Results of Poll: Vancouverites’ Favourite Roast Pork

I had just closed the poll of your favourite Siu Yook (Roast Pork) shops in Vancouver. There were a total of 121 voters and each voter was allowed to select more than one of their favourite shops.

Vancouver-Favourite-Roast-Pork

It seems like the HK BBQ Master won outright with 71 people out of 121 people voting for it. In terms of percentage, 58% of the voters like this CRA Award Winning restaurant although this restaurant actually won the award for BBQ Pork and not Roast Pork.

My personal favourite Roast Pork shop, Parker Place, came in second with 47 votes (39%). It was running neck and neck with HK BBQ Master right up to two days ago when it pulled ahead.

Of course this is a non-scientific just-for-fun poll. I am sure there are a lot more good Roast Pork shops that you like and which I did not list. That is why the third highest category was the “Not List” category.

Here, I have put side-by-side the pictures of the Roast Pork from HK BBQ Master and Parker Place. Here it is …

HK BBQ Master Parker Place
HK-BBQ-Master-No-3-Rd-Richmond-11 Parker-Place-Siu-Yook-Compare-1-300x200
HK-BBQ-Master-No-3-Rd-Richmond-16 Parker-Place-Siu-Yook-Compare-2-300x200
HK-BBQ-Master-No-3-Rd-Richmond-18 Parker-Place-Siu-Yook-Compare-3-300x200

Judging from the pictures alone, I think we can see which one looked more delicious. I think the general differences between the Roast Pork of these two shops is that one is fatter and greasier (HK BBQ Master) and the other is leaner and drier (Parker Place).

This is primarily due to the fact that HK BBQ Master only makes their Siu Yook with the pork belly which traditionally is considered the most succulent part of the pig.

On the other hand, Parker Place is a meat shop. They roast the entire pig as opposed to just the belly.

Thanks a lot for participating on the poll. I enjoyed learning a little bit more about siu yook. I am beginning to see how passionate people are on what they consider the best siu yook.

This Post Has 65 Comments

  1. Eric

    I think it would be fun to see the age demographic of Chowtimes readers. I would love that kind of insight for my blog, personally.

    1. Ben

      Hi Eric:

      Sure thing. I’ll do a poll like that one of these days. I would personally like to know the demographics too. For now, you may check what Alexa says about chowtimes.com’s demographics:

      Chowtimes.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 212,803. Compared with internet averages, the site appeals more to women; its visitors also tend to consist of higher-income, childless people browsing from home who have postgraduate educations. Approximately 57% of visits to it consist of only one pageview (i.e., are bounces). This site is based in Canada. While Chowtimes.com is ranked #79,456 in the US, where we estimate that 48% of its visitors are located, it is also popular in Canada, where it is ranked #17,706. http://goo.gl/ZqFzy

      Ben

  2. WS

    Does Suanne also prefer Parker Place’s Roast Pork over HK BBQ Master’s Roast Pork?

    1. Ben

      Hi WS: I’ll leave that to Suanne to answer. 🙂 Ben

      1. WS

        Thanks. Do you have #2 & #3 favourite after Parker Place? Just curious. In the recent other Chowtimes polls, you highlighted your choices.

        1. Ben

          Hi WS: After Parker Place, I would go to HK BBQ Master. These are the two favourite places of mine. They rest of them are not too bad too, mind you. Ben

    2. Suanne

      Hi WS, yes, I do prefer leaner cut.

  3. 3rensho

    The pork from HK BBQ looks just like the stuff I used to buy in San Francisco when I lived in the US. It’s to die for.

  4. iluv2fish

    The roasted pork head makes great home-made congee.

    1. Ben

      Pork head with congee, huh? Yeah, I had seen people selling pork head (not common) but had never thought about how people use that to make dishes. Ben

  5. akwok

    While I appreciate the comparison (and I wholly agree that HK BBQ Master is better), your pictures are biased. The HK BBQ Master photos are much more saturated than Parker Place’s, which are quite dull in comparison. It’s not quite fair!

    1. Ben

      Yeah I agree. The two sets were taken at different hour of the day and in different places (lighting conditions). Moreover the batch of roast pork I got from Parker Place that day wasn’t as good looking/tasting as I normally does. Oh well, everyone had spoken. HK BBQ Master is the best to more people.

