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Chuan Kee Satay 選记沙爹王 began as a family business in the 1970s and specialises in Hainanese-style satay, served with peanut-with-pineapple sauce.
Regulars would tell you NOT to come at peak hours, or the wait can be closer to an hour or beyond.
Customers may arrive slightly before the opening hour of 5pm (1pm on Sunday) because kan cheong or to reduce the wait time.
Also, I observed that there is no queueing or buzzer system, and auntie recognises customers and order sequence by faces or what they wear. I can imagine customers may get frustrated due to a possible lack of order.
While some can get anxious or impatient when their order would eventually come, do remember to keep your safe-distance and not cluster around the stall.
Chuan Kee started as a roadside stall at Geylang and moved to Old Airport Road Food Centre during the 1970s.
Though not the most generous when it comes to amount of meat per stick, Chuan Kee Satay is affordable at $0.60 per stick (minimum order of 10 sticks) available in pork or chicken.
There used to be a mutton option, but it has been removed due to it being more labour intensive in preparation.
The hawkers’ work is tough, as they marinate the meat early, and grill the satay in a small space and hot environment.
The Hainanese-style satays are grilled for a longer duration over a low fire.
They are famous for pork satay, though I found mine surprisingly on the tough and chewy side, and so was disappointed due to the high expectations.
Perhaps they would have tasted much better eaten there ‘live’.
The chicken satay was good though, leaner as it uses thigh meat and still tender
The meat was basted in a sticky, golden syrup exuding the aroma of lemongrass and coriander.
The sugars in the syrup help create that caramelisation, and eventually, a beautiful charring. Best to dip in the peanut sauce with slight sweetness of pineapples.
Chuan Kee Satay
51 Old Airport Rd, Old Airport Road Food Centre #01-85 Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 5pm – 10pm (Tues – Wed, Fri – Sat), 1pm – 10pm (Sun), Closed Mon, Thurs