze. I would only pay lip service to the chicken though. I think the only reason people order it is because the sign above the stall said "chicken rice" so maybe some customers feel that something is missing if there isn't any poultry on the plate. I have no such qualms though!

address: 30, Jalan Nyonya, off Jalan Pudu
tel: +603 2145 2512
hours: 12:30pm - 3pm (Monday to Saturday)