Hungry Two Travel

Hungry Two Travel

The Best Siu Yuk in KL is at Wong Mei Kee: The Ultimate Crispy Pork Belly

When it comes to crispy pork belly, Wong Mei Kee in Pudu is the number one destination for the best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur. With its deliciously crispy skin and tender, succulent meat, Wong Mei Kee’s siu yuk is a must-try for all pork lovers. This juicy and savoury dish is many years in the making. Wong Sifu, owner and master chef, has been perfecting the craft of cooking crispy roast pork belly, Chinese BBQ pork, and charcoal roasted chicken for nearly 40 years.

The quality and value of the food, plus the traditional style of cooking, has even made Wong Mei Kee worthy of Bib Gourmand status in the Michelin Guide. As you can imagine, being invited to watch the entire preparation and cooking of these incredible pork dishes was a true honour. What’s more, is that despite Wong Sifu’s success, he’s remained humble and ever so welcoming.

If you’re looking to taste the best siu yuk in KL, then Wong Mei Kee’s crispy pork belly needs to be on your list of top foods to eat in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Our morning at Wong Mei Kee started a little before 9:00am, on the quiet, damp, humid streets of Pudu.

We were greeted at the front of the shop by a friendly lady, and announced that we were here to watch the full siu yuk and char siu preparation for the day. We’d been in contact with Wong Sifu days before in order to lock in this special opportunity.

Front of Restaurant Wong Mei Kee, the best siu yuk in kuala lumpur
Wong Mei Kee is an unassuming location, especially first thing in the morning

We were sent down the side of the building and met by Wong Sifu’s grandsons. He’s been slowly guiding them over the last several years to take over the business. They do most of the preparation in the morning, and are met by Wong Sifu himself later in the day. The last stages of cooking are overseen by him, mind you. When it comes to chopping and serving the siu yuk, Wong Sifu is still the master.

This morning, his grandsons were beginning the process of preparing the massive slabs of skin-on pork belly, soon to be turned into the crispy roast pork. We could tell within the first two minutes of arriving that we were in for a treat today.

The crispiest pork belly starts with charcoal

Wong Sifu has a special set up in the alleyway behind the restaurant where he roasts all of his meat. It’s back here that Wong Mei Kee’s charcoal roast pork gets its name. There’s three 55-gallon charcoal fired barrels to roast the pork, and an extra-large barrel-like contraption for the roast chicken.

Wong Sifu grandson standing with coal fired drums back of restaurant
Only the highest quality charcoal is used for roasting the meat

The slabs of pork belly are prepped, boiled and pounded

The first stage of preparation for the siu yuk is to boil the slabs of pork belly in water to begin the cooking process. Once boiled for several minutes, they’re taken out of the water, rubbed with coarse salt, and hammered with a meat mallet covered in two-inch-long spikes.

Wong Sifu grandson using meat mallet on best siu yuk in kuala lumpur crispy pork belly
The force and strength needed to pound through the pork skin is no joke!

The pounding process is twofold. First, it penetrates the skin with salt. Second, it allows the skin to release moisture during cooking, thus causing it to dry out more easily. This final preparation stage really facilitates the extra crispiness of the skin, the ultimate desired outcome.

After this, it’s time to hang and cook the massive slabs of pork

On this day there were 14 huge slabs of pork belly to prepare. Wong Sifu uses only the best cuts of meat. High-quality skin-on pork belly, with distinct layers of skin, fat and meat are the finest.

After his grandson carefully placed meat hooks into the slabs of pork belly, they were hung inside the barrels. In the meantime, burning charcoal had been slowly added to the barrels to begin heating them up.

Man placing best siu yuk in kuala lumpur pork belly inside coal fired drum
One at a time the slabs are placed carefully inside the drums

We watched intently as the pork belly was methodically hung off the inner sides of the drums, four slabs in each. By the time all the pork belly was dangling inside, the barrels had heated up nicely. The skin on the pork instantly started to sweat.

Within minutes the meat was roasting, giving off the most tantalizing aroma. We would have stood there for the next two hours, getting as many whiffs of the dripping pork as we possibly could, but more work was yet to be done.

the best siu yuk in kuala lumpur slabs of pork belly roasting in fiery drum
Within no time at all the pork was crackling and cooking away, dripping with delicious fat

Next up, the pork shoulder is cut and seasoned by hand

As the slabs of pork belly were happily roasting in the drums, it was time for the Chinese BBQ pork.

