511 Guillemard Road #01-52,
(Side of the building facing the river)
T: +65 9778 9737
I was nominated organizer for the month, and the theme was suckling pig. To be honest, I had a hard time shortlisting my options, as there are quite a few reputable places to visit.
But since it’s supposed to be an adventure for the palates, there was no harm trying out the less predictable. Kudos to suggestion from @msginginly we concurred to go for Pinoy style suckling pig (aka Lechon) instead of the typical Chinese style. In attendance, we had folks from Purple Taste, @msginginly, Her Pen & Fork and Ivan Teh – RunningMan.
Don Lechon is somewhat a hidden find for many who’re less familiar with the Paya Lebar/ Guillemard Road scene. Fortunately, I’ve served 30mth of Full-time National Service at the 1st Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment, Guillemard Camp (defunct, and site was once used for filming some retro scenes of “Ah Boys to Men”), I’ve got my bearings sound, at least in the precinct.
Cited at the far corner unit, round the side of the Grandlink Square, facing the canal (aka Geylang River), one can easily be distracted by the various other novelty eateries & liquid diet (beer bars). A whole row of marquee and outdoor seating available, for those who prefer the cool of the evening by the river.
The frontage of Don Lechon seems pretty humble, a refrigerator for canned beverages, a self-service counter for cutleries & dips. The queues that lead into the counter to pay as you order (cash only), is narrow and appetizing, for the counter is adjacent to the kiln where the Lechon are roasted & portioned, as well a kitchenette where they roll out the various other Lechon-centric dishes on the menu.
The indoor seating is air-conditioned & spacious, and should seat at least 30-40pax comfortably. While we dined in the lower mezzanine, a tiny corner that can seat 10-12pax.
Our objective was to sample some things familiar & less familiar, so we picked a set each.
Bearing in mind that everything here is Lechon centric, so there’s almost no other meat source except pork. The Sizzling Sisig with Rice is an ensemble of cut & chopped crispy lechon, chopped caramelized onions, seasoned with soy sauce, topped with a sunny-side-up. Calamansi lime is recommended to be squeezed fresh, just before digging in.
Lechon Sinigang with Rice is supposedly a single portion, but when the pot was served, our eyes dilated. The Sinigang is a staple that Pinoys indulge in, just as how the Thais indulge in their Tomyum. Derived from tamarind, lime, tomatoes, the soup is sour and savory in the after taste, owing to the mix of vegetables & chunk of lechon that’s still has a crisp in the crust.
This is a dish I reckon can qualify for Fear Factor – Bopis with Rice is a concoction of fine chopped spare parts (that most ethnic cuisines would discard), cooked in a tomato based stew with a little pepperish tingle to conceal the gamey taste. On its own, I probably can’t go too far, but I think it’s quite alright when paired with plain rice.
For the finale, Lechon with Rice. The crisp in the skin is truly different from canto style crispy pork belly, and is also really different from the Chinese suckling pigs that we’re accustomed to. The portion is generous, and chopped almost an inch thick! Served with a brown sauce that I think is familiar with those served at Jollibee, I reckon the Lechon is already good enough on its own.
Be advised that if you must have a full size Lechon for whatever your function/ event may be, put in your order in advance, so there’s ample lead time for them to roast you a good one.
I guess KETO dieters would find the Lechon an exciting alternative to their costly staple. Albeit, all things best consumed in moderation.
All in all, what they may be perceived to be lacking in, is compensated with their congeniality. I find this venue to be cordial & comfortable, almost self-service level kind of joint, the food is good & pretty authentic, portion is generous therefore very affordable.
Didn’t I just mention congeniality? Birthday boys/girls, your meal is on the house!
p.s.: If beer is a must, order take away and bring the food to their neighbors’, and indulge under the marquees.
Pictures taken using LG V30+