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Salt, the secret to Bespectacle Guy's roast duck

Sze Ngan Chai's salt-roasted duck has been a favourite for half a century./The Star

Publication Date : 12-05-2014


For the past 50 years, foodies have made a beeline for Sze Ngan Chye’s salted roast duck


Many patiently wait their turn to buy the dish from a humble little kiosk in Petaling Street, with the queue becoming really long during major Chinese festivals.

The dish, made using Mr “Sze Ngan Chye's (or "The Bespectacled Guy in Cantonese) secret recipe, is creating another wave of excitement in Kepong following the opening of their first restaurant there last year,

Sze Ngan Chye is actually Choong Feng Phooi who is now in his 70s. Although retired, he still visits the outlet in Petaling Street almost every morning to check on the kiosk now run by his daughter, Amy.

Surprisingly, Choong is always seen without glasses. The name has stuck ever since his neighbours addressed him that way when he first started operating in Petaling Street. However, an old photo of him roasting ducks in the kitchen shows him with glasses.

With the restaurant’s opening, customers can comfortably tuck into the famous roast duck and it has already attracted a steady stream of regulars from near and far.

“The Sze Ngan Chye roast ducks are different from those sold elsewhere. They have been marinated with salt and are more flavourful,” said Annie Chew, Amy’s sister-in-law.

She said the kiosk in Petaling Street sells about 100 ducks every day, more on weekends and Chinese festivals involving family feasts.

The ducks served at the restaurant are roasted in batches at different times of the day to ensure freshness. The roasting takes about an hour.

Just as claimed, the ducks are succulent and flavourful. It has a thin, crispy skin wrapping moist, tender meat. A dip into their special salty sauce makes the dish even better, leaving a lingering aroma on one’s palate.

It is a full-fledged restaurant complete with rice and noodle dishes. Other items include roast pork, barbecued pork and roast chicken.

Other dishes include Hot and Spicy Vegetable, which is mustard leaf simmered with meat which makes an appetising side dish. Pickled Vegetable with Pork Belly is for those who like the tenderness of braised pork.

Restoran Sze Ngan Chye
48, Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 3,
Taman Usahawan Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
(Tel: 603-6241 1115).
Business hours: 10am to 9pm, opens daily. Non-halal.

*This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement of The Star.


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