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Looking for where to buy the tastiest good value chinese roast pork for a party (Markham or GTA surrounding area)

s
snackula Aug 26, 2008 08:51 PM

I need to buy some chinese roast pork for a party of about 50 people.

Our favourite is from Shark's Fin City (upstairs Market Village) but it is more expensive that we would like to spend.

Can anyone recommend their favourite places to buy takeout chinese roast pork? We live in Markham but don't mind to buy from anywhere in Scarborough/North York/Richmond Hill etc.

Thanks a lot!

  1. j
    jeannieh20 Aug 27, 2008 09:05 AM

    Try First Markham place - the restaurant next to Congee Wong, if you're facing Congee Wong its on the right of it. Sorry I forget the name of the place.

    11 Replies
    1. re: jeannieh20
      BokChoi Aug 27, 2008 09:46 AM

      I know many people will refer you to PeakTop, but I just had a differing point of view. Thought I would share it with you. Though I have not tried the roast pork, I have had the suckling pig. It was extremely fatty (it was almost 85% fat when I tried it) and was definitely an obese baby pig when I went. Usually when I order suckling pig, the fat is delicate, sweet, smooth and very slight. It blends seamlessly into the succulent meat. In this case, it just tasted like a size-challenged adult pig. I ended up tossing it out after 2 pieces as I found it very offensive. Having also tried their bland and over-boiled free range chicken, I would have to conclude that I was not a fan (as well, they use a microwave to reheat their meat upon service. Just plain wrong in my book). Who knows though, the roast pork could be dynamite? Just my two-cents. I am sure I am in the minority (once again). I should have known better when the suckling pig was so much cheaper than where I usually procure it from. Serves me right for trying to be cheap I guess...

      BBQ Peaktop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

      I have had an entire pig at a BBQ shop at Midland and McNicoll that was not too shabby. It would be great for a party (presentation purposes), though you would probably want them to chop it up for you for serving purposes. It was a medium sized pig ($100 ish + change. I will try to dig up an old photo) and was flavourful with crisp skin. They also have a smaller one at around $70-80. Upon returning for their 'individual' take out portions though, I was disappointed. They are a standalone BBQ shop, not in the food court (mall at the south east corner of Midland and McNicoll). So if you are in search of a whole pig, head there. Otherwise, Dragon Dynasty at Brimley and Huntingwood has some nice BBQ options. I find it is cheaper than Shark's Fin City, but the quality is very good. I always head there for my roast porks. I found that Shark's Fin City had a lot of MSG in their BBQ duck and shark's fin soup when I went there, so I could not return. The presentation is lovely though.

      1. re: BokChoi
        skylineR33 Aug 27, 2008 09:54 AM

        I never experience them micro-wave the BBQ at PeakTop. The BBQ duck I had in there in their Vaughan location always has crispy skin and fresh. I wonder why do they need to do this as their BBQ is famous and always sell out quick.

        Shark's Fin City had a lot of MSG in their BBQ duck?! I do not notice that at all too. It is the best in Toronto when they do it right.

        1. re: skylineR33
          BokChoi Aug 27, 2008 10:01 AM

          I was shocked as well when PeakTop put some BBQ in the microwave for service in the restaurant for a "ping poon" when I was there to pick up some take out. It was steaming hot when brought to the table, which is NOT how BBQ should be served, IMO. I was actually shocked to even see a microwave in the BBQ section - no restaurant should ever use that IMO. It completely destroys the taste and consistency of the dish. The location I went to was the one in Markham.

          1. re: BokChoi
            skylineR33 Aug 27, 2008 10:09 AM

            What is a "ping poon" ? It is strange, why do BBQ need to be steaming hot , what kind of BBQ is it ?? You mean you actually see them put the BBQ in the microwave ? What location of PeakTop do you visit ?

            1. re: skylineR33
              BokChoi Aug 27, 2008 01:31 PM

              The typical meat platter is what I typically refer to as "ping poon". It was an assortment of bbq pork, roast pork, chicken and duck. There was also some sausage on it. I saw them put it in the microwave and then bring it to the table steaming hot. As mentioned, I stopped by the one in First Markham place. I have never seen that before, and I hope I never see it again.

              Then again, maybe the customers requested that specifically...? Though I have no idea why anyone would.

              1. re: BokChoi
                skylineR33 Aug 27, 2008 02:02 PM

                I cannot imagine any chinese restaurant microwave the BBQ, there is no advantage at all, the temperature of the BBQ should be consistent inside the BBQ enclosed counter, unless as you said, it is a request from the customer... I microwave BBQ at home if I take it out from the fridge but that's about it.

