Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights has charcoal-roasted meats in Jalan Berseh
Just two weeks ago, we covered Kim Heng Roasted Delights, a popular Serangoon stall known for their charcoal-roasted meats. Then, our cravings for char-kissed roast meats brought us to Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights, a relative newcomer to the roast meats scene in Singapore.
Opened just three months ago, Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights is already creating quite the buzz amongst foodies. They’ve even snagged the runner-up spot for Best Chinese Food Hawker at the DBS 2023 Hawker Awards.
Hailing from Ipoh, Chef Ah Jun, affectionately known as 小弟 (xiǎo dì), AKA little brother in Mandarin, is the driving force behind this hawker stall. Despite being just 30 years old━don’t let his age fool you━he has been honing his craft since the age of 17! His wealth of experience includes stints at New Hong Kong Roast in Tampines and Tian Cheng Charcoal Roasted at Whampoa, where he was head roast master for five years.
Food at Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights
Their Roasted Duck Rice ($4.50) greeted us with a sizeable portion of duck meat that sported glistening charred skin. We also added lu dan, AKA Braised Egg, which you can get for an additional $0.80.
Their lu dan turned out to be an unexpected surprise! It was well-marinated, so the flavours of the braising liquid had thoroughly permeated through the egg. We highly recommend adding this to your order.
Lu dan aside, their roasted duck took centre stage with its dang gui marinade, which imparted a subtle herbal note. The duck itself was moist and tender, with a pleasing gaminess that I enjoyed. I would have liked the dish even more if the herbal undertones were more pronounced!
Special mention has to go to their moreish house-made belacan, a staple Malaysian Chinese condiment prepared with fermented shrimp paste, dried red chilli, garlic and more. Be sure to dip your duck meat into the belacan for an additional kick of spice. The belacan was so addictive that I found myself enjoying it simply with the cucumber slices.
The sauce, generously ladled over the rice, had a good balance of sweetness and savouriness that went well with the rice. However, my only gripe was that the rice was a touch undercooked and, consequently, quite hard.
We definitely couldn’t miss out on ordering their Char Siew Roast Pork Rice ($5.50); you could also order either of these without rice, at $4 a serve.
The plate of Char Siew Roast Pork Rice starred thick slices of KL-style char siew and huge cuts of siew yoke.
The char siew was roasted to perfection, boasting a glossy and charred exterior that had a good mix of smoky and sweet caramelised flavours.
When ordering the char siew, you can choose between fatty or lean cuts. I would recommend going for a combination of half-lean and half-fat char siew to savour the textures of both, though personally, I much prefer the sumptuous, melt-in-the-mouth tenderness of the fatty bits over the firmer, meatier bite of the lean cuts.
We were also impressed with the siew yoke, which had a crackling skin with a good fat-to-meat ratio.
While the siew yoke may not have been groundbreaking, I found it noteworthy that it wasn’t excessively salty. I was able to taste the natural meaty flavour of the pork, which complemented the sauce and rice quite well.
I enjoyed dipping the siew yoke into their house-made garlic chilli sauce, which packed quite a spicy punch, with refreshing, tangy notes that helped to cut through the savouriness of the siew yoke.
If you’re dining in, don’t forget to help yourself to some of the complimentary soup! The soup changes daily, rotating among a variety of options including cabbage soup, winter melon soup, herbal chicken soup and more.
On the day we visited, they served cabbage soup that had slices of pork belly in it. The soup was a comforting palate cleanser which paired wonderfully with the savoury roasted meats.
Ambience at Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights
Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights is easily accessible from two MRT stations: a six-minute walk from Jalan Besar MRT Station and a 10-minute walk from Lavender MRT Station. Do note that Xiao Di is not situated in Jalan Berseh Food Centre; instead, it’s a street behind at Gourmet Street Coffee Shop.
I may have just found a new favourite spot to satisfy my roast meat cravings! Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights is an absolute must-visit for those who appreciate well-executed roast meats, and even more so if you appreciate them being paired with superbly prepared condiments.
For more good eats nearby, check out HUE Restaurant, a legit Thai restaurant with moo ping, and tom yum noodles. Otherwise, there’s also Prince Noodles, with what’s said to be some of the best ban mian in Singapore.
Address: 27 Jalan Berseh, Singapore 200027
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 10:30am to 3pm
Xiao Di Charcoal Roasted Delights is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Daryl Lim.
This was an independent visit by Eatbook.sg