Wong Sifu’s grandson dumped out a massive pot full of the best cuts of fatty pork shoulder. He meticulously went through each of the long strips of meat, one by one, cutting off any unwanted parts.

Man cutting strips of pork shoulder outside on table
More pork? Don’t mind if we do!

The chosen pieces were added back into the pot and seasoned. Hoisin sauce, sugar, five spice powder, salt, a massive heap of freshly minced garlic, as well as a few other secret ingredients, were added to the pot for ultimate taste. Everything was stirred in together by hand. This ensured each piece of meat was evenly coated with the crimson red, sticky sauce.

As everything gets going, Wong Sifu arrives

It’s about this time that Wong Sifu arrived and took over the general overseeing of things. He met us in the alleyway behind Wong Mei Kee. We were hovering over the drums, of course, and greeted us with a beaming smile. This is a man who loves what he does.

Wong Sifu smiling at back of restaurant
You can see the passion in Wong Sifu’s eyes even after all these years

Wong Sifu began his own siu yuk business when he was just 20 years old in 1982. Over the last four decades he’s been perfecting his method of cooking to create the best, crispiest, juiciest siu yuk in all of KL. During these 40 years, he’s made a name for himself. Wong Mei Kee is known as one of the best places to go to in KL for siu yuk, char siu, and roast chicken.

Wong Sifu went from drum to drum, checking on the siu yuk, rotating the slabs and adding extra charcoal as needed. The slabs of pork belly were now fully crisping up and starting to make our mouths water. This was truly starting to look like the best siu yuk in KL.

Man checking on crispy pork belly best siu yuk in kuala lumpur in coal fired drums
Everything is overseen by the master himself

The pork belly finishes, so the BBQ pork begins

The pork belly finished cooking and was given the green light from Wong Sifu. The tender, juicy, insanely crispy slabs were taken out of the drums. The last stage of Wong Mei Kee’s charcoal roast pork is to scrape off any char that had built up on the bubbly, crispy skin to make sure it tastes perfect.

Now, it was time for the Chinese BBQ pork to take its rightful place in the drums. The amount of char siu was much less than the siu yuk, with three skewers of meat in total.

Skewering raw pork shoulder strips of char siu in large pot
Mixed by hand in the rich, sticky, red sauce, the strips of pork are skewered one by one

All three fit perfectly into one drum. It didn’t take long for the outside of the meat to begin to caramelize. Each piece slowly dripping with the sticky, gooey, crimson red sauce and mouth-watering fat.

Part way through the cooking process, Wong Sifu took the long strips of barbecue pork out of the drum and put them into a bath of honey barbecue pork sauce. The char siu was basted and doused with the thick, syrupy, garlicky sauce; the perfect balance between sweet and savoury.

Now freshly glazed, the strips of pork shoulder were put back into the drum for the final stage of cooking. The overall cooking time for the barbecue pork is only about 20 minutes, depending on the heat of the drum. It takes a proper master to monitor the heat and adjust the cooking time accordingly.  

Three skewers of char siu roasting in fiery drum
Caramelized, juicy, sticky with fat, it doesn’t get much better than this

Perfect meat requires constant attention

It was a busy place at the back of this humble shop. Wong Sifu went from drum to drum. He patiently waited for the perfect time to lift out whatever pieces of meat were left.

His grandsons were busy scraping off the last of the char from the roast pork belly skin. Each scrape revealing the heavenly crispy and salty crackling underneath. It’s a labour-intensive process, with 14 slabs of pork belly to tend to.

Wong Sifu, the master of Wong Mei Kee himself, made sure that all of the meat was ready to be taken to the front of the shop. His last quality check is the finishing touch. We knew what that meant, it was time to eat!

As hungry customers gather, this is what to expect

Restoran Wong Mei Kee opens at 12:30pm, with people starting to queue up at least an hour beforehand. By 1:00pm the restaurant will be so busy, there’ll be a queue out the door. By 2:00pm most days, everything is sold out; char siu, siu yuk, and the roast chicken are all gone.

Busy shop front, line up of people at Wong Mei Kee best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur
Make sure you arrive early to get a seat and some pork before it all runs out

It was 12:30pm. People had queued up and begun to order, pay and take different numbers for either dine-in or takeout.

Before long, every table was full.

The restaurant, packed to the gills.

Forks and spoons at the ready, as is customary in Malaysia, the excitement was palpable. Each table was full of hungry customers awaiting their share of the spoils. They’d heard about the best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur and now they wanted their fix, too. Both new and returning customers alike, patiently waited for their order.