      Oh BTW, yesterday when we went back to Parker Place we spied from outside and see if they do add no-so-good cuts into the box behind the counter. Yes they do! They will cut the cuts we asked for and when it disappears behind the covered section of the counter, they threw a few other pieces into the box. That is not good! We did not confront them about it but it does taint our perception of this place we always liked.

      Ben

      1. Crispy Lechon

        Maybe to avoid this underhanded trick they do, just ask them to weigh it first before they cut it. Actually this is not unique to Parker Place BBQ. Some other bbq places also do this. Whats worst is when they put in day old bbq meat.

        1. mo

          Yeah, this is not uncommon practice… in fact, it’s so common that i would be surprised if they didn’t do so! I’ve heard some C-lais tell them before “don’t give me crap pieces!” before too.

          Come to think of it, maybe that’s why my mom asks them to give her a whole piece, especially BBQ pork. I think you need to have thick skin like some older chinese ppl because she specifically tells them exactly where to cut!

          I’m not that thick skinned but to prevent getting half a pound extra all the time, I normally order by cost rather than pounds. Instead of saying “give me 1 pound of pork” I say “Give me $8 worth of pork”. It works cuz one time they gave me $11 and i only had $8 in my hand so they have to put back some LOL (of course i’ve got mo moneyyy in my wallet but what are they gonna do)… but then it doesn’t solve the problem of getting crap pieces ha! You can try to tell them which portion to put back if you’re brave.

          1. Lissa

            Hey Ben

            Is there a polite way in Cantonese to say “don’t give me crap pieces”?

          2. Ben

            Gosh, I won’t know, Lissa. I need a Canto-boy or Canto-girl to help out. If it was me, I would say “lei yun jee lei ah”. Ben

          3. mo

            Lissa, you can say “Wai, Bae Geen Leng Dee AH” (give me a nicer piece). Politeness may get you shafted at these places. Better to be assertive and after you tell them what you want, watch them and call on them if they pull any shady business LOL!

            sometimes i have to act like a naggy housewife (one that butchers don’t want to see return and complain out loud haha) to get my point across… which my husband says i’m very good at ‘acting’ like a nag.

      2. WS

        Curious, which ones of the Chinese BBQ shops would normally weigh the Roast Pork first before cutting up(maybe none). It’s not good what Parker Place is doing, but I’m not surprised at all(as other people have said here).

      3. LotusRapper

        Sorry to hear that, Ben !

        I’ve never experienced that at any BBQ shop.

        I ask for [X pounds] of [meat] and the butcher would take whatever it is and weigh it first, tell me how much it weighed (scale also shows price), asks me again if that’s ok (I generally say yes). Then they take the item down to the cutting board and start chopping away. After the chopping they place it into the styrofoam box. All this in plain view of me.

        I’ve never seen any butcher secretly throw in old meat pieces into my order (but I’m not surprised that such practice exists). And if they do, kudos to them for their lightning-fast hands ! LOL

        I just bought some roast pork from Yu Kee (Killarney) yesterday. Mmmmm. It prolly not quite as good as Parker Place (I haven’t eaten theirs yet) but about as good as HK BBQ Master.

        1. Crispy Lechon

          I think HK BBQ Master doesn’t do this practice simply because their turnover is quite high. Besides their roast pork cut is basically all usable. And they have eat-in meat on rice. They can simply add it there. I’m not saying they do it but its another way to get rid of unwanted cut of meat.

  6. Crispy Lechon

    I do order by cost when buying roast pork and by piece that I selected and pointed to them when buying bbq pork. To get just the right amount of roast pork, I usually order less than what I really wanted. IE, if I just want 10 dollar worth, I’ll ask for 8 dollar worth. They will give me more anyway and it will work out to just the right amount.

    Also another thing I noticed with Parker Place BBQ, they soak the bbq pork with the dripping sauce. They would even dip it in the sauce if you pick the one on top. They then weigh it before cutting with this extra weight of sauce. I figure that extra sauce can add at least 50 cents to the price of the bbq pork you order. Pretty tricky I might say.

    1. LotusRapper

      Really, you think that bit of extra sauce accounts for noticeable weight ?

