People are keeping watch on Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint which has opened at Suntec City, because it was sold for a whooping $4 million to publicly-listed Aztech Group.
Other than Suntec City Mall,there are branches are 125 Upper Lebar Road (the original shop), 31 Ubi Road 1 and Tanjong Katong.
The million dollar question is: Is their char siew worth that $4 million dollars?
Maybe we won’t get to amass that kind of money this lifetime, but at least we can get to try this ZhuJiang Style roast made with a secret recipe. Isn’t that priceless?
Suntec City. Good choice of location. I wondered about the décor of the 100-seater though, it did feel rather dated despite the opportunity of a rebranding exercise.
The menu has expanded to a variety of roast meats, noodles, double boiled soups, congee and appetisers, which did remind me of Noodle Place Restaurant over at 313 Somerset.
Price had expectedly increased, but was still reasonable given the choice of location. A bill should be about $15-$25 per person.
Fans of Kay Lee would be glad to know that their Guang Zhou based Zhu Jiang Char Siew ($6.80 for single roast rice, $8.80 for 2 roast, $10.80 for 3) tasted almost the same as the original stall.
It retained its signature style – smoky slightly burnt on the edges, caramelised, sweetly honey glazed, good proportion of lean meat and fats (actually quite guiltily fatty), and very tender. Almost perfect when dipped with the brownish duck sauce and pinkish sweet chilli sauce.
The Roast Duck though, was tough and dry. Similarly, the rice needed more ‘zup’. Fortunately the friendly service staff brought more Hoisin sauce when requested.
Though new on its menu, the Shrimp Wonton Noodle ($8.80, $10.80 for additional meat) could give the bigger players out there a run for their money. Though slightly salty, the noodles were springy and well-tossed in a tasty sauce. Dumplings were plump and wrapped with fresh shrimps.
We concluded it was a decent good meal. Would we come again? If we are in the vicinity, yes. If there is a need to queue, no.
(On a separate note, the choice of Ubi and West Coast to be the next locations seemed at odds with brand-building purposes. Since so much is already spent on the recipe, why not allocate more budget on marketing, branding and ID. Perhaps they can also take a cue from Hong Kong’s Ho Hung Kee and Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop which successfully transformed the humble noodle shop.)
Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint
Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-609 Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6594 2202
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon-Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Upper Paya Lebar
125 Upper Paya Lebar Road Singapore 534838
Tel: +65 6743 8778
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 8:00pm
31 Ubi Road 1, 01-06 Singapore 408694
Tel: +65 6594 2203
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Closed Sun, PH)
Tanjong Katong (Opening soon)
283 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437066
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.