This was one of the rare occasions I found myself in Richmond with some time to spare. So I decided to tag along to lunch with a few other food bloggers. When deciding on where to go, I mentioned wanting to try a hidden gem, something that you can only get in the city and that I will like be missing out on if I didn’t try. All those parameters led us to “HK BBQ Master”, for a very meat heavy meal.
This is actually one of the best restaurant in Richmond, according to tourism of Richmond, as they often suggest the restaurant and take out of towners here when on a guided tour. Although you wouldn’t think of it as such, given it locale. Located in the underground parking of Richmond’s superstore. Coming through the lot your nose leads the way, and your eyes are drawn in by the sheen from the golden brown skin of the whole poultry hanging in the window. Though it definitely isn’t easy to find, nor is its location one to attract walk-by traffic. This is the kind of place you have to know about to get here; not that they need the help advertising. Considering the line that constantly stretched out the door during the duration of our stay, they are doing just fine. Majority came in, only to take a box of their barbecue meats out. Whereas we decided to dine in and and enjoy our meat plates with rice and soup for sides.
According to my hosts, the restaurant has actually expanded since its original open. Their little shop has taken over their neighbour’s space to the left, allowing for additional seating in an already maximized dining room. Currently a brick wall separates the two.
One of my dining mates knew the owner and his son, so both came to our table to greet her and us. Here, I was able to ask a few questions for this post. Where upon, I could feel the pride the father had in his work, and saw the keen ability the son had to take over in his father’s footsteps.
The owner came from humble beginnings, his family was poor, so in order to earn some money, get an education, and keep him out of trouble as a kid, he got a job working at a restaurant at the early age of 14. There, he worked 12 hours days, with the occasional day off and two hours in between the morning and night shift to catch up on some sleep. It was here that he learned the traditional way to prepare barbecue duck, chicken, and pork. And the result was some of the best Chinese style barbecue I have ever had. I agreed with my friends, this was worth travelling all the way to Richmond for. Or if ever in Richmond, stopping by to grab a box to go. Even the owner himself swears by his quality, stating that there is no comparing his cooking with that of any other restaurant’s.
The “Roasted pork belly” was his signature dish. A favourite of all those who tried it and definitely the chef’s point of pride. He himself, takes an active role in cooking and running the restaurants day to day business, but he does also have a team of chefs to help him churn out his popular menu in mass quantities. Each chef knows only how to execute just one of his famous barbecue dishes, not one can prepare them all like he can.
The meat for this comes from a medium size pig. It is barbecued tender with a super crispy layer of skin. It is cut into slices with meat, fat, and skin visible in distinct, coloured layers. Each piece is on the fattier side with plenty of salt to give it flavour.
I really enjoyed how tender the “Soy sauce chicken” was. The chef recommended that we have each piece with their green onion, ginger, and oil mix as a dip. Their was plenty of flavour in its soy sauce soaked brown skin, but the dip offered a change of taste and some tang.
The “BBQ duck” was the perfect balance of fat and meat. It was sweet with a honey glaze finish and nice with crispy edges. I enjoyed this most dipped in their homemade plum sauce.
We were also given a tasting of their “Cold chicken”, (so note: if you get this yourself, it would not come like it is shown here). For those unfamiliar, don’t let let the yellow skin scare you off or the fact that it’s served chill. This was some of the smoothest chicken I have ever had, lightly salted and just as nice with the above mentioned green onion and ginger sauce mix.
The son was serving us and was quick to suggest and add on their “Winter melon soup with white fungus and shredded chicken” to our tab. I have had the soup before, so I can tell you with great certainty that this was a great rendition of it. It was a clean broth with light flavours. You sipped it without it leaving a film of oil on our lips. They were generous with how much meat each serving got. Although I am not a fan of water logged shredded chicken, so left the lot of it at the bottom of the bowl.
The father brought over their own plate of greens, as most Chinese meals are not complete without one. I don’t like the texture of leafy vegetables so passed on it for more steamed white rice instead.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Delicious food to satisfy those pesky meat cravings. Great Chinese style barbecue worth travelling to Richmond for. Don’t deny your cravings.