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Best Chinese barbecue in Seattle?

c
chloevu Nov 15, 2007 02:37 PM

I'm looking to get some good Chinese-style roast pork and roast duck for takeout tomorrow. I've made a mental note of places I've been meaning to try, but I have run out of time to do taste tests. Can anyone recommend a place that's reliably good and open at least until 6pm?

  1. dave_c Nov 28, 2007 03:48 PM

    After reading this post, I decided to do an informal roast pork tasting. I tried three places. I walked by another place (don't know the name and didn't see a sign), but they were sold out.

    I picked some roasted pork up Tuesday night around 5 pm and drove home. Didn't try it until 6:30.

    Uwajimaya's - The meat was nicely flavored with a faint hint of star anise and schezwan peppercorns(?), maybe 5 spice. There was also a subtle sweetness. The skin was was only slightly crunchy, but I was there kind of late and was getting the end of the day stuff.

    Kau Kau - Very crunchy crackling skin, which is why I like roast pork. The meat was saltier (but not over-salted) then Uwajimaya's roast pork. The other spices in their dry rub was very very faint. I mainly tasted the salt.

    King's BBQ (Two shops down from Shanghai Garden) - I was getting the end of the day pork. The meat had decent flavor, but I liked Kau Kau and Uwajimaya's better. No crunch in the skin.

    Kau Kau is my "go to" place for roast pork, but I'm starting to lean more towards Uwajimaya's version since I enjoyed the flavor of the meat a little more.. Both are good and I can't go wrong at either location.

    Overall, if I could find a place with the flavor of Uwajimaya's dry rub and the crunch of Kau Kau's crackling skin I'd be in heaven.

    1. c
      chloevu Nov 16, 2007 11:13 AM

      Thanks, everyone! I knew I could count on fellow chowhounders! It sounds like I have lots of places to try out now. And for the record, I am not a huge fan of char siu, but maybe it's just been awhile since I had a very good sample. I am definitely more preferential to roast pork and duck with that lovely layer of fat and crackling skin. Oh, the memories...

      1 Reply
      1. re: chloevu
        knowspicker Nov 16, 2007 08:27 PM

        And my other favorite cha shu is at Tai Tung. It's a little leaner than "authentic" but it's what I grew up on so there is always a special place for it in my heart. In other words, that with a grain of salt. TT also does a pretty good roast duck. I prefer it to most I've tried in Seattle but I'm not a seasoned veteran of the duck scene.

      2. dave_c Nov 16, 2007 10:31 AM

        I'm in the Lynnwood area so my usual place is Ranch 99 in Edmonds.
        The roast pork is passible when I have the craving.

        For Seattle proper, I usually go to Kau Kau. Their roast pork is usually roasted belly which has just the right amount of juicy fat, meat and crackling skin.

        Another place that I've tried and liked was Uwajamiya's. I ended up there one morning after dropping someone off at the airport. I needed a roast pork fix and Uwajamiya's was the only place open in the morning. I didn't expect that much, but the pork was flavorful and had a good crackling layer.

        Roast duck... I haven't found any place that's done an outstanding job. Ranch 99 and Kau Kau are good, but not really memorable.

        Based upon the recs here, I should just try the other locations too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dave_c
          h
          HungWeiLo Nov 16, 2007 01:20 PM

          Kau Kau is an interesting place, if you consider the owner of the place. I talked to him about 10 years ago (assuming it's still the same guy), he said something about being in the Kuomintang (Nationalists) on the run from Mao's troops. He ended up in Burma and had lived there for 30-40 years before coming to the States. So I wonder if he learned his BBQ skills from while he was in Burma or after coming to the States. I actually don't like his food all that much (been there twice and never gone back since), but just find the history interesting as it could possibly relate to the way he prepares his food.

        2. knowspicker Nov 16, 2007 09:09 AM

          One of my personal favorites is the Uwajimaya deli roast pork, bbq pork and duck. I haven't tried the chicken. Roast pork has the meat, layer of fat, then crispy skin. Maybe not as exciting as the other options but very quick service and convenient.

          I also like King's though I haven't been in a while.

          1. s
            smalt Nov 16, 2007 04:23 AM

            Oh hey - forgot to mention - Harbor City has good roast pork as well...I like the roast pork there better than Kau Kau's and we've even special ordered it for family occasions.

            1. n
              nonbei Nov 15, 2007 10:27 PM

              The takeout place, located inside the Renton Ranch 99 Market (Great Wall Shopping Mall), has the best Chinese-style roast duck I've had in the greater Seattle area. Been to many of the popular I.D. spots that have roast duck (Kau Kau, King's, Ocean City, etc) and none of them compare to this nondescript takeout counter tucked away in an Asian Supermarket. Definitely worth the drive.

              1. s
                smalt Nov 15, 2007 07:20 PM

                Harbor City duck isn't bad, but I do go back to Kau Kau for cha siu

                1. p
                  PAO Nov 15, 2007 04:33 PM

                  King's Barbecue in the ID, but I don't know their hours. They do everything from roast duck, chicken, and pork, to whole suckling pigs. Barbecue is all they do.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: PAO
                    h
                    HungWeiLo Nov 16, 2007 09:26 AM

                    I second this place, if it's the same one I'm thinking about (the one across the street from the old Uwajimaya site)

                  2. k
                    kirkj Nov 15, 2007 04:24 PM

                    Kau Kau makes very good char shu. Although many people rave about their duck, I find it pretty ordinary.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kirkj
                      j
                      jaydeflix Nov 15, 2007 04:30 PM

                      Someday I hope to try something other than the BBQ Pork at Kau Kau, but I can't break away from the habit of getting it =)

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