BBQ King Restaurant moved from its old location to a newer one in 2016 but with reputation intact. It’s been around since 1983, and it seems to be part of Sydney’s food history. Every few years, a newspaper article will talk about how Sydney top chefs will gather at or head off to BBQ King after their work shifts or on their nights off. Here, you know what you’ll be getting: Cantonese BBQ meats, with duck as a specialty, and a few other standards.
My problem is that, born in Vancouver, BBQ meats were part of my cultural background. I’m used to it. It’s nothing special. Mom and Dad would buy char siu, BBQ pork maybe every other week, and sometimes Chinese sausage as well. Duck would be served at occasional Chinese banquets. Occasionally, we’d get steamed chicken as a treat; I didn’t appreciate as a kid quite how good that ginger and spring onion sauce is. The other thing is that Vancouver has always had the best Cantonese food outside of Hong Kong. So, I’ve always found Cantonese food in Sydney a little disappointing, mainly because it’s about double of price of Vancouver.
But I shouldn’t rain on others’ parades. Here at BBQ King for a pre-karaoke birthday celebration, we had two Peking Duck pancakes each, and some very tasty noodles with duck to follow. They made an exception for us and allowed us to break out the champagne that was brought, and a few people ordered their own individual dishes to suit dietary requirements. Not a typical Cantonese meal, for sure, but tasty enough, at one of Sydney’s institutions.