      Not that there’s anything wrong with more “jhup” 😉

      This kind of “soaking” of ingredients in water or sauce is often done at the food court stalls that allows you to pick your own raw ingredients and they cook ’em for you. Mind you, the soaking also provides benefits such as preventing ingredients from drying out, as well as even some “anti-bacterial” effects (ie: raw meats soaked in marinate as opposed to being exposed dry).

      But I like your approach of asking for less $ amount than you actually want, as they almost invariably weigh “more” to their benefit. Sort of like getting deli meats from supermarkets …… I’ve NEVER had any deli server under-cut the amount I asked for, in fact they’d exceed my specified amount by 10-20 grams and coyly asks: “Sorry I’ve gone over a bit, is that ok ?”

      1. Crispy Lechon

        Hi LR, I’d rather have the jhup added after the bbq pork is weighed and cut. I dont think soaking in the sauce will prevent it from drying out. In a lot of places, they actually hang the meat instead of being left soaking in jhup. You mentioned about self serve u-pick-they-cook type of places, if I do buy from them I make sure I drain most of the liquid from the meat or veggies. You’re basically paying for water. Same as buying live crab or lobster, I usually drain it well before handing it to the clerk for weighing.

        1. Erick P.

          Crispy Lechon, I noticed that too about Parker. We asked for a piece of bbq pork, the butcher reached underneath for his pieces, dunked our piece into the jahp and THEN weighed our piece. He should have at least asked, “Do you want the sauce on it?”. I’m sure it only adds about 5-10 cents extra, but try multiplying that by the number of customers they get on a daily basis and they could make some serious money! Great tip on asking by dollar amount. We’ll try that next time.

          1. Crispy Lechon

            Ok I did a little calculation:

            BBQ pork in Parker Place = $8.79/lb * 2.2 lb/kg = $19.338/KG

            $19.338/KG = $.019338/gram

            1 tablespoon of water = 15 ml = 15 grams
            (I’m just using the weight of water coz I dont know the weight of jhup. It could be heavier but not ligher than water)

            This is just assuming dunking the meat in jhup and quickly putting it in the styrofoam box without draining it, will only add 1 tablespoon of jhup.

            The cost of that 1 tablespoon of jhup is:

            $0.019338/gram * 15 grams/tablespoon = $.29

            Thats at least 29 cents additional we’re paying for that dishonest act. I am probably correct in my original estimate of 50 cents. If they have 100 customers buying BBQ pork in a day, thats 50 dollars worth of jhup they are selling to unsuspecting customers.

            I know it seems like I’m nickel and diming but thats hard earned money that they are robbing from us. I don’t know about you guys but I will never buy BBQ pork from Parker Place BBQ again.

          2. Crispy Lechon

            Ops sorry I made a mistake in my calculations. I used the price of roast pork instead of BBQ pork. Substituting the price of bbq pork at $5.49/lb, the cost of 1 tablespoon of jhup is now down to 18 cents. Its still around 36 cents for about 2 tablespoons of added jhup.

          3. Ben

            Hehehe … but then I think you are assuming that jhup is like water. Some people like the jhup in the char siu. That is why some places make their own soy sauce mixture with the jhup. 🙂 This one I am not so convinced but thanks for the math though. It was interesting to say the least! Ben

          4. Crispy Lechon

            Hi Ben, I’m just comparing the bbq pork jhup to water in terms of weight. I know it may be heavier but I dont have its actual weight. Most bbq places will add the jhup after the meat is cut and weighed, not before. And they will ask you if you want some jhup. Again it is just loose change but its still extra money that we should not be paying at all.

          5. Ben

            Ah … I see what you’re saying, Crispy.

          6. LotusRapper

            When I ask for extra “jhup”/sauce, they give it in those little see-thru condiment containers with the lid.

            FWIW, I managed to get FOUR containers of ginger & onion “pesto” with my Hainan chicken this week at New Sampo. Needless to say, a LOT of rice went down my (bottomless) hatch :-O

          7. Crispy Lechon

            Hey LR, good for you. You’re getting your BBQ pork jhup for free. Unlike in Parker Place BBQ where they charge you for it whether you like it or not and charged at the same price per weight as their BBQ pork.

  7. grayelf

    I haven’t noticed the adding extra from elsewhere behaviour at HKBBQ. I can’t imagine where they’d hide the extra pieces as it all seems to be out in the open but perhaps they have perfected the art of prestidigitation here too :-).

