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Feb 13, 2009 12:10 PM

Roast Ducks and Pigs In The Window

There's a new occupant to what used to be a Chinese restaurant in Willston, on the Patrick Henry Drive side around the corner from Safeway. This one has a paper sign in the window with Chinese and pretty loose English (always a good sign) that says, among other things "Hong Kong Foods." There's a case with hanging roast critters, something I think someone was asking about lately. Maybe it'll turn out to be a decent alternate to the slipping Mark's Duck House across the street. I was already fed when I walked by there today, but I'll check it out and report when I know something. Unfortunately, unlike Steve, I can't eat three lunches in one sitting (what's the secret?), so it'll be a short report. ;)

No apparent name yet. There's what looks like a torn temporary sign but all that's left is "X. "

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  1. Hopefully, not just "decent," but also cheaper.

    1. Hi Mike. Thanks for the tip. It's pretty slim pickings in NOVA for roast meats and dim sum. Will be on the look out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DCDeb

        The Chinese Supermarket (the big one, in the midle) at Eden Center has roast meats in the window. You pay for these separately, cash only.

        1. re: Steve

          There's also a place at Eden Center if you go into the shopping center at the entrance nearest that Chinese Supermarket you mention in the middle, and go straight back. Chinese owned; Cantonese noodle and rice dishes on the menu. I don't recall the name but they sell roast meats there as well -- and I've found both the duck and both types of roast pork (crispy skin and char siu) to be very flavorful and very juicy/moist. Certainly among the best I can find in the area. I've had both the meats from the Chinese supermarket out front and the place tucked into the back, and prefer the one inside.

          Edited to add: the restaurant is called Cho Cu Saigon, and their sign actually says "Barbecue Seafood Restaurant".

      2. Stopped in for lunch today. The name of the restaurant (though they still don't have a sign outside) is X. O. Taste. Turns out that it's under the same ownership as the Full Kee restaurants. The menu is very extensive, a bit of everything Chinese (yes, they have beef with broccoli and General Tso's Chicken), congee, noodles (chow foon dishes), noodle soups, casseroles, squid claw (who knew?) and various intestines.

        I was conservative and tried the double cooked pork, which is my usual first dish in a new Chinese restaurant. It was a good version, with a sauce lighter than what I usually get, laced with a fair amount of ginger. I was chatting with the hostess, suggesting that they put more items from the Hong Kong menu on the lunch specials menu, and when I mentioned that what caught my eye was the case with the roast pork, chicken, and duck in the window, she brought me a sample plate on the house.

        I've never had a chicken roasted that way and I didn't care for it much. It had a good flavor, but the skin was soft and there was a thick layer of fat underneath that didn't render out. Perhaps the correct description was "very rich," but the hacked on the bone chunks weren't too chopstick-friendly for eating. My fingers got too greasy to hold the chopsticks from eating the chickent. The duck, which I expect to have a layer of fat, indeed did, but the skin was delightfully dark and crispy. The pork was delicious and a lovely color inside and out.

        The place is very pretty - new paint job, new tables and chairs, bright colors, but no acoustic treatment, so it's pretty loud when busy. I was surprised at how busy they were at 1:30 in the afternoon - maybe it was because of the holiday. Nearly all the tables were occupied, and I was nearly the only honkie in the place, always a good sign.

        It's worth some exploration.

        Again (in case this message ends up at the bottom of the stack) it's in the Willston shopping center, on Patrick Henry Drive, around the corner from the Safeway.

        14 Replies
        1. re: MikeR

          I'll have to try out the noodle soup and report back. I used to love Mark's roast pork and wonton noodle soup for take away, but the quality slipped along with everything else, so I started going to Full Key instead.

          1. re: Henry Spencer

            Pass along prices for the roast meats if possible.

            1. re: Chownut

              Darn, I didn't see your post until I got home with my soup. I looked at the prices, but didn't make a note to remember them. The pork in the soup was really good; kind of sweet, but with the right amount of char. The broth was tasty; a little more complex than some I've had, and noodles were fine. As Mike said, the menu is huge, with a big variety of HK goodness. I'll go back with a larger party and get a better sample.

              1. re: Henry Spencer

                I, too, looked at the prices on the roast critters case, but I didn't remember them. I seem to recall $9.95/pound for the pork. I walk past there a couple of times a week. I'll try to remember to jot down the prices. I think they're on one of the hand-written paper signs in the window.

                1. re: MikeR

                  IMO- the best roast pig in NoVa - crunchy skin type - @ Miu Kee on rt50 in Falls Church.

                  The display is inside the restaurant not street level but it's a nice ambiance for an authentic chinese restaurant.

                  1. re: r0cc00

                    That's interesting. Miu Kee in the past only carried duck or roast BBQ pork, not roast pig, but then again, I haven't been for a long time.

                    How much do they charge?

                2. re: Henry Spencer

                  The sign in the window lists the port at $6.95/lb. A whole duck or chicken is $19.95, half is $9.95. I suspect that they'll chop it up as you want it (or not).

                  1. re: MikeR

                    At $6.95/lb, that sounds too good to be true. Are you sure it's not Roast BBQ Pork (eg. long strips) vice Roast Pig (chopped from the carcass)?

                    At Mark's Duck House, it's $13.95 for the pork rib area, and $12.95 for the dry white meat area.

                    Ducks there are going for about $22-23.

                    I hope this new place doesn't jack up prices a few months after opening.

                    1. re: Chownut

                      The $6.95/lb roast pork is strips or chunks, probably a loin. Whole pig is probably around $20.

                      They serve most of the pig in other formats. Stomach, kidney, liver, and tongue are all in cold apetizers in the $7-8 range.

                      1. re: MikeR

                        I stopped by today in between lunch and dinner.

                        I think they have grand opening specials.

                        Roast pig was $9.95/lb outside, $11/lb price inside.

                        Roast duck was $9.95 for 1/2 duck, same for chicken. Double for whole.

                        I think they also have roast goose.

                        Roast BBQ pork is $6.95/lb.

                        They didn't have any new takeout menus, but I managed to snag an old one.

                        The restaurant is not as deep as Mark's, but much wider and much more open feeling with higher ceilings.

                        Very convenient in/out location right next to BB&T bank.

                        Bought some roast meats to go...will have some for dinner tonight, but it looks good.

                        1. re: Chownut

                          After chowing down, I'd have to say the roast meat grub is comparable to Mark's duck house at a lower price.

                          Also, let me clarify the use of the word "critter" that someone likes to use here. As far as I can tell, they have roast pig, duck, goose, and also chicken.

                          There are no "critters," at least as far as I can tell hanging from the hooks such as chipmunks, beavers, platypus, otters, rats, meerkats, moles, voles, raccoons, or ferrets.

                          I'll post more if I get a chance to eat off their menu. I don't think they offer dim sum though.

                          1. re: Chownut

                            no platypus, meerkat or vole? oh my!

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Don't know about civet cats though.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Plenty of fowl swine...or is that, fowl and swine.