                1. re: skylineR33
                  Royaljelly Aug 28, 2008 08:49 AM

                  That's is really odd they nuked a BBQ platter to serve in the restaurant (although I've never ordered the BBQ meat platters, only 1-2 meat choices). The microwave will heat it up, but certianly destroy any kind of crunch that the roasting method produces.

                  I've eaten at Peaktop Markham location many many times and have never been disappointed with their suckling pigs.... always nice thin skin and crunchy as heck. My parents demand I take them there everytime they visit me. Perhaps you had a bad batch?? Did you go before or after their renovations? Do give them a try again, and preferably get there early on a weekend when it's fresh.

                  1. re: Royaljelly
                    Royaljelly Aug 31, 2008 06:11 PM

                    I was at Peaktop Markham tonight... showed up at 5:30pm, had to wait 1 hr before the suckling pig was ready, and it was all sold out within 15 mins. I think it went fast because we also saw 2 full piggies sold as take-away as well. Apparently they sell the entire suckling pig for $143. I forgot to look at the BBQ area to see if there was a microwave... doh.

                    1. re: Royaljelly
                      BokChoi Sep 1, 2008 10:29 AM

                      I went before renovations - maybe I will give it another try. Could have just been the batch I had. But I went back for their free-range chicken after renos and I was not very impressed with that either. Maybe their roast pork is better. I did go later in the evening (around 8PM), but I doubt it had to do with the freshness of the batch. Maybe just an off-day...?

          2. re: BokChoi
            BokChoi Sep 1, 2008 10:59 AM

            Dug up an old photo taken with a very old, basic camera. Excellent crispy skin, as you can see from the photo.

            Head shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2818417838/
            Length view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

            Cheers and Happy Eating!

            1. re: BokChoi
              BokChoi Sep 11, 2008 07:37 PM

              Here is a picture of the Ruby Roast Pork served during Dim Sum. Platter for about $5:
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2836761371/
              Notice the crisp skin - I've never had a problem with their roast pork, personally. Another shot (partially eaten platter) with BBQ spareribs: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

              Cheers and Happy Eating!

          3. Charles Yu Aug 28, 2008 08:51 PM

            This will come as a big surprise to all of you fellow foodies, but beleive it or not, the B-B-Q store inside of Food Basics/No Frills? at Silverstar and Steeles has very good quality roast pork! Their roast duck is pretty good too!

            15 Replies
            1. re: Charles Yu
              BokChoi Aug 29, 2008 04:30 AM

              Really??! Truly shocking. I must try this the next time I feel like roast pork. Thanks for the tip.

              1. re: BokChoi
                BokChoi Oct 11, 2008 03:41 AM

                Tried the roast pork at No Frills a few weeks back. The skin was nice - but the meat was a bit salty for my tastes. The flesh was moist but a tad too chewy - but I did have a piece near the rump. However, I have had that cut before as well and did not find it as tough. As a result though, it was quite lean with minimal fat. I did enjoy that aspect as I find many places, I would have to remove a large layer of fat before consumption - just one of my hangups. It was sweet though and not bad for the price. Would I go there again for their roast pork? Not likely. But it certainly exceeded expectations being at No Frills and all. It was approximately $6.50/lb.

                Roast Pork from No Frills: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

                Cheers!

                1. re: BokChoi
                  jennjen18 Oct 21, 2008 05:54 PM

                  I think that we must think that it's not really "No Frills's" pork... it's actually another food stall (Diamond) that's within No Frills. So, it's not quite equivalent to, say, T & T's roast pork.. it's under their own company. 'Coz when it's actually the supermarket that does the roast pork, it sucks, because they just dont have the expertise to do it. No Frills, on the other hand, or should I say, Diamond, is a food stall the specializes in their roast meats.

              2. re: Charles Yu
                jennjen18 Aug 31, 2008 07:42 PM

                Yes .. I know which one you're talking about. It's the No Frills at Silver Star and Steeles, near Market Village. It's independent of No Frills, despite it being inside .. what I mean is that they just rent the spot from No Frills. They're called Diamond something, not sure whether it's affiliated with Diamond Banquet up at First Markham?

                But yes, they ARE quite tastey there. Bought some to bring with us to go on a Niagara Falls trip, and it was still very tastey cold. :) And the price is not bad.

