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Monday, December 04, 2006

BBQ King, Haymarket Chinatown

bbq king shopfront

I've never been a fan of banquet menus. All too often the list of bullet-pointed dishes are ho-hum run-of-the-mill offerings, a shoulder-sinking realisation that to appeal to the masses, one's tastebuds is often forcibly reduced to the lowest common denominator.

Sometimes, though, you will find yourself in a large eclectic group, and plagued by meandering indecisiveness and a vocal urge to eat, it's often just easier to put your menu down and go with the banquetting flow.

peking duck
Peking duck pancake

sang choy bau
Sang choy bow

salt and pepper calamari
Salt and pepper calamari

crispy skin chicken
Crispy skin chicken

prawns with snow peas
Sauteed prawns with snowpeas

chinese spinach with garlic
Chinese water spinach with garlic

bbq pork
Barbecue pork

At $30 a head, I considered our value for money only mildly fair. The crispy skin chicken was lovely and moist, the bbq pork was tasty as usual, but other dishes were a little heavy-handed in tongue-coating oil for my liking (the sang choy bow in particular).

Of course, with a name like BBQ King, perhaps it would be foolish to order anything but. With their barbecued meats hanging tantalisingly in the window, we've generally had much greater success with their rice and bbq menu, and coming in for a lunch with a friend or two means you get to sit downstairs in relatively "swish" surroundings (compared to upstairs anyways).

bbq king interior

B always has the hot and sour soup, one of the few dishes in this world I cannot fathom. Vinegar on chips I like, but drinking hot vinegar is something that "sorry, compoot-ah says no". Perhaps one day I will overcome.

hot and sour soup
Hot and sour soup $6.00

Instead I am usually quite happy to tuck into mouthfuls of roast duck and barbecue pork, piled onto a seemingly unconquerable mountain of rice. A side forest of vegetables must also be cleared.

bbq pork and roast duck with rice
BBQ pork and roast duck with rice $13.00
(Visit #1)

I've had this twice lately, and portion size and quality will always vary. I've never quite understood why their portions have to be so large though. We neatly circumvent this pricing strategy by simply sharing a dish between two.

bbq pork and roast duck with rice
BBQ pork and roast duck with rice $13.00
(Visit #2)

And of course everything always tastes better with a generous dip in chilli sauce.

chilli sauce

A Sydney institution with a legion of loyal fans, but for the moment I'm sticking to the barbecue for a guaranteed happy belly.

bbq king

BBQ King
18-20 Goulburn St, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9267 2586


Open 7 days, 11.30am-2.00am

Related GrabYourFork posts:
BBQ King, March 2007

10 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 12/04/2006 11:56:00 pm


10 Comments:

  • At 12/05/2006 4:37 am, Blogger Yvo said…

    Gahhh, that looks so delicious. Ah, if only it weren't so bitingly cold here (okay it's not THAT cold YET, but it's been really warm so today is really unbearable), I'd walk to Chinatown during my lunch. You've got me wanting roast pork over rice.

     
  • At 12/05/2006 10:37 am, Anonymous jules said…

    I haven't been to BBQ king for ages..found it pretty expensive the last time but everything here looks soo good...better plan a visit

     
  • At 12/05/2006 10:46 am, Anonymous mama bok said…

    The char siew looks real yummy..! i drink the hot and sour soup.. because the other soups that they have here in the chinese restaurant are so lame... :)

     
  • At 12/05/2006 4:28 pm, Anonymous sir_duckalot said…

    BBQ King was my first (and probably most ppl in Sydney) introduction to duck, but after much sampling of all the BBQ places in the CBD, my vote for the best BBQ Duck would have to be from Emperor's Garden:

    http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/emperors_garden_bbq_and_noodle/

     
  • At 12/06/2006 12:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    after sampling most BBQ joints around sydney (cbd, south, inner west, north), there are plenty of other ones just as good, and offering far better value (eg. bbq meat + rice dish for half the price)...

     
  • At 12/06/2006 11:38 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Yvo - New York winters are not nice! And yes, you can't beat sweet caramelised roast pork over pristine fluffy white rice.

    Hi Jules - I find the prices quite expensive here too, especially you know the money isn't going towards the decor. lol

    Hi Mama Bok - I will have to work on my hot and sour soup bias. I love tom yum goong, but hot vinegar is something else entirely! :)

    Hi sir_duckalot - I usually get our takeaway meats from Emperor's Garden. Their hakka chicken is fantastically moist, and so cheap too.

    Love your handle btw!

    Hi Anon - There are plenty of bbq joints around Sydney, I agree. I've always wondered about the unfailing affection so many Sydneysiders have for BBQ King though. It reminds me of the fond loyalty Londoners have for Wong Kei's - the service was always terrible but people seemed to love it regardless. An enigma indeed.

     
  • At 12/07/2006 2:27 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    I do have a soft spot for BBQ King, as you say, it's an institution. Lately it's been very hit or miss, sometimes the quality is great, fresh and hot, other times it's disgraceful, tastless salt and pepper calamari, fatty or boney bits of duck. But overall, it's such a no-brainer and easy to meet place, I'll always be back.

     
  • At 12/07/2006 8:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rick Stein thinks the BBQ King in Sydney has the best BBQ pork in the world outside mainland China.

     
  • At 12/07/2006 8:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Me again - the Rick Stein comment. Living in London as I do I laugh when I see you say that $30 per head was not good value. That represents 12 GBP and what you can get for that here wouldn't feed a dormouse! Can't wait to get back to that fabulous cheap wonderful Aussie food! :-)

     
  • At 12/08/2006 5:17 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Julia - I think you're right. It can be a bit hit-and-miss. However it doesn't seem to lose its fans so I guess everybody's still happy :)

    Hi Anon - That's quite a call! I find their bbq pork is a little heavy on the molasses which always makes for good caramelisation. Mmm... super burnt bits... yum :P

    And yes, do scoff at the value of our Aussie pesos! Now imagine the pain when we head over there... argh, it was torture to begin with!

     

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