Having grown up in Hong Kong, there are several places that will always have a special place in my food memory. When we were young(er), my parents were creatures of habit when it came to food, and I can’t remember if it was because they loved these places, or if it was because my brother and I always insisted that we go there. Cinta J was one of these places.
It has relocated a few times in my lifetime – I still remember when it was in the basement of a nondescript building that I can’t recall, we always sat at the table next to the big fish tank, perhaps to amuse us kids (back in the day, when Ipads didn’t exist). Now it is on Jaffe Road, down the street from Joe Bananas and opposite Dusk Til Dawn. A bright neon sign lights the way, proclaiming it’s offerings of Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai food.
Crispy Pata is probably not something that a child, or an adult for that matter, should have been eating every other weekend, but we did, and it was (and still is) crazy good. In the 20 years that have passed, the Crispy Pata at Cinta J has remained the same. What’s more, the kitchen churns out those babies one after the other, each table at the restaurant getting their fix of pigs trotter and leg that has been simmered in spices, rubbed with seasonings and then deep fried to crispy perfection.
The satays here are also good, thick chunks of meat in generous portions, brought to the table with a mini cast iron burner to heat them before you et them – a nice touch! I’ve had better peanuts sauces though.