We were shown to our table, nestled near the front of the shop, in perfect view of all the action.

Man taking crispy pork belly off rack
Right at the front of the shop, Wong Sifu chooses his cut of the best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur

Prepared by others in the shop were the BBQ pork and roast chicken . Meanwhile, the crispy pork belly, the pièce de résistance, was sliced, chopped and portioned out by the master, Wong Sifu himself.

He prepared each slab by cutting off any unwanted areas of the meat, leaving only the highest quality pork belly behind. Next, two strips were placed beside each other and cut and chopped into each individual portion. At the same time, he made sure that each chunk of layered fat and meat had an accompanying piece of the crispiest pork skin to go with it.

Meat cleaver chopping up crispy pork belly
Layers of marbled siu yuk are cut into bite sized pieces, each with a prized piece of crispy skin

It’s time to eat, starting with the siu yuk

Finally, our feast arrived.

By this time, we’d been a part of the process since 9:00am and we were absolutely famished. After watching the preparation and smelling the wonderful aroma of roasting meat for the past few hours, we were ready to taste what all the hype was about. We’d heard so much about Wong Sifu’s crispy roast pork being the best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur that we just couldn’t wait!

best siu yuk in kuala lumpur feast of siu yuk, char siu, roast pork on table from above
Who says there’s such a thing as too much meat, anyway?

We tucked straight into the siu yuk, Wong Mei Kee’s charcoal, crispy roast pork belly.

It was served in big bite sized chunks. Each piece with an equal amount of lean meat and streaks of melted fat running through, all topped off with a golden crackling piece of crispy pork skin.

The meat itself was extremely juicy, tender and just that bit salty. Our teeth sank right into it. Likewise, the fat was cooked to perfection. Buttery, rich and soft, it just melted in our mouths. The skin, oh my gosh, the skin! Crispy, salty, juicy, fatty, slightly greasy and satisfyingly crunchy, just how you want pork skin to be.

In particular, we could taste the smoky charcoal in every bite, adding a whole other dimension to the dish.

It was about this time that we realized we were eating the best siu yuk in KL. All the labour and hard work that went into creating this delicious cut of pork really shone through.

Plate of the best siu yuk in kuala lumpur crispy pork belly
The best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur, without a doubt

After the crispy pork is the char siu

The char siu was just as satisfying as the siu yuk.

The barbecue pork had the perfect ratio of meat to fat, making every bite extremely tender, succulent and oh so juicy. The outer layer was covered in the sticky, crimson red, honeyed barbecue pork sauce, now caramelized and gooey after roasting over the charcoal. A sweet and savoury flavour bomb exploded in our mouths after every bite.

Plate of char siu Chinese BBQ pork
No less delicious, the sticky char siu will have you just as hooked

Lastly, the roast chicken

Last but not least was the roast chicken. By this point in the meal, it was no surprise to us that the chicken was extremely tender and moist, just like the other meats.

This skin was just a little bit crispy from frying in the oil, giving it a nice texture and flavour. The sweet light sauce poured over top before serving added a hint of sweetness to the savoury meat. Everything led to an incredibly succulent plate of chicken.

Golden orange roasted chicken on plate
Okay, it might be the ‘pork show’, but you can’t forget about the chicken

An unforgettable day deserves big thanks

We finished every bite, not leaving a morsel behind.

Afterwards, we went up to Wong Sifu at the front of the shop, busy slicing, cutting, chopping and placing. We thanked him for having us and for showing us such incredible hospitality throughout the day. It was truly an unforgettable experience to be invited into his kitchen to witness the craft he’s been perfecting for the last 40 years.

It’s no wonder people line up every day to have a taste of what really is the best siu yuk in Kuala Lumpur.

The best siu yuk in KL is at Wong Mei Kee, Pudu

The unique street food in Malaysia never ceases to amaze us! After hours of preparation and cooking, Wong Sifu produces the best, insanely crispy siu yuk crispy pork belly and tender char siu Chinese BBQ pork in Kuala Lumpur. Melt in your mouth fat, tender meat and crispy pork skin, coupled with the gooey stickiness of the barbecue pork is just mind-blowing.

Wong Mei Kee Pudu is truly a must visit spot for the best roast pork in Kuala Lumpur.

Name: 王美記 Wong Mei Kee
Address: 30 Jalan Nyonya, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
what3words: ///taxi.tonight.slid
Price: RM28/strip

Check out the video below for our full experience at Wong Mei Kee, Pudu!

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