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Dec 17, 2009 05:39 AM

Roast meat take out from Chinatown

Is it possible to buy a big piece of roast meat there that is nice enough to make a center of dinner for about 6-7 people? I was thinking of roast pork or maybe a couple of ducks? Anything else I should consider? Do these reheat well at home? What would be the best place to get it? Do I need to preorder and if yes, how much in advance? How much meat to buy? Any other advice before I venture out there?

Thank you, hounds in advance. Recommendations I get on this board are always right on!

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  1. From the way you are asking the question, I am wondering how you intend to serve the "roast meat". Many Chinese preparations for things like roast duck, barbecue pork, soy sauce chicken involve hacking the meat into small-ish pieces and then either arranging them artfully on a platter (which is sometimes a room-temperature offering) or incorporating them in a stir-fry.

    In my experience you do not have to pre-order. If the totally unexpected happens, and your favorite Chinatown roast meat purveyor is out of a particular item, well, there are any number of good choices just steps away.

    1. I'll second what POS said about large cuts of meat.
      I just did this for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I went to a place on Beach street between the chinatown arch and Harrison that had roast meat in the window. Sorry don't remember the name. I bought a half a pound of char sui roast pork that they hacked into bits and covered with a ladle of sauce. I took it home and made fried rice with it one night and stir fry the next.
      I'm not sure about a large roast though- most of the pieces looked like they were 1lb or less. I'm skeptical about finding a large roast all ready to plate and serve, and although you could try to pre-order, the place I went didn't seem like they did that kind of thing, and there might be a language barrier in explaining what you want. I'm not familiar with the duck options, but that might be better for getting a larger piece of meat for the center of dinner. Make sure that kind of sweet-salty-carmelized taste is what you want too.

      1. This recent thread on the subject should give you all you need! I recently reviewed Vinh Sun in The Phoenix, but mainly for its restaurant, not retail, menu. I like that place a lot for both.

        1. My current fave is Vinh Sunh. I'd recommend getting there fairly early in the day..11 ish and buying a 3-4 lb piece of roast pig..the brownish, skin on pig that's hanging in the window. figure about 1/2 lb pp. maybe a few ducks too. If you're handy with a knife or cleaver, I recommend NOT having them cut it for you..but heat it yourself in a very hot oven at home..and carve yourself. Keeps the meat moister. Shouln't have to preorder and they easily reheat at home. I'd probably serve it as chops and serve "Western style" with a knife and fork. You're essentially buying a cooked pork roast that should have a nice crispy slin. I do this regularly but more lile 1 lb pieces for 2 people..but it would work fine witha larger piece.

          Stir fried bok choy makes a nice side dish

          3 Replies
          1. re: 9lives

            I am now imagining eating a huge piece of siu yuk with a knife and fork... weird

            1. re: Luther

              I'm serving it as more of a pork roast cut into centerpiece. Picking up an 8-10oz chop with chopsticks and gnawing on it would also appear weird..and cumbersome; all depends on whether you want the guests to do the cutting or the host, of course, the host couldchopinto bite size pieces and use chopsticks; if all the guests can use chopsticks.

            2. re: 9lives

              get some hoisin sauce (and a bit of hot sesame oil if you like) to dip the crispy skin pork in...Hong Kong Eatery will also sell you a whole roast suckling pig with a week's notice, but at ~ $16/lb and ~ 15 lbs that will be a pricey way to go...if possible ask for "center cut" (the rib section) when you get your large piece

            3. You can absolutely request that the meat not be cut. This is fairly common for Chinese families around holidays, who may first bring the meat whole back to be used as offerings to the ancestors and spirits before being served at dinner (but the mean is then hacked as usual at home). Just let them know when you order.

              I personally don't love meats re-heated, especially the siu yuk (roast pork - not char siu). The crispy skin can get soggy, so I'd suggest buying as reasonable close to your serving time as possible. If you insist on one whole chunk/bird, reserving ahead of time may not be a bad idea.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kobuta

                I can usually do a good job of recrisping the skin on the duck or pig with a very hot preheated oven and pizza stone..even a few mins under the broiler. I agree, it's better if you can buy as close to eating time; but that's not always practical. If possible, I try to avoid refrigerating. Hope that helps you get it more crispy.