Saturday, January 18, 2014

You Kee Crystal Char Siew & XO Duck (有记XO烧腊之家) - Best Char Siew Ever! @ Johor Bahru [Malaysia]

The Gang of Four's unwavering loyalty towards Kay Lee char siew is well known. Hence, imagine the skepticism we voiced out when we heard of a restaurant right across the causeway that supposedly served EVEN BETTER ones. 

A cab would be the easiest mode of transport to get there since we were unfamiliar with the roads in Malaysia and it took us a while to finally have Restoran You Kee right in front of us! Please be assured that i would be sharing the actual location at the end of this post. 

With shophouses being the norm for commercial enterprises in Malaysia, it can be directionally challenging for foreigners like us, especially when signboards may not be very visible at certain angles. For You Kee, you just have to keep in mind of two gigantic earthen urns which shall be the visual mark that you have arrived at the right restaurant. 

I have to declare first; this isn't the original store at Skudai but it is at least the nearest from the causeway. If i recollected correctly, the time we took from the checkpoint to reach the restaurant was roughly twenty minutes. 

Without further ado, let's now evaluate how true our source is. 

Soup of the Day
Remember the urns i mentioned earlier? Both of them housed little pots of soup that were apparently quite popular with diners. I am not so much a soup person but Mrs Kon is; therefore, a bowl of soup would always appear on our table!

For that day, the soup was 霸王花 with a type of mountain flower (nightblooming cereus) being the main ingredient. Honestly, i found it similar to a herbal soup that mom frequently brewed for the family except that it was more oily with a very bland taste. Not my cup of tea. 

Honey Sausage (港式烧肠)
XO Duck Drumstick (XO烧鸭腿)
BBQ Crystal Char Siew (水晶叉烧)
Roast Pork Belly (傳統燒肉)
We ordered a small portion for each of the above and everything was beautifully displayed onto one plate. Should you be unfamiliar with roasted delights, the placing is from left to right starting from Honey Sausage.

We shall touch on char siew later; the honey sausage was quite good even though i could not help thinking it was simply a better version of the sweetened Taiwanese sausage while the roast pork was unspectacular.

XO duck drumstick had a very thin layer of fats and the tougher meat texture typical of duck was surprisingly soft in this instance. However, i could hardly taste any trace of cognac in the meat. 

Now, the main star for the day and actually, the sole purpose why we decided to travel all the way up to Malaysia; the crystal char siew. Appearance wise, the serving definitely did manage to whet our appetite. 

Taste wise, it was ##^%&$#amazing!!!! No doubt this Kay Lee's top position has been unseated! I am baffled at how this could turn out to be so tender with bursts of yummy juiciness that proved to be so addictive yet, it didn't come with excessive oiliness that often make one super duper sick after a while. Unlike Kay Lee's char siew, the charredness was also at an optimal level where i didn't have to consider the potential risk of breaking my teeth! 

Pipa Duck (琵琶鸭)
The char siew was so god damn delicious; we had to ask for another serving. A medium one if you must know. Although there were only three of us, we also ordered a small serving of pipa duck, another signature dish of the restaurant. 

Frankly, i thought this was nicer than the XO duck, for which the eatery was most famous for. A bit of bias personally as i have always preferred deep fried items and the saccharine sauce in this case, went very well with the crispy, savoury texture. 


83-83A, Jalan Dedap 7,
Taman Johor Jaya, 
81100 Johor Bahru,


Directions & Map
It's very close to the popular departmental store known as The Store. Aeon Tebrau City shopping centre (i think it used to be called Jusco) was right across the highway. 

Map as above which might give you a clearer picture. Getting a cab to go back can mean a long, long wait; please check with the cashier at You Kee if it is possible for him / her to help call a cab instead. 

Other Branches
As above. 

Prices were surprisingly not as exorbitant as we expected! The next time i visit, i must try their suckling pig!! 

Soup of the Day (S) - RM 15.00
Honey Sausage (S) - RM 8.00
XO Duck Drumstick - RM 8.50
BBQ Crystal Char Siew (S) - RM 8.00
Roast Pork Belly (S) - RM 7.00
Pi-Pa Duck (S) - RM 11.00
[No other applicable tax]

Additional Information
As all Chinese are aware, Chinese New Year is coming and there are festive goodies you can buy! We didn't purchase any as we were too full and didn't want to sample any more stuff! 

You may also consider the above offer, especially if you have the habit of paying homage to the gods with auspicious offerings for the lunar new year. 

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