Jia Le Roasted Food – Affordable Iberico Char Siew in Hawker Centre!
Our Tampines Hub is home to a plethora of different hawker stalls. Selling unique items like potato noodles and sushi popiah, it is no surprise that a stall selling Iberico char siew has popped up too!
Jia Le Roasted Food is owned by Chef Charles, who was born and honed his cooking skills in Hong Kong. Upon arriving in Singapore, he decided to set up a stall selling Cantonese roasts. Having opened and closed a few stalls in various areas around Singapore, Jia Le Roasted Food has finally found a home at Our Tampines Hub hawker centre. In fact, there are plans to further expand the stall and open even more outlets.
We were excited to see Iberico char siew and suckling pig on the menu when we headed to Our Tampines Hub one weekday. Unfortunately, we were informed upon arrival that Jia Le Roasted Food only serves their Iberico pork on weekends and public holidays, while the suckling pig had to be ordered in advance for special occasions. Contrary to popular belief, the suckling pig here is also no longer sold in small portions at the stall either. Oh what a bummer! We ended up having to wait till the next weekend to try the Iberico pork.
Nonetheless, we decided to try their other roasted meats, and ordered the Bbq pork and roasted pork rice ($4.80) and Chicken drumstick rice ($4.80) to share. Most stalls at Our Tampines Hub hawker centre operate using a “cash vending machine”, where you deposit money and receive your change from an unassuming black vending machine.
The roasted pork slices in the Bbq pork and roasted pork rice ($4.80) were sliced quite thinly. However, the roasted pork (siew yoke) skin was still crispy and had the distinct “crackle sound”. Although the bbq pork (char siew) was rather lean, I took comfort in the fact that it was healthier than the usual fatty char siew. Drenched in a slightly sweet sauce and paired with the very spicy and sour garlic chilli (which was really “shiok”), this dish actually nothing spectacular.
Fun fact: Did you know Jia Le Roasted Food actually tweaked their dishes to suit the Singaporean taste bud? According to their staff, Singaporeans prefer both the rice and meat drenched in sauce (which is what Jia le has adopted for their dishes). On the contrary, Hongkongers prefer the sauce only on rice, because they believe the roasted meats should retain their original taste. How interesting!
I very much enjoyed the soya sauce chicken rice ($4.80). The incredibly tender soya sauce chicken was perfectly marinated while the texture was smooth and enjoyable. Drenched in a wonderful mix of chicken juices and soya sauce marinade, the chicken rice was moist, albeit a little rich.
Another fun fact: Did you know soya sauce chicken is almost always paired with a ginger scallion sauce in Hong Kong? However, most places in Singapore have swapped the ginger sauce out for a fiery garlic chilli.
According to Jia Le’s friendly staff, they make all their sauces in-house. These include their duck sauce, char siew sauce, chicken sauce and 2 types of chillis.
When the weekend finally came, we headed back to Jia Le for a taste of the Iberico pork that eluded us our first visit. The glistening Iberico pork was slathered in sauce, and looked evidently darker as compared to the regular char siew. Sadly, the Iberico char siew rice ($6.80), fell a little short of expectations. While the slightly fattier Iberico char siew was tender, a tad charred and quite meaty, it lacked a robust flavour characteristic of satisfying roasted meats. It was also sliced really thin, making it hard to taste the very fatty essence of the pork. I liked that the gravy was not too sweet, though I doubt I would make a return visit and pay a whopping $6.80 for this version of Iberico char siew. In my personal opinion, there are tons of char siew that taste similar or even better than this Iberico char siew, which can be found at a much cheaper price.
Jia Le Roasted Food is famed for its Iberico char siew and suckling pig. While I unfortunately did not get to try their suckling pig (since they no longer serve it in small portions), I thought the Iberico pork was nothing mind-blowing. Nonetheless, it is quite rare to find this cut at most roasted meat stalls in Singapore. For those interested, Jia Le Roasted Food has plans to expand and they will be setting up a new Central Kitchen soon at 153 Kampong Ampat, Jun Jie Industrial Building, #07-05, (S) 368326.
Jia Le Roasted Food
Address: 505 Tampines Avenue 5, Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre Stall 01-72, Singapore 529649
Mobile: 9765 3779
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 4am daily (many stalls in Our Tampines Hub hawker centre are open 24 hours, including Jia Le)
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.