When it comes to char siu (sweet BBQ pork) and siu yoke (roast pork with crispy skin crackle), Chef David waxes lyrical about them. “Char siu and siu yoke are like Yin and Yang. I think they are probably the most liked amongst pork lovers,” he enthused.
He recalled that when young, char siu and siu yoke were mostly served during special occasions like birthdays and new year celebrations. They were among his favourites.
Coming from an extended family of great cooks, he was inspired to sharpen his culinary skills which include his childhood favourite foods.
Motivated by the frequent compliments he would receive from cooking for and entertaining family and friends, he recalled that his quest for perfection was through numerous attempts of trial and error, refining the ingredients and technique, based on feedback from the more discerning foodies.
Does he have a secret ingredient?
Chef David reveals: “Cooking with passion is my secret ingredient. Each step, from meat selection to packaging, is carefully and meticulously crafted to ensure consistency in meat flavour and texture, and for best customer experience.
“My basic motto: never compromise on the quality of food. I select every piece of meat I buy. The composition of fat and lean meat and how it is marbled is key to a juicy end product.”
And, from cooking for friends and family, he has now commercialised his creations beyond the shores of Malaysia.
“I have been making char siu for the last 15 years for family and friends. Never had the idea of commercialising it until two years ago when a good friend of ours from Sri Lanka visited us. Being well travelled and sharing a penchant for good food, he thought my char siu was the best he ever had and so addictively delicious,” revealed Chef David.
The result of that encounter was David’s Dangerously Delicious Char Siu, a restaurant in Sri Lanka.
“The Sri Lankan operation started two years ago. I used to travel monthly to Colombo especially during the start-up phase which has expanded its menu to include siu yoke. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, I have been grounded. My business partner who lives in Sri Lanka takes care of the Sri Lankan operations now,” Chef David said.
At the encouragement of some good friends who wanted the flexibility of being able to enjoy his char siu and siu yoke any time, the engineer-turned-chef decided to join the home-cooked food industry offering his ever-popular char siu on the auspicious occasion of “Chap Goh Meh”- the 15th day of the Lunar New Year 2021. Since then, siu yoke has been added to the menu.
His reason for starting his home-based operations locally during the pandemic?
“Actually, the situation gave rise to an opportunity for doing home-based/delivery service food business. Due to the Stay-at-Home and Work-from-Home drive, food deliveries and home-cooked food industry grew. The customer base initially started with neighbours and friends, and has since expanded further through word of mouth. So far, response has been good.”
What’s next for David’s Dangerously Delicious Char Siu?
His current menu offering of char siu and siu yoke meat only without sides like rice, noodles and vegetables is ideal as a complementary dish for meals. When the pandemic situation is better controlled and work-from-office returns, he is planning to introduce smaller-size single servings with rice.
“Establishing the brand and making a name in this segment of the business is key for my next step. To achieve this, I am constantly improving on my processes and recipes. I believe that perfection is a never-ending process. As good as it is now, I still find ways to make it better,” said Chef David.
Chef David aptly said “Good food is a celebration of life. It is particularly gratifying to know when my food can bring happiness to the table.” Oink to that!
Get your porking good char siu and siu yoke via his social media accounts: