BBQ King, Haymarket: Roast duck with dry noodles

Rating: 3 out of 5

BBQ King
18 Goulburn St, Haymarket 2000

bbq king roast duck and noodlesBBQ King has long been a stalwart of Sydney’s late night dining scene.  Open until 2am, it brings in all those revellers that are looking for an alternative to a late night lamb sandwich.  However, this place is open all day, so whenever your hunger strikes, you can get your fill of roasted meats.  Hanging in the window of the take-away kiosk side are glistening samples of whole roasted ducks with deep, red skin, chunks of char siu, and slabs of crisp-skinned suckling pig.

I’ve been to BBQ King many times over the years for their roast duck lo mein.  I love lo mein, or stirred, Cantonese-style, wonton noodles.  They have a slightly firmer resistance when you bite through, with quite a distinctive taste and texture, and when they are served dry, lo mein style, it soaks up all the lovely flavours of the sauce.  I’m a sucker for duck when there is a choice.  Yes, even if there is pork on the menu, and in particular, suckling pig with crunchy crackling.

On this occasion, the roast duck was succulent and tender, although the skin was soft and not as crisp as I’ve had previously.  The noodles were firm with nice bite, and the duck juices at the bottom were a sweet and salty combination of soy and honey, with hints of Chinese five spice and star anise.

Unfortunately, the noodles and the choy sum underneath were not served hot.  In fact, it was barely warm.  I’m not sure whether my plate had been sitting around on a bench for a while before it reached me, but it was disappointingly colder than it should have been.  Otherwise, it’s still a worthwhile visit for the duck, and if I was stuck for a late night meal option, BBQ King would still be a strong contender.

BBQ King on Urbanspoon

Canton Noodle House, Burwood: Combination chow mein

Rating: 3 out of 5

Canton Noodle House
45 Burwood Road, Burwood 2134

combination chow mein

Something has to be said about a place that is unfussy to look at, with wipe down tables, fluorescent lighting, and a menu handwritten on coloured paper stuck to the wall, but is always filled with eager Chinese diners.

This restaurant is smack in the middle of Burwood, and is a favourite at lunch time and also in the evening.  We dined here on a Monday night, which would normally be a night that restaurant owners have off, but this place is still busy.  We are seated quickly and efficiently, with a pot of hot Chinese tea reaching our table before our bums even hit our seats.

The combination chow mein arrived after only a short wait, and we found a generous mix of seafood, vegetables, tender chicken and beef, and BBQ pork in a saucy gravy, poured over a thick nest of crispy thin egg noodles. One of the best things about chow mein is having a mix of textures, with crunchy noodles as well as soft noodles after the gravy has deliciously soaked in.

This dish was generously proportioned, and the meat was tender and juicy.  There was also a fairly even ratio of meat and vegetables to noodle, meaning you’re not left with lonely noodles or meat towards the end of the meal.  However, the gravy was a little on the salty side, and was a bit too gelatinous, suggesting that the chef was a bit overeager with the corn starch.

Overall, the combination chow mein here is great value at $10.70 for a big serving without the frills but delivers it with no fuss.

Canton Noodle House on Urbanspoon