Or, in the case of Yut Kee, more pork. This Hainanese coffee shop has long served char siew (barbecued pork), breaded pork chops, and roti babi, or 'pork bread' - a wickedly appealing dish involving dough, so-tender-it's-almost-gelatinous shredded pork, onions, Chinese sausage, and a deep fryer.
A couple months ago rolled pork roast was added to the menu. It's a special item, available only on Fridays and Sundays.
The pork roast came about two years ago around Christmas, owner Jack tells us, when the price of turkeys soared through the roof, threatening to sour the family's seasonal catering business (which is run from their restaurant behind Yut Kee, the Boddhi Tree). 'Let's do pork roast instead,' Jack said to his wife Margaret. The roasts were a hit and this last Christmas Jack decided to share the love with Yut Kee customers.
The recipe is Jack's Australia-resident sister-in-law's: take a gorgeous, well-marbled slab of meat, roll it around a thinly spread stuffing of chopped pistachio nuts mixed with salt, pepper, butter, garlic, and sage, tie it up, and pop it in a convection oven for 2.5 hours.
The smell of these burnished beauties precedes their appearance; when they're pulled from the ovens shortly before 11:30am a porky fog envelopes the entire coffee shop. They're carried out on a tray to the front of the restaurant and placed on a folding table between cash register and sidewalk, where they taunt passers-by silly enough not to stop.
Margaret does the carving, carefully making sure that each order receives its due share of crackling, and adding a dollop of housemade apple sauce on the side.
The roast is a lovely-to-look at swirl alternating layers of meat, fat, and a bit of stuffing, moist and tender (takeaway is available, but do yourself a favor and try it, at least once, in the coffee shop, while it's still hot). There's just enough sage in there to scent the meat but not overwhelm its delicate pigginess, and the crackling is so exquisitely crisp it detaches from the meat with the slightest nudge of a fork.
The applesauce, made with white wine, is unfussy and a bit tart, perfect with the rich meat.
A few weeks ago I would have been hard-pressed to imagine myself eagerly digging into a traditional roast on a wiltingly hot Kuala Lumpur morning, but I uncharaceristically followed up my first order with a second. I just may become a Friday regular.
Roast pork, from 11:30a till it runs out (usually by 1pm, says Jack), Fridays and Sundays only, Yut Kee, Jalan Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur. Closed the last Sunday of the month.