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Popular Char Siew & Sio Bak Hawker Stall 88 HK Roast Meat Opening Air-Con Restaurant In CBD

88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist is helmed by an ex-restaurant chef and started out in a humble kopitam stall.

Our go-to place for fantastic caramelised char siew and crackly sio bak is 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist, which has two kopitiam outlets: a standalone flagship eatery along Lavender Street and a coffeeshop outlet nearby at Tyrwhitt Road. Snaking queues at peak meal times are common at the well-loved brand’s stalls for fans of the swarthy Malaysian-style char siew on lard-slicked wonton noodles, with a side of gooey yolked ramen-style egg.

Business has been so good that chef-turned-hawker Martin Ong, 50, tells that he will soon be opening a fancier and spacious 130-seater air-conditioned casual restaurant at Far East Square shopping centre in the central business district, tentatively in early March.

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Shiok charcoal-roasted char siew and sio bak 

The towkay (above) was originally trained in Western cuisine with cooking credits at Jack’s Place and The Canopy Café at Marina Bay Golf Course before becoming a roast meat hawker in 2012, opening and reopening several iterations of his stall across various locations and names before reaching his current setup.

He now sells around “450kg of meat” – split evenly across roast pork, char siew and duck – daily at his existing outlets. The roast meats are prepped at his Lavender HQ before being charcoal-roasted to finish at the other outlet. 

In the case of their new Far East Square restaurant though, you can expect the meats to be prepped and cooked on-site. “You must make sure the standard is high. Once you lose your standard and it’s inconsistent, your business will disappear,” the towkay declares. “Of course I am confident about the quality of my food even when I expand,” he adds.

Expect a “restaurant setting”

“It will be a restaurant setting with solid wood tables and chairs,” shares the towkay. “We spent quite a bit on renovations,” he says, telling us the amount off the record.

Prices at new outlet slightly more expensive

While you’ll be dining in air-conditioned comfort at 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist’s new outlet — it’s self-service there to “keep prices affordable”. Given its posher CBD locale and setup, each dish will cost around “$1 to $1.50” extra at this more atas outlet.

The details

88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist’s new restaurant opens tentatively in early March at 19/20 China St, Far East Square, S049561. More info via Facebook.

Its other outlets are at 308 Lavender St, S338814, open daily except Mon. 10am – 8pm; 153 Tyrwhitt Rd, S207566, open daily except Mon. 9.30am – 7.30pm.

Photos: Florence Fong, Kelvin Chia, Loy Wee Meng

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Related topics

88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist Far East Square char siew sio bak roast pork roast pork belly cheap food hawker hawker food roast duck lavender food far east square food wonton mee wanton mee ramen egg malaysian food wonton Tyrwhitt Road

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