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ISO: Chinese Restaurant serving best crispy roast pork?

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2 days to go till my Gotham holiday including touristy to-do's & of course great food at all price points.
Hope 2 days is enough :)

Anyhow: Looking for recommendations on where I can get the best tasting Chinese crispy roast pork?

Anywhere from Central Park down to Chinatown would be preferred on the island - thanks.

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  1. Great NY Noodletown

    1 Reply
    1. re: AubWah

      And the roast baby pig is great too!

    2. Hsin Wong on 72 Bayard. I wouldn't say it's the gold standard, but it is one of their specialties and is very good quality roast pork and suckling pig.

      Wah Fung on 79 Chrystie. Maybe a little too rich, but it's very flavorful. More of a take out joint though.

      Hsin Wong
      72 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

      1. Also Big Wong King at 67 Mott St. I not would call either of their versions crispy though (save the tips) - just the normal Cantonese Style BBQ Roast Pork (Cha Shao - 叉烧) deliciousness.

        Big Wong
        67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        9 Replies
        1. re: scoopG

          Big Wong King on 67 Mott Street is my favorite Chinatown BBQ place, but they don't have the crispy roast pork original poster was referring to. I always wondered why, but it's not there thing.

          Big Wong
          67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: villainx

            but they don't have the crispy roast pork original poster was referring to.
            That would be correct from my past few times there.

          2. re: scoopG

            Yes, they have the best roast pork (cha siu) by far! However, I believe what the OP wanted is often translated as roast pig on the menu, and people often see both on the menu and wonder what the difference is.
            Roast pork = the shoulder (most likely) cut in a BBQ sauce, nothing special about the skin
            Roast pig = crispy skin, various cuts, usualy from big chunks of a fork-roasted pig: one can even order the whole pig (somehow a suckling is a little more popular.)
            But, as you pointed out, their roast pork is very good, especially if you are lucky to get a fatter cut.

            1. re: diprey11

              just some trivia (that also sounds sort of gross), i believe the best cut for cha siu is supposed to be the pork arm pit well i guess its really a leg pit, but you know what i mean

              1. re: Lau

                Is it a hind leg, or a fore one? ;-) They have different fat contrent and texture
                My question is kind of tongue in cheek, but thank you so much for the info!

                1. re: diprey11

                  hmmm good question, i dont know the answer to that

                  1. re: Lau

                    fore....picnic shoulder.....however, most restaurants use the butts

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Yes, pork butt. Also known as Boston Butt. All the same thing: the shoulder of the pig.

              2. re: diprey11


            2. Make sure you ask for roast "pig" and not roast pork if you want the crispy one. I've been corrected a few times by the guys. And once we asked my father-in-law to pick up some roast pork, thinking he knew what we were talking about. He ended up getting the Cantonese BBQ pork.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Miss Needle

                Thanks for the clarification!

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  or in mandarin, "tsui pi zhu" I think is crisp-skin pork, as opposed to "char-siu", the red stuff.

                2. I really do not believe you can go wrong with either Hsin Wong or NY Noodletown.....both are very good, but I would recommend you definitely order the Suckling Pig if available. If that means opting for one place over the other to make your decision, that's how I would decide. I would also caution you to inspect the pig or piglet hanging in the window when you arrive to see what portion is available at the time you arrive.....or at the very least, ask if you can have the section of the pig you treasure most. Sometimes the pigs are burnt and dry or too fatty, so I always make sure I request and get the section around the belly with the ribs, rather than the hind section.

                  While not the best, you may also want to consider Sun Sai Gai on Canal Street. They have both the Larger Pig and Suckling Pig available, as well as all the other roasted meats. You can also get some Dim Sum, Dan Tat and Boa all day long if desired.


                  Hsin Wong
                  72 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                  23 Replies
                  1. re: fourunder

                    Miss Needle is definitely correct, it should be more widely known as roast pig, cause in this case, they are usually roasting the whole (or whole parts) of the pig.

                    fourunder (as well as other comments here) is also right about being specific with your order. If you aren't familiar with which part of the pig or how to communicate that (or it's too busy there to do inspection), ask for "boon fay sow" which means parts that are 1/2 fat 1/2 lean; or ask for "fay dee" or simply, in English, fattier. If you know the way you like the skin (more burnt, more crispy, less so, and so forth), and need help with the phonetics, I (and others) probably can come up with something for you. Though I think you probably can get by with English (and your order usually should come with a variety of crispiness).

                    As for the suckling pig, it's great of course, but be aware it's more expensive and is considered closer to a specialty item than an everyday choice. Though if you are making a special trip to Chinatown, then that is a special occasion.

                    1. re: villainx

                      Such artistry in epicurean ordering. Thank you!

                    2. re: fourunder

                      im going to say go to Hsin Wong, while NY Noodletown has generally been my go-to, ive recently had some good meals at Hsin Wong in particular with the crispy roast pork

                      Btw when you saw roast pork, I'm assuming you're talking about the one with the golden crispy skin (the huge one that you see in the window), not the suckling pig

                      i'm probably going to write a post on it tonight

                      1. re: Lau

                        Yes. Golden Crispy skin = Roast Pork boon fay sow = 1/2 fat 1/2 lean.

                        Just learnt that from all you folks today. :)

                        Waiting anxiously for your writing on roast pig.