                Other than that, I was going to recommend the BBQ place in the McCowan plaza just south of Steeles, forget what its called. It's in the same plaza as Pho 88, Taiko (the supermarket), and Dick & Janes (the fried chicken place). They have roasted pork belly at $3.99, and regular roasted pork for $3.50, I think. By far, it's the tastiest, cheaper roasted pork EVER. It's my go-to spot when I have a hankering for roasted bbq pork. And I can never resist not digging into the styrofoam box to pull out a piece while driving home. Sometimes Mom and I would even sit on the bench just outside savouring a piece before getting into the car .................................. Busted ............. :P

                1. re: jennjen18
                  BokChoi Sep 1, 2008 10:49 AM

                  Are you talking about May Heung Yuen BBQ? After you mentioned it, I remembered I used to go there a long time ago for cheap BBQ meats. Have not been there in ages. Decided to return to give it another try since you reminded me of it. Ordered the BBQ meat combination lunch box- roast pork + BBQ duck ($5.09 including tax). The pork taste itself was not bad - the skin was crisp. The duck was just okay though IMO, but definitely above average (not too salty, so great IMO). I would have to say that both the duck and the pork were a bit too fatty for me though. For the price, the BBQ meat is definitely quite good. Would I go again? Probably not in the near future because I am not really a BBQ meat person (MSG, and other additives I do not even know the names of I am sure have been added) and I prefer Ruby's and Dragon Dynasty a touch better and am willing to pay the premium because I have it so infrequently. But if you are in search of cheap BBQ, this is the place (and the one at McNicoll and Midland - please see photos I posted above).

                  (roast pork $4.50/lb, whole suckling pig $110, or $138 for regular sized pig, $14.99 for whole roast duck)

                  photo of lunch box: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

                  Good suggestion, jennjen18.

                  1. re: BokChoi
                    jennjen18 Sep 1, 2008 07:47 PM

                    Bahaha, thats the one!!.. Arent you glad that I didnt recommend PeakTop? :P Anyway, for cheaper roast pork, and for accessibility, I go to May Heung Yuen... the skin of the pork is still quite crispy after we take it home and wait maybe 1 or 2 hours until dinner time too. And I find that for that price, the taste is superb, really. They've balanced it well. The fat though - HEAVEN. :) I'm a fatty person, I love the fat.. but it's not like its oozing oil either. Just the right amount, vs. the meat itself. 'Coz without fat, it just aint tender.
                    And they're quite good with giving us pork knuckles to make soup or congee with.

                    As for duck - no way, Jose. I think all they're good for is bbq roast pork, not even the bbq honey pork. That, I would go to Sam Woo at Warden. Their duck has waaaaaaaaay too much fat. Duck can be tender without the fat.

                    1. re: jennjen18
                      BokChoi Sep 1, 2008 08:15 PM

                      I actually ended up taking off the skin off the duck - then the duck was not so bad (the meat itself). There was just too much fat on it. They left a bit too many feathers for my taste on it as well. (just in case anyone was thinking I was recommending the duck - I wasn't. Not too bad for the price though was all I meant- I got about 1/5 of the duck as part of my $5 lunch box + some roast pork. As well, the chef picked out the skinniest duck he had on hand. And since he had about 10 ducks lined up, he had quite a selection.)

                      Definitely two schools of thought on fat - some that like it, and some that despise it. I definitely love my fat in some dishes (foie gras, rillettes, fresh butter from Europe, etc), but not my BBQ,

                      1. re: BokChoi
                        skylineR33 Sep 1, 2008 09:14 PM

                        Half fat half lean BBQ Cha Siu are the best and you need to have some fat between the skin and the meat on the BBQ duck to make it the best. From what you are saying, probably you just still have not taste some of the best that is made right, since you like fat in some other dishes.

                        1. re: skylineR33
                          BokChoi Sep 2, 2008 06:19 AM

                          Where do they make it 'just right', IYO in Toronto - ignoring cost? I probably just could not find somewhere that makes it well. Then again, I did not like the ducks and geese in HK that were prized for their high-fat content. Could just be a taste preference... I'd like to test out that theory though.
                          TIA

                          1. re: BokChoi
                            skylineR33 Sep 2, 2008 09:13 AM

                            In my opinion, "half lean half fat" cha siu is more tender and smooth with the juice from the fat captured in the meat. If it is done right with a little bit of burn, together with a nice honey glazed cover and roasted aroma, it is much better than the "all lean" cha siu which is too dry.

                            But usually what I found is the lean and the fat portion of a cha siu are not integrated well together as a whole, so it is like fat is fat, lean is lean, like eating too different kind of meat in a piece of cha siu.

                            For BBQ duck/goose, I find in general, the duck in Toronto is fatter than the one in HK. I found the one in Toronto usually has too much fat.

