A toast to roast
Cantonese-style meats roasted over wood and charcoal
Place your order in Cantonese and you'll get a hearty response in true Canto-operatic tones.
"Poon fei sao, ho ma (Pork collar meat, okay)?" or "Kum yat lei ho leng zai (You are so handsome today)."
The latter may make you fall for the upsell items like the stewed eggs and tofu.
Owner Madam Lee Kui In, 53, was a roaster at Kay Lee back in the 90s. She was there for more than a decade before setting up her own stall with her husband a little over 10 years ago.
Asked if her fare is the real deal, Madam Lee tells me a little secret.
"Now that my ka jie (big sister) has retired and sold her business, I will tell you this: they used an electric oven to roast their meats," she says, adding that it's a practical decision as they had to control temperatures.
Madam Lee then shows me the wood-and-charcoal oven she uses.
She says: " I also make the meats less sweet and sticky."
Indeed, in this corner food court stall that looks like an industrial coffee shop in Malaysia, she stays true to the old style of Cantonese roast meats.
Her regulars are mainly Singaporean and Malaysian mechanics who toil in the machine shops nearby.
The duck comes with a roasted and crispy enough skin and the meats have just enough marinade to contain most of the gaminess.
The roast pork, which many grade by the crispy crackling, is done very old school hawker style - they scrape the hard and black parts off the crackling after roasting it, so a thin and very crispy crunchy layer remains to hold the moist fatty pork under it.
It is all so agreeable with rice, along with their thick meat dripping and hoisin sauce dip.
They also offer a braised duck to cater to requests but it is not the main show.
I also like the herb soy stewed eggs and tofu (not just because I fell for that "handsome" line of theirs).
If you can, chat and joke with them in Cantonese, I think an extra few slices of char siew may just sit with your order.
Mei Mei Roast Meat
1st stop food Junction, Block 3014, Ubi road 1, #01-308, singapore 408702
- 10am to 5pm, Monday to saturday
- 10am to 3pm, sundays and public holidays
Makansutra, founded by kf seetoh, is a company that celebrates asian food culture and lifestyle. It publishes food guides in and around the region, produces a food series, develops interactive mobile content and services, operates foodcourts and eateries, organises food tours and events, and consults on culinary concepts.