There’s nothing that quite beats the taste of Chinese style barbecue pork. The marinade that it’s roasted in, the texture of the meat that works so well on both noodles, rice, and other meals. The sight of hunks of pork hanging in a restaurant window waiting for a buyer, with the butcher behind the window ready to slice up the pork on request. It’s the type of culinary experience that defined my childhood, and I still consider barbecue pork a treat whenever I go out to a Chinese restaurant.
The closest BBQ restaurant to me is Chatswood BBQ Kitchen on Victoria Avenue in Chatswood. It’s recently moved from a spot further down Victoria Avenue close to Chatswood Chase to a space near Westfield. In the process, they’ve renovated the space so that it looks a lot more modern and upmarket compared to the older restaurant, and done really well in the process. The prices remain the same, so the renovations haven’t affected the cost price per plate – which is great!
K and I recently dined there and ordered:
- An iced lemon tea each
- A BBQ combination on rice – we chose BBQ pork, roast pork and roast duck
- A tofu, chicken and salty fish hotpot
All the barbecued and roast meats were done near perfectly – the roast pork and duck were tasty (especially with the accompanying sauce), though the barbecue pork wasn’t quite chargrilled enough. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve had fully barbecued pork for years now – though I hope I’ll get to have some in Hong Kong when I’m there in a few weeks time!
The lemon tea was perfect for that hot day we went as it wasn’t too sweet and the lemon added just the right amount of flavour. The hotpot was also really well done – flavoured simply by the salt fish and some chicken stock, it was a nice simple dish which went well with some steamed rice.
Because the servings are quite large, I would consider applying a $10 per person rule to ordering at this restaurant. For example, the BBQ combination plate was $13.50, and was too large for one person, but too small for two. If it had been accompanied with a $6 vegetarian entree, it would have been about right. Similarly the hotpot was $17 and was nearly enough for two people if there was some rice on the side.
Overall, I rate Chatswood BBQ Kitchen a 7.5 out of 10. It’s fantastic value if you’re looking for a simple, tasty meal like you would find in a traditional Chinese kitchen. However if you’re looking for bells, whistles, and service with a smile, it’s not the type of place you want to go.