                        1. re: r0cc00

                          By the way, regarding roast pig and suckling pig, the suckling version is basically a baby or very young pig. Both skins are crispy or crackling but also different. The suckling pig is usually thinner.

                          1. re: villainx

                            For me, Roast Baby Pig is as good as it gets. I've tried many ethnic versions, but my favorite is definitely Chinese style. The Skin is pure heaven for me. Certain parts of the pig the skin is chewy/rubbery....not so on the baby pig. I surmise this is due to more fat on the older and larger pig.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              Have you tried Balinese style roast suckling pig? It is so heavenly with the spices and crisp crackling skin basted with coconut water! Unfortunately I haven't found it around here and am wishing somebody would open up a babi guling place.

                              But DH says his all-time pork dish is Chinese style roast suckling pig -- definitely preferred it over to the famed EMP's suckling pig preparation.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                way prefer it over the american / european style...you need to go to HK to get that done properly though

                                ive heard the balinese and phillipino preparations are ridiculously good

                                1. re: Lau

                                  I really love the Balinese style -- but it may be because I'm a bit of a spice person. As I don't have the tools to roast a whole pig, I tried it with a pork butt. Tasty but it wasn't quite the same. DH isn't and prefers the simplicity of the Cantonese style.

                                2. re: Miss Needle

                                  Sorry to say I have not ever had anything Balinese.....but for sure, I am willing to give it a try should the opportunity ever present itself.

                                  Filipino style is only okay.....

                                  Here's a place I want to try very soon in Elizabeth, NJ

                                  A Filipino version can be had here in Bergenfield, NJ

                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    What is the difference between Filipino style and Chinese style?

                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                      The skin is not always crispy and easy to chew, but rather hard with fear of cracking a tooth. Also, the seasonings will include vinegar which I am not a fan of in any of my meats...as well as Aji-No-Moto(MSG), garlic and lemongrass. Chinese recipes do not always call for vinegar, although some may. Both rely on soy sauce, salt and pepper.

                                      I believe an integral step for the Chinese Roast calls for poking the skin to release the fat and frequent brushing of oil. As a result, Chinese style pig always has a rougher golden exterior from the skin bubbling from the heat and oil which yields a softer skin, but yet still crispy, rather than a hard skin and shiny surface.

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        check my post about Manor Restaurant in HK, this pig was awesome

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          Wow......that's just not fair. I'll have to order two.....just for myself! ! ! !

                                          You're my hero.

                                          1. re: fourunder

                                            it was pretty money

                                        2. re: fourunder

                                          Thanks. I was wondering how or why the Chinese/Cantonese roast pigs have a rather distinct crispy skin. I assume there was really high heat involved, but figured it had to do with some addition (either brushing with oil or poking skin to bring fat oil to surface) to boost the heat quotient.

                                          1. re: villainx

                                            There are several factors involved for getting a crispy, crackly skin. The proteins usually need to be denatured using something like baking soda or something acidic (vinegar, rice wine, etc.). The skin should also be fairly dry - achieved by leaving it uncovered in the fridge overnight.

                                            A good method in the current issue of Saveur is to pour boiling hot baking soda water over a pricked skin. Then dry with a paper towel and leave in the fridge to dry overnight. Brush with rice wine right before roasting (to neutralize the baking soda) at a moderate temperature until the meat is 160F. Finish on the highest heat setting to get the skin to blister. Sometimes I broil it until there is an entire layer of char, and then scrape off the burnt part with a serrated knife. This ensures that no leathery/chewy skin remains. It is magical.

                                            1. re: Joe MacBu


                                              Many thanks for this......I know now my next experiment with a Picnic shoulder or Suckling Pig.

                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                Here's the link to the Saveur recipe, using pork belly:

                                                Cooked to 160F, the belly meat is tender. I'm not sure how the shoulder would behave if treated the same way. When I cook shoulder (picnic or butt), it's usually low and slow until the temp gets to >190F so that the connective tissue has 'melted'. At 160F, the meat will probably still be tough, right? Cooking the shoulder for the long time that's required to get it >190F might result in an overly dry skin that is leathery and not crisp. As I understand it, a certain amount of moisture is needed so that the skin puffs (think popcorn). Only one way to find out; I'll test it on a small cut of picnic within the next couple off weeks.

                                                This entry on Cooking Issues is what makes me wonder if the skin can be too dry: http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/10/...

                                                1. re: Joe MacBu


                                                  Thanks for the the link,,,,,,right after your original comments regarding Saveur, it piqued my curiosity enough to search out the recipe myself and I found the same recipe, but one with a 10 page, step by step illustration to walk you through the entire process.


                                                  I agree with your assessment of needing a higher temperature for the pork shoulder, as opposed to the pork belly, but I think the crispy skin result is worth a test.....In fact, I may try it by just purchasing the skin alone....as it is available at my local ShopRite store.

                                          2. re: fourunder

                                            Oh wow. Thanks for the detailed explanation. I do like my crispy skin.

                                          3. re: Miss Needle

                                            essentially? the difference between lechon and chinese roast pig is the liver sauce on the side, right? other than that . . . pretty close.

                                          4. re: fourunder

                                            btw when im talking about all of these, im talking them about in their native countries (so in HK, in the phillipines, in bali etc) not in the US


                                            its called lechon in phillipines, i believe they call it that in puerto rico

                              2. Noodletown is the gold standard. My dai lo Wah Dee told me this