    As for the deli meats thing, LR, I used to work in a deli and it is damn hard to hit the nail on the head when you are using an industrial slicer, especially since the advent of metric, when 10-20 grams is often less that one slice. Just sayin’…

    1. LotusRapper

      LOL.

      Yeah, but say if I asked for 200g of ham, and they stop and checked the total at 190g, they never ask me at that point “Is that enough ?”. They *always* slice a bit more, check the weight again (now > 200g) and then ask me if it’s enough.

      I don’t really care if I get a slice or two more deli meat than I asked for. But learning from Crispy, maybe from now on I should specify “192g exact” right from the outset, 😀 😀

  8. Ben

    Meat-lovers: Drool on this … the Bacon Explosion!

    Go here for more!

    1. mo

      oh man, my husband wants to make that except with sausage meat. I think this is better than the Hand (Meat)Loaf…

      1. Ben

        Hi Mo: Did you know that the post of the Meat Loaf garnered 2,000,000 hits? OMG. With that kind of traffic, I don’t have to blog for months. You gotta get patch thinking about making a blog post like that. Ben

        1. mo

          what do you mean? the comment about the hand loaf? Let me help you more then… *chants* Hand Loaf! Hand Loaf! Sausage! Sausage!

  9. uske

    Good to see this result of poll.

    & HK BBQ Master also won Best Chinese Barbeque Shop in Diners’ Choice Awards. 🙂

    1. Ben

      Hi Uske: Yeah, the People had spoken. Which do you prefer? HK BBQ Master? Ben

  10. Sedap Makan

    I have had both HK BBQ master and Parker Place. I was going to HK BBQ before I read about Parker here on Chow Times. Since trying Parker Place I haven’t been back to HK BBQ. I would wasy HK BBQ is cheaper and that alone may be why it is more popular. It is not at all bad.
    The Parker place skin is less dark in Bens photo’s. This is the perfect crispiness. It has crunch but it is not hard. As is gets darker, it gets harder and sometimes you feel like you might breat a tooth. As it gets darker odd are high that it will also get dryer as it is over cooked. At parker I have never had anything but moist even when asking for the lean.

    When you go to Parker, first be prepared to wait a while (same at HK) but once they take your order they will ask you if you want fat or lean.

    I really like their soya chicken. For no more than the cost of a rotisary chicken you will get an unbeleivably moist, nicely flavoured chicken cut up and put into two containers for you.

    Still haven’t had their duck but I will soon.

    1. Ben

      Hi Sedap Makan: Yeah … spoken like a man who truly knows his siu yook. 🙂 You had taken the words right out of my mouth. Yeah, the picture I took of the Parker Place siu yook doesn’t do justice to what it really is. Other than the dastardly act of add more pieces to my order without my knowledge, I still like Parker Place better. Yeah, when I dream of siu yook in my sleep it is the version from Parker Place. Ben

      1. LotusRapper

        Ben, bet you want a huge piece of HK BBQ Master roast pork as a bolster, LOL !!!

        1. Ben

          *scratching my head* trying to understand your cryptic humour. 🙂

    2. Erick P.

      Sedap, I guess you, Ben, and I are in the minority. I, too, feel that HK BBQ Siu Yuk isn’t anything special. The skin was too salty for me. So salty, that I had to scoop up some rice to wash the taste down. I also tried the BBQ Pork (Cha siu) that they’re supposedly famous for and both my wife and I felt it wasn’t anything special. It’s definitely not worth the price difference compared to Parker. Parker’s Cha Siu is NO slouch either.

      The skin at Parker stays crispy even after the 3 hour drive back to Seattle! In fact, the first time we tried Parker, my wife initially asked them not to chop up the Siu Yuk because we were afraid the skin wouldn’t last the trip home and we’d rather reheat the whole rib in the Toaster oven. The butcher told her, if the skin isn’t crispy when you get home, I’ll refund your money! True to his word, the skin was still crispy! We’ve never bothered to buy our BBQ stuff from anywhere else after that!

      Glad you mentioned the Soy Sauce Chicken. It’s one of our favorites as well. Have you tried their sausage? It’s a tad on the sweet side. We also like their lap cheong as it’s leaner than most lap cheong and also a little sweeter.

