Location: 888 Dundas Street East, Mississauga (inside the Mississauga Chinese Centre)
If a restaurant has an enormous slab of tasty-looking roasted pork hanging in the window, you should eat at that restaurant. That’s just a fact. Is that a law? I think that might be the law. If you see a restaurant like that you have to eat there or you’ll go to jail. That sounds fair to me.
Luen Hing also has chicken and duck hanging in the window, and clearly I have to go back, because that pork… wow.
I ordered the roast pork and barbecue pork on rice, which comes with a seriously generous amount of tasty eats for about twelve bucks. It’s a great deal, that’s for sure.
I actually brought this home instead of eating in the food court, and I had resigned myself to the fact that the pork skin probably wouldn’t be particularly crispy. It’s hard to retain your crunch when you’ve been steaming in a sealed take-out box. But oh man, that skin was crisp. It was at delightful, kettle chip levels of crunchiness.
And the pork itself was so good. Super flavourful, nice and tender, fatty but not too fatty, and of course, the aforementioned super crunchy skin. Delightful.
The barbecue pork wasn’t quite on the same level — it was a bit dry — but it was still quite tasty, with a nice balance of sweet and savoury.
The steamed cabbage and the sauce they poured on top were also quite good. It all adds up to a seriously satisfying version of this dish, and a restaurant that I’ll almost certainly be returning to in the near future.
Location: 365 Wilson Avenue, North York
If you’re looking for tasty roast pork, go to Wilson’s Haus of Lechon. Trust me on this one; just do it.
As you might imagine, this place specializes in lechon, the Philippines’s version of roast suckling pig. I knew I was probably in good hands as soon as I walked in the door and saw the whole, glorious pig sitting behind the counter.
I wound up trying the roast pig and the roast chicken, and both were pretty much incredible.
The pork is absolutely fantastic; it’s tender, juicy, and absolutely exploding with flavour. The meat itself was thoroughly infused with a delightfully garlicky, herby punch of flavour. But the pork itself still shines through. It’s so good.
I wish the skin had been a bit crispier, but it was otherwise so delicious that it didn’t really matter.
The chicken was also pretty amazing, though it’s hard for anything to compare to that pork. I wanted dark meat and wound up with a breast, but it was surprisingly tender for white meat, and of course it had that same garlicky/herby flavour.
The combo comes with sticky rice and lumpia Shanghai, which is a very tasty pork-stuffed Filipino spring roll. It’s all so good.
Location: 9425 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill
If you’re going to put the word excellent in the name of your restaurant, you’d better be able to back that up. Even if you’re serving pretty good food, that’s not excellent, is it?
Well, Excellent BBQ Restaurant in the Richlane Mall in Richmond Hill definitely lives up to its name: it is indeed excellent.
There’s something really satisfying about the simplicity of Chinese-style BBQ like this. It’s beyond simple — it’s basically just whole pieces of meat and rice — but when it’s done well, it’s delicious and comforting in a way that few dishes can match.
Excellent BBQ Restaurant does it quite well, which is evident as soon as you get there: when I visited, there was a line going out the door, and it remained that way for the whole time I was there.
When you’re serving food this good, word gets around.
We tried a few different things. BBQ duck.
And roast pork.
Everything was really good. In particular, the duck was fatty, tender, and perfect. The skin could have been a bit crispier, but that’s a fairly minor complaint.
Both types of pork were just as good — there wasn’t a whole lot of crispy skin on the roast pork, but what was there was shatteringly crisp and amazing. The BBQ pork was slightly dry, but again: that’s a minor complaint.
Location: 1550 South Gateway Road, Mississauga
Driving by, you wouldn’t be blamed for completely missing the food court in Dixie Park. Housed in a nondescript building in a somewhat industrial stretch of road along Dixie, it doesn’t look like much. The seemingly perpetual construction right outside certainly doesn’t help matters.
Those who venture inside will find a pretty good Asian food court. It’s generally nothing you’d want to go too far out of your way for, but most of the vendors here serve decent quality Chinese food (they’re mostly Chinese, with one Vietnamese place and one Japanese), with cheap prices and voluminous portions.
The best one is easily Dynasty B.B.Q. (Well, there was a Korean place that I used to really like — their pork bone soup was particularly delicious. Sadly, it closed down and was replaced by the aforementioned Vietnamese place. R.I.P., Korean place. You are missed). They have a typically comprehensive menu, though the real gem is the dish that comes with a combo of roast pork and BBQ pork.
Featuring a heaping portion of both types of pork served on top of rice (it also comes with a cup of mediocre soup that you should probably skip altogether), it’s a steal at $5.50. Though the less showy BBQ pork is certainly tasty and absolutely worth eating, it’s the roast pork that is the real reason to come here. I can’t claim to be an expert on this particular dish, though I have had it at a few different places. This is the best version of it that I’ve had. Perfectly cooked and yieldingly tender, with a satisfying layer of unctuous, melt-in-your-mouth fat, not to mention the salty, addictively amazing crispy, crunchy skin, it’s pretty outstanding.