Here lies the dreams of Maillard – You Kee XO’s Crystal BBQ Pork

Anyone who cooks is familiar with the Maillard reaction. You get the best tasting bits of food when the sugars in the food caramelizes and becomes brown. It is how the best bits under Paella to form the soccarat, the brown parts of your steak that tastes exceptionally sweet, the crusty parts of roasted potatoes that somehow tasted more like potato than potato.

I can no longer eat Chasiu (Chinese BBQ Pork) doomed to the mediocrity of only the occasional danger.

Here lie’s a whole length of Chasiu, the pork caramelized to a charred black – yet none of it is burnt. It is the definition of playing fire, teetering between the fine lines of inedible and Maillard perfection.

The right lies all the goodness

Three distinct layers of textures form this chasiu perfection. An intensely sweet and crispy edge, then met with a gelatinous jelly like layer of pork fat, then finally into tender meat.

Every other chasiu is now inferior.


Lot LG-33, KSL CITY Mall, 33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

They have several branches and even one in Singapore that recently opened. Exciting times for lovers of Chasiu black bits.

Rest of the Restaurant

Other food in the restaurant is done with the finesse of a much more expensive Chinese restaurant. To get a comparable quality in Singapore, in a table for two, would require about S$50 or more for a balanced and luxurious meal. By eating at Johor Bahru, this would only be S$20 or about RM60.

Though, I wouldn’t necessarily put the place as travel worthy if it is solely for the general food. While the non-Chasiu food is expertly cooked, they were not outstanding or having a unique characteristic. The Chasiu, on the other hand…

And if you’re wondering about where a close up picture of the Chasiu is, there is only a shitty one that I took after a bite. I didn’t expect anything out of visiting the place (other than price), and so wasn’t expecting to write a post about it.

I can’t even tell it’s Chasiu

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