There is very little that is edible that I won’t put into my mouth at least once. If I dislike it (kimchi) I won’t eat it again, at least until I forget my antipathy towards it. But if I like it, I can be an appalling creature of habit and I will patiently unearth every possible specimen of its kind to ascertain that I have found the best that’s out there, or die trying with a ring of grease around my laughing gear.
Char siew is one of those things. Like blue jeans, they may ostensibly look the same but any aficionado will quickly tell you otherwise. I have unearthed some pretty fine specimens in my decade or so of international char siew research (but that’s another story) and I can safely say that Meng Kee’s honey-glazed char siew is one of my current favourites.
Having served out of a dilapidated terrace house in Tong Shin for the past few decades, the proprietors of pork were recently forced to relocate, but as any smart entrepreneur knows, location is everything, so they decamped to Alor, almost directly behind their erstwhile address.
If you are looking for variety, Meng Kee isn’t for you. It’s all about the char siew here (although the chicken is above average, and the vegetables cooked perfectly al dente). The only difference is whether you want the heart-attack version (the crunchy glaze yields a creamy fat-filled interior that insinuates itself in your mouth with alarming intensity), the half-fat (for the fence sitters, natch) or the slimline version (intensely sweet and crunchy with lean meat inside).
Each version has its own merits and you’ll have to return at least 20 times before you can make up your mind. There are just three things you must remember: go hungry, go early, and go dressed in forgiving clothing.
As featured in Time Out KL's 101 things to do in KL
Meng Kee was shortlisted in the Best Malaysian Restaurant category of the Time Out KL Food Awards 2012. Our food awards are 100% voted for by the people of KL. This way, we guarantee that popularity and consistent performance is rewarded.