Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hong Kong BBQ Restaurant, Northbridge

Hong Kong has much to offer in food.  Being a part of China, many associate Chinese food with the local Chinese restaurant that has offerings such as fried rice, sweet and sour pork, and boneless lemon chicken.  However, over the years a greater appreciation for Chinese food aided by the increase in other more authentic restaurants opening including less westernised Chinese food, dim sum, noodle and congee restaurants, bakeries, and BBQ meat restaurants.

Whilst many Hong Kong style restaurants can be found scattered throughout Perth, Northbridge in particular seems to be home to a large concentration of them.  The recently refurbished Hong Kong BBQ has for years been one of these, situated on Francis Street and patroned by a large proportion of people from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong BBQ is a pretty normal restaurant for its type, with smaller square tables and larger round tables some with lazy susans (which are those round serving tables that can be spun and are used in the centre of a table that you place shared dishes on).  The lighting is quite white rather than warm and the atmosphere casual and conducive to a quick to medium meal out as opposed to a long drawn out meal (though there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping you from doing that too).  At the front is the counter and behind it is an assortment of roast and barbecue meats on display for purchase along with a small preparation area.  Upon your order, the chef will chop the meat up and serve it to you - in a container for takeaway or on a dish via a waitperson for dine in.  In addition, there is a kitchen at the back to prepare the other cooked meals on offer.

Apart from the roast and barbecue meats, the menu contains other Hong Kong style cuisine including noodles (soup based or dry), rice dishes, and other sharable Chinese dishes (e.g. stir fried dishes).

Mixed meats dish - $28 (large size)

Being a restaurant with a BBQ meats specialty, the first menu choices included servings of BBQ meats.  One of the menu choices was a dish that contained a choice of two, three, or four different meats.  Choosing the large version, we opted to have four meats being BBQ pork (otherwise known as char siu), roast pork, soy sauce chicken, and roast duck.   The dish also is served with chilli oil, ginger oil, and plum sauces.

The sauces to accompany the meats dish

There is a bit of choice in ordering such BBQ meats in Northbridge and thus, due to the similar nature of the way they are made, arguably the differences can be a personal preference of things such as the marinade, the amount of fat or freshness.

The BBQ pork came out as shiny red coloured pork meat that was sweet and savoury at the same time.  With the marinade, the pork had quite a lot of flavour however the inner section of the meat was drier (which is not unusual).

The roast pork had a crunchy skin, layers of pork fat (which is normal for pork belly), but seemed only lightly marinated prior to cooking meaning that this was a more mild tasting version of roast pork compared to others I have tried.

The soy sauce chicken tasted a bit ordinary to me – it seemed like chicken boiled in a strong soy sauce based soup.  Whilst I can see people enjoying this dish, it wasn’t my favourite style of boiled chicken.

To round off this dish, the roast duck had a lightly crispy and dark red skin.  The meat itself tasted pretty normal for duck but I enjoyed the duck skin’s taste and texture despite the obvious layer of fat beneath.  I’m sure the fat helped make it taste better!

Wonton noodle soup - $11

Before I start on this dish, I’ll say I really enjoy a good wonton noodle soup.  Thoughts of some of the meals I've had previously in Hong Kong left me pleasantly surprised as to how good these can taste.

The wontons had pork and prawn and was marinated to give it a boost of a slightly sweet but otherwise pork and prawn savoury flavour that is quite satisfying as a light pork and prawn flavoured dumpling (from my experience the Hong Kong ones tend to be more prawn based which suits me just fine).  Compared to other wontons around Perth that I have tried, they were surprisingly good but not as good as what I recall from my past holidays to Hong Kong (where incidentally I recall the wonton noodle soup to be much cheaper and tastier even though serving sizes are smaller).

A wonton up close

The soup base also had a matching wonton noodle soup flavour that tasted good for a Hong Kong style wonton noodle soup but to me seemed to have a slight powdery taste to the broth (but maybe that's just me!).

Beef brisket noodle soup - $11

This dish consisted of noodles in a soup broth, topped with beef brisket.

The soup base had a beef stock and prominent soy taste to it.  Being beef brisket, the beef had more flavour than a lean beef cut, and felt stewed through the noodle soup.

Though I haven't really tried this dish around other restaurants to make a fair comparison, I am told this dish wasn’t too bad.

In summary, I feel that Hong Kong BBQ is trying to live up to its Hong Kong name.  To me, and one of my friends from Hong Kong agrees, the food has a distinct Hong Kong style and is reminiscent of similar Hong Kong restaurant flavours.

Points to note: Being a BBQ restaurant, you can order roast and barbecued Hong Kong style meats dine in or takeaway.  However, other meals that are noodle or rice based are also available.  BYO.

Go for: Hong Kong style food - including roast and barbecue meats, noodle soups, and rice dishes with share-style main courses.

Hong Kong BBQ Restaurant
76 Francis Street
(08) 9228 3968

Trading Hours
Sunday to Thursday - 10am to 10pm
Friday and Saturday - 10am to 11pm

Hong Kong BBQ Northbridge on Urbanspoon