An Hour A Day “Siew Yuk” Stall @ First Garden, IpohJune 28, 2012 | 13,841 views
Apparently yes. ONE hour from 2.30pm-3.30pm on their peak days (weekends/public holidays), and slightly extended operating hours if you’re lucky. I am not going to hide the fact that this was my FIRST time eating the legendary roast pork on the spot from this stall named Chee Kong Roast Pork; or better known as First Garden Roast Pork Stall.
If you remember somehow, a shave more than two years ago, I tasted their unforgettably crunchy, juicy and heavenly roast pork (“siew yuk” in Cantonese) at the Ipoh Hawkers’ Fest back in Dec 2009. The small slab of meat costed me more than RM10 but was memorable for the fact that … the crackling pieces of well-marinated, and perfectly roasted pork got me hooked.
And can you say … FINALLY? Read on for more information about this insanely famous stall.
This was a vow we made since a year or two ago. Both Jason and myself have never patronized this stall before. Shame on us? Hehe … cut us some slack, will ya? At least this review is eventually out before my 5th year of blogging!
Anyway, back to the story at hand. Knowing full well that the stall could be swarmed by hungry gluttons eager for a bite of crunchy pork, we put on the smart alecs’ caps and reached 15 minutes before 2.30pm; when the stall’s supposed to start business.
Lo and behold …. there were already more than 10 customers queuing up!
Thankfully, you only need to be in line had you decided to take away. For eat-in customers, we have the privilege of order at the stall, then grab a seat and order ourselves a drink or two (they serve Wan Tau Long too, by the way). The wait was not terribly bad; as the team of workers manning the stall engage in a well-delegated production line, with the head of the group hacking/chopping away at the freshly roasted pork (huge slabs of them layered with a beautiful mahogany-golden brown skin), one lady packing the rice and meats, while two others serve the customers who are dining in. A few others kept the flow smooth by picking up the trails and tying up loose ends.
We omitted the Char Siew (caramelized roasted pork with sauce) and Siew Cheong (roasted pork sausages), in favour of the roast pork (I picked the ‘Siew Lam’ or roast pork belly for obvious reasons – balanced fat, lean meat and crispy skin!). We ordered a plate of oiled rice tainted with a yellow hue to go along with the meats. The sauces came in two varieties; one being the conventional garlic-laden chili sauce while the other resembled the Char Siew sauce which was sticky, sweet and a little oily.
The roast pork was good. Better than most stalls out there, I believe. Yet, I could not help but feel that the quality has dwindled compared to the time when I had these at the hawker fest. Irresistibly crunchy skin? Checked. Balanced layers of fats and lean meat? Checked. But the marination was a bit off; some parts were way too salty while the others lacked flavours and had to be smothered in the sauces. Could be a QC issue, and judging from the immense support (just look at the line forming by 2.30pm in the last picture!), clearly they still stand heads and shoulders above the competition when it comes to roast pork in Ipoh.
What do YOU think, my fellow “Ipoh lang”?
FIRST GARDEN CHEE KONG ROAST PORK STALL
Kedai Kopi First Kwong Chow
Lorong Taman 11,
Taman Pertama, 30100 Ipoh, Perak
Tel No : +6012-523 5223, +6012-522 8719
Opens from around 2.30pm onwards daily except Mondays.
Google Map to Chee Kong Roast Pork
GPS Coordinates : 4.599012,101.058038
*The other stalls that I have reviewed are Bercham Wong Fee Kee and Sun Yeong Wai. It seems that Simee market has a truck that sells pretty good roast pork too. In Ipoh Garden East; there’s a corner coffee shop named Taman Timur Baru on Jalan Perajurit that houses a roast pork stall that’s related to Bercham’s.