Kaylee roast pork is a name synonymous to good food hunters in Singapore. This shop located at 125 Upper Paya Lebar Road is no one stranger to the Singaporean food scene. Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint offers a variety of roast meats including their famous Char Siew (Roast pork) and Sio Bak (Roast Duck). They are popular for their well-marbled Char Siew with its unique outer red dye glazed with Caramelised Honey and Smoked to crispy perfection.
The store opens from Wednesday to Mondays from 10:00am – 7:00pm (Closed on Tues). Run by owner Madam Betty Kong, 68, you will always be able to catch her behind the stands busy manning the chopping board, chopping the meats with the dexterity of an iron chef. She is jovial in nature when you get to know her.
But one could not help noticing her tiredness and commitment to serve the seemingly endless queues running outside the store easily from 11am. They sell out by 4pm. So if you are looking for a meal be prepared to be able to grab food only around lunch time after a 40min wait on average.
The store started around 1970s in “Gong Seak Gai” (China Town) as a small stall known as Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint in Wantat Eating House, a coffee shop during its time. It is largely known for its “ZhuJiang” Style Roasts originating from China “Guang Zhou”. The recipe secrets involve the marinate comprising of 11 types of Herbs and Spices to the selection of the pork best suited to go with the recipe.
A one-person dish will set you back under $6 per plate; it is sinfully good if you happen to like the type of Duck and Char Siew they serve. It is well roasted, sweetish and marbled with fat and said to be the best Char Siew in Singapore.
The roast duck is pretty dry but well crisped on the outside and goes perfectly well with the dark sauce. A recommended meal will include the signature Char Siew for each person and a platter of roast duck to share, setting you back around $20-30 for a 2-3 persons including drinks, not exactly cheap hawker food either.
I am wary on how the food standard will be like after their acquisition by the Aztech group for a neat sum of S$4M.
Upon their acquisition, the Kaylee brand is expected to be expanded Suntec City Mall, Ubi and West Coast. The store now opens daily, 10:30am to 8:30pm and run as a franchise with an increase of prices, all dishes now starts from $12 for a basic plate of Char Siew rice.