Sunday, 18 March 2012

Hong Kong BBQ House Chinese Restaurant

Hong Kong BBQ House on Urbanspoon
When you're suffering with a bad dose of jetlag, you don't realise your hunger creeping up as your normal
eating and sleeping pattern is so wildly messed up.
But then when you're back to your senses and re-adjust yourself to your so called normal life,
you realise, shit. I haven't eaten in about 18 hours. Why am I not that hungry?! And because 3 krispy
kremes for breakfast at 3pm doesn't even count as food. Crap, that's why...

We got back home to country town Perth way too early, at around 8am - the perfect time to get straight back to sleep. No doubt that is exactly what happened, only waking up in the afternoon to suppress my grumbling
tummy with about a day's worth of calories of KK donuts. Then it was straight back to bed until my stomach
told me it was time to get up again for dinner.

-Sleep til' you're hungry, eat til' you're sleepy

Yeah, life advice doesn't get any better than that. And that is why I swear my life by it.
Hence, life doesn't get any lazier than that. Blah!

Between 7 of us, 6 dishes were demolished. Fair teamwork effort, but with me working harder than
everyone else, it hardly seems fair.

Barbeque Ribs - $35 
"Can we have some roast pork?" - "Sorry, we're sold out."
"Some BBQ pork then?" - "Umm we're out of that too."
"...What DO you have?" - "There's BBQ Ribs?"

And that is the only reason why this plate of BBQ ribs made an appearance at our table. We arrived at such a devastatingly wrong time, where everything was already sold out for the day! When this came out it looked SO much like BBQ pork that I thought the waiter was nuts for saying they had run out. Like psshhh, run out my ass. And then when I bit down hard on a bone, crap why did I think he was nuts?!

So as you can see, it bears a great resemblance to the normally shiny and red BBQ pork except this has bones within it. It tasted pretty much the same, with a little bit of inconvenience added due to the bones. The pinkish red flesh was sweet, juicy and fragrant from perfect cooking. The natural fats in the meat coupled with the shiny glaze of oil over the top is enough to give you an oily film across your lips and a little bit of regret :)

The oiliness of these delicious ribs made me stick to the peanuts underneath all the meat, which were also drenched with oil anyway. Who am I kidding.

Chicken Sweet Corn Soup - $7
Hot sweet corn soup would have been a nice addition to the oily meal, if you have the mindset that hot stuff has the ability to melt the fats that are already inside you. This was what it was, no better nor worse than what sweet corn soup usually tastes like.

Nothing that really stood out for me, except the memory of there being little chicken.

Roast Duck (whole) - $40
You go to a BBQ house, you can't forgo the roast duck. For me, I'd say the roast duck is the staple dish of an Asian roast restaurant. And this place does it better than well, with 3 tiers of golden brown crispy skin, fat and juicy tender duck flesh, sitting in a pool of its own juices.

Sooooo good. Duck meat may be fat. ...REALLY fat, as the way it is roasted seals in all its fats and juices, and none of that good stuff gets released out until inside you. The sight of these you see behind the restaurant's glass windows may put you off as you see its juices sliding off and drip, drip, dripping into its own fat collection pool. But then eat them, and your now guiltless sense of taste will take you for a ride past all those thoughts about dieting, aka self torture.

Spinach in 2 Egg Sauce - $22
Just to help a tiny bit to counteract an already super healthy, nutritional meal like this, some effort has to be made to stay healthy. We went with the waiter's suggestion of spinach in 2 egg sauce and actually, this turned out to be my most touched dish of the night.

It wasn't particularly a stand-out dish that made me dig around hungrily for sunken bits at the end, or reach for it so much that the whole dish ended up being positioned right in front of me, but because it was pretty much the only thing that wasn't FAT LADEN, or DEEP FRIED, or BATHED IN OIL, or LEAKING OIL FROM ITSELF. All the delicious qualities that my dining companions look for in a satisfying relationship with food.

Boring spinach is otherwise made more exciting with the inclusion of salted egg and century egg cubes, along with whole caramelised garlic cloves. Century eggs are a matter of hit or miss with most people, and admittedly they smell a bit like urine. And even though I just put myself off with that comment, I encourage you with all my heart to still go and try them. They have their own distinct characteristic, and smelling like piss isn't what I'm referring to.

Plain Noodle Soup - $4
Noodles are a winner with most, so $4 for a big bowl of noodle soup plus vegetables is definitely a champion. Just eat these quickly before the hot broth excessively overcooks the noodles and turning them soft and mushy. Taking too long will cause the strands to become dull, lifeless and losing their original bounciness, much like hair. Mmmmm!

Panfried Toothfish - $30
This dish is almost always scrumptious, with its golden crispy fried skin and smooth, flaky white flesh. Usually being served a small proportion ensures that it leaves you wanting more, and for $30 this was indeed quite a small serving.

Given too little of something breeds lust, given too much of something breeds indifference. Life and food: why so damn hard to find balance in it?!

Combination Roast Noodle Soup
If you can't decide on one type of animal, you can satisfy your greed and ask for a mix up. Soya chicken here has a just-cooked texture, tender meat that is never dry or overcooked. The darkened chicken skin doesn't taste oily or even look visibly fatty, seems like they use quality chicken here!

Prices and portions are a bit of a two way street here, one goes up and the other has seemed to head in the other direction. This was around the $14.50 mark from memory, which is considerably higher than the general prices of an average bowl you can find from other restaurants. But people don't seem to care paying a higher price for the good stuff, as ratings on Urbanspoon suggest!

Roast Duck Noodle Soup
This is the one choice that is always ordered without fail through rain or shine, regardless of whether we even feel like it or not. The restaurant used to place the chopped up duck on a separate plate to the noodles, which I reckon was a better idea. If the serving size wasn't bigger that way, at least it gave the illusion that it was!


The things you'll probably notice most about this newly refurbished (by new it's probably been like over a year) are the slow but steady price inflations and, well, the newly refurbished insides. It looks majorly different from its facelift, and the renovations and decor are minimalist but stylishly simple. Dark and white contrasting coloured furniture with different textured walls is the running theme throughout.

It's not all about oily roasts at a BBQ house, as you're greeted with live swimming seafood awaiting their fatality in large glass tanks as you step through the entrance. This forms part of the animal decors this restaurant displays! One of the "decorations" that are evident in every BBQ house are the masses of poultry and pork mannequins hanging on display, showcasing what Chinese BBQ is all about. It definitely looks a bit cruel, but it's a delicious sacrifice.

Asian cuisine restaurants usually holds the concept of quick in, quick eat, quick out. As such, staff service is very swift, even in times of traffic in peak eating hours. Hong Kong BBQ House sees a range of different customers and it gets very rowdy and busy at times with queues for takeaway and dining in. But you definitely won't be kept waiting, as it is in the best interests for the customer and the restaurant itself to kick out serve diners ASAP so that new ones get in.

It is by far NOT your usual cheap go-to Chinese feed, with prices being very much higher than what you can usually find in Chinatown or other Asian eating establishments. Does higher prices translate to higher quality eats? Not definitely for all dishes on the menu, but yes for some. You'll find your usual dishes on the menu plus BBQ roast meat options. Takeaway for duck is considerably cheaper than dining at the restaurant, which is a bonus if you prefer your own service at home and some more $$$ saved.

And then spend those saved funds at an even MORE expensive restaurant!

1 comment:

  1. My parents and relatives residing in HK actually flew all the way from HK to Perth, just to visit HK BBQ everyday. haha they said their noodles here are even better than the noodles in HK ! can you believe that ?!


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