The Jiu Jiang Shao La 九江烧腊 stall at Ghim Moh food centre is a very popular stall. I have heard about it before but up till now have not managed to sample it for the simple reason that the queues are always too long. This time, I was early (11 am plus) and the queue was not too bad (only around ten other ordinary patrons before me) so I was determined to try it and joined the queue.
The queue moved slower than expected because some of the folks in the queue were purchasing many orders for take away. A few were just ‘placeholders’ for their colleagues who are resting nearby and would turn up to help ferry the multiple plates of roasted goodies when they approached the head of the queue. But I eventually got there. The three types of meats are char siew, roast duck and roast pork. After such an effort in queuing, one is tempted to go for an upsized order but I just placed a standard takeaway order of mixed duck and char siew to see what it would be like. According to the signboard, prices would start at $3, but I wasn’t sure as the sign looked very old and some stalls do not update their signs. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when the auntie collected $3 from me. This was quite a reasonable price in this day and age. This is what my ta-pow lunch looks like:
I can smell the burnt aroma of the meats the moment was opened. From the smell and the colour you can tell that Jiu Jiang serves their meat well roasted. This is confirmed by the taste. The skin of the duck and the edges of the char siew are slightly charred. Very tasty indeed. In fact there are parts of the meat that reminds you of bak kwa as it the meat is coated with some sweet sauce marinate prior to roasting. These are the most delicious roasted meats I have eaten in a long while and can be a candidate for the best char siew and roast duck in Singapore. Of course the downside to all that charring is that the meat is slightly dry and not as moist as some other places. But I think the sacrifice in moisture is well worth the extra taste.
Even without considering the price, this is surely a place to be recommended. If price is to be considered this really makes it a good value lunch for the cost of only $3.
Ghim Moh market and food centre is now undergoing renovation. All the stores have relocated to and are operating out of a temporary facility that is just right across the road (Ghim Moh Road). The temporary structure is actually brighter and cleaner than the old one which was really in need of a sprucing up. This is the view of the food centre while I was queuing.
Update: Inspired by our post, some other ordinary patrons have also recently patronized the stall. Here are better pictures of the food – upsized char siew rice and duck rice at $5 each, the duck drumstick with rice costs $5.30. Note the charred edges – those who like their meat with a bit of burnt taste will appreciate this.
2016 update : Here is a picture of Jiu Jiang Shao La in the new Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre. The queues are as long and now they are next to Ghim Moh Carrot Cake stall which also seems very popular.
Jiu Jiang Shao La 九江烧腊
Ghim Moh Food Centre
Ghim Moh Road
(Closed on Wednesday)