                            Shark Fin city has some of the best BBQ in Toronto, but for this past year or so, it seems like they are going downhill quite a bit... PeakTop's BBQ duck at Vaughan is also good, give it a try and see if you like it, I don't think they have a microwave at that location...

                            The attached picture is some of the nice BBQ I had before.

                             
                            1. re: skylineR33
                              BokChoi Sep 2, 2008 09:30 AM

                              Yes, I agree. In Toronto, the fat is not well integrated, which is why I find it very unpalatable. Thanks for the photo. The cha siu from your photo looks quite lean from what I can see – is that from Shark Fin City, or from PeakTop? In HK, I find them to be better integrated, but I still do prefer not to see a thick layer of fat beneath the skin. Oftentimes I find myself removing the skin altogether, though that is often the best part of BBQ! But I just cannot stomach the fat – could be psychological, but I prefer to not be able to see the fat. Well integrated fat, as in smoked meats at Schwartz’s deli in Montreal – that is another matter! I actually request extra fatty in those circumstances. I will attempt to try Shark Fin City again – hopefully they have not gone downhill too much. Vaughan is a bit far for me, but I will try to find that location as well.

                              Thanks

                              1. re: BokChoi
                                skylineR33 Sep 2, 2008 10:28 AM

                                The BBQ in the picture is not from Toronto. Yeah, the cha siu is not shown very clearly in the picture, it has fatty parts in it. I was too eager to eat them !

                2. re: Charles Yu
                  red dragon Sep 1, 2008 12:58 PM

                  Hi Charles, I shop at that location quite often (since it opened) and never really liked their BBQ meats other than the soya sauce chicken. Perhaps it's changed and I'll certainly give it another try.

                  Has anyone been able to explain the left/right side of the duck theory? I read it here on Chowhound, but there were no details given.

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    k
                    KevinB Sep 2, 2008 06:50 AM

                    We've also tried the BBQ and roast pork from Price Chopper at Leslie and Major Mac, and thought it quite tasty and reasonably priced.

                    1. re: Charles Yu
                      red dragon Sep 10, 2008 12:41 PM

                      We used to buy from there a long time ago (when they first opened up) but stopped; I don't recall why. We live close by and decided to try it again. Have to say, the BBQ pork (not roast pork) was pretty good and even reheated quite nicely. Too bad the service was god awful. I know Chinese customer service in general can be quite abrasive but the man and woman behind the counter left us speechless. My husband ordered (in Cantonese) and when it came time to pay, I asked for extra sauce (in English). The woman said something in Cantonese to the effect of only allowing us 1 - this after we bought $12 in BBQ pork.

                      My husband was about to tell me to dump it and leave but I had already handed the cash, so my husband said quite aggressively in Cantonese that he wanted "an" extra sauce!! Geesh, what's the big deal? I don't think I've ever had a problem in asking for this anywhere else before. I couldn't help giving the woman the dirtiest look ever, since I don't plan to go back again. There's too many choices out there!

                    2. j
                      Jar Sep 1, 2008 06:49 PM

                      Snackula, wherever you get the roast pork and manage nice meat to fat ratio with crispy skin, you have to consider a sauce accompaniment. My favourite is the ginger sauce which you must try and get, or make simply with minced ginger & green onion in oil with salt and pepper basically!

                      1. santoku71 Sep 1, 2008 09:39 PM

                        T&T Market has the best roast pork hands down. 4.99 a pound. There's a store in Markham and one in Scarborough. I have yet to find any better.
                        http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/store/...

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: santoku71
                          Charles Yu Sep 2, 2008 06:01 AM

                          Now, thats interesting!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            jennjen18 Sep 2, 2008 03:32 PM

                            Haha, Mr. Yu I like your reply.... and must agree with it, whatever it meant..... ;-)

                            1. re: jennjen18
                              t
                              tksh Sep 2, 2008 03:57 PM

                              Charles is clearly a very open-minded person.

                              But actually, T&T isn't that bad, especially not at that price.

                          2. re: santoku71
                            w
                            warlock Sep 2, 2008 11:23 AM

                            I get roast pork from T&T ,once in a while....would not say they are the best but they are decent.....

                          3. Charles Yu Oct 21, 2008 06:08 PM

                            Give 'Johns B-B-Q' at 328 Hwy7 a try. You will be pleasantly surprised! Extremely tasty!

                            Their 'in-house only' half lean half fatty char-siu ( waiting time of 15 minutes ) is the best outside of Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to a Taiwanese professional food critic friend of my cousin!!

                            Further to KevinB's Price Chopper recommendation. One should give their B-B-Q duck a try also. One of the BEST in town!!

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