  11. Eric

    What about the price difference between the two? (Parker and HK Master)

    1. Ben

      Hi Eric: I have no idea at all. I am a man. Men don’t count money or change. We just pull out banknotes from the wallet and just take whatever change that they gave me. Suanne is the one who is the penny counter in the family. So she might know … honey?

      1. Suanne

        Hi Eric, I do not pay attention to the price too. But, when I ask for one pound, it’s always end up $10+ because they will always cut more than one pound.

        1. Suanne

          Hi Eric, I did the price check today when I went for my groceries shopping.

          roast pork (siew yook):
          HK BBQ Master: $8.99/lb;
          Parker Place: $8.79/lb;

          BBQ pork (char siew):
          HK BBQ Master: $7.80/lb;
          Parker Place: $5.49/lb.

          1. Ben

            Oh really, honey? I wonder why the char siu in HK BBQ Master is so much more expensive than Parker Place’s. Any idea?

      2. mo

        I thought patch was the only guy that doesn’t count change. I get upset at him when he comes home with something and I ask him “how much did you pay for that?” and he couldn’t tell me exactly. Then I ask “If they gave you the wrong change, you wouldn’t know?”

        His answer is always “Yeah, pretty much.”

  12. Sepad Makan

    I think the prices at Hon’s and Kent’s kitchen on Victoria are around %5,50 a lb for Char Sui. HK BBQ is not that special for that big of a pice difference

    1. Ben

      Hi Sedap Makan: Suanne just told me that she thinks that the Char Siu in HK BBQ Master is more expensive because they won a CRA prize for best BBQ with their Char Siu. Ben

  13. LotusRapper

    Anyone bought BBQ from “YM BBQ Meats” (or something like that) at the market level of Richmond Public Market ? Just wondering.

    I sometimes buy from New Sampo on Kingsway just west of Knight (across from Kim Chau). Prices are quite reasonable. I bought a whole Hainan chicken for $8.99 on Monday. It was pretty flavorful but not quite “Hainan”, more like “ju yeem” style (pepper & salt). But it was meaty and tender.

      1. joyluckclub

        we’ve ordered whole roasted pigs from New Sampo. They’re good, cheaper than Parker Place, but taste wise, I prefer Parker Place. I think Parker Place does a better job of seasoning.
        A whole Hainan chicken for $8.99 is a good deal….. considering a dried out rotisserie chicken costs that much.

        1. LotusRapper

          I agree. New Sampo (and other smaller shops like them) tend to go heavy on the soysauce (or just salt) for the BBQ pork/char siu, less on the seasonings.

          Not to digress too much, Whole Foods has excellent whole roast chicken for $11.99 and they’re fairly big too. Meinhardt has very good ones too (skin and seasoning more resemble a “blackened catfish” style). Too bad their Arbutus store closed recently, so they’re back with just one store on Granville.

  14. Erick P.

    Not to hijack this thread, but since we’re talking about BBQ meats, who has the best Roast Duck in the Lower Mainland? We tried Parker and weren’t too impressed with their duck. They do a much better job with their chicken and pork products. The duck in the Yaohan Centre food court was pretty good IIRC. Any other suggestions?

      1. Erick P.

        Ben, that’s a sight to BEHOLD! At 7:30am, without breakfast, I’m drooling. I’ll have to add Red Star to the list of restaurants to try, especially the duck. Don’t want to sound cheap, but $16/half is quite steep for duck when I can walk into most BBQ places and get a whole one for about that price. Nonetheless, your duck does look beautiful!

  15. cmee8

    My favourite is Landmmark Fresh Meat and BBQ in Continental Centre. The staff is always friendly n judging by the lineup (not as long as Parker Pl), word has gotten out. Our favourite is the lean “flattened duck” (peen pei up). We stopped going to PP when my mum was cheated years ago.

    1. Erick P.

      Thanks, cmee88 for the suggestion. We’ll check that place out next time we’re in the area. Peen Pei Up is my dad’s favorite duck as well. I like the regular roasted duck or Peking Duck myself. Sad to hear you folks were cheated by PP. You would think with such good CASH business, you wouldn’t need to cheat.

    2. Ben

      Hi cmee8: How was your mum cheated by PP? Seems like PP has less than honest practices! Would like to know what other tricks they have up their sleeve. Ben

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