Hong Kong style BBQ meats + other Chinese restaurants [Bay Area/SoCal]

Hello: I am driving from the Bay Area to Orange County along HWY 101. On my way, I would like to purchase some good Hong Kong style Chinese BBQ meats to bring to my mom. She once had it and loved it. However, she feels intimidated to enter a Chinese restaurant due to the language barrier.

So far, from Google Maps, I have found Sams Chinese Barbecue on 9624 Garvey Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733. Are there other good ones to consider?

Beside BBQ meats, are there other outstanding Chinese restaurants that I should patronize? She does not live in an area where great Chinese food is easily available. Thank you!

This one is nearby and also tasty

I think the crispy topped pork belly item is still the top dog there.


Viewing the pictures on Yelp, that is not Hong Kong style bbq. HK BBQ is meat on skewers, cooked over a flame.

Perhaps you want Cantonese style roast meat?

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I don’t know whether it’s called Hong Kong style or Cantonese style. Anyway, I know that there are usually three major offerings:
-boneless pork, not crispy
-pork belly with crispy skin
-whole duck
These items are hung for display. In San Bruno, there is a good restaurant called Cheung Hing that sells them by weight.

Thank you.

If we are talking about just the Cantonese BBQ take-out, then Sham Tseng BBQ Shop is not bad. It does more than just BBQ, and the dine in part is not as good. For takes-out BBQ, it is good.

It depends what you are looking for… for Cantonese/Hong Kong dim sum, there are many good dim sum restaurants. These two are good:
Sea Harbour
Elite Restaurant

If you like higher-end Chinese roast duck, and does not mind spending some money, then Duck House. is good. The price has gone up compared to the image below. I believe they are now $70/80/90 for a duck

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I like Cheung Hing. The quality may have gone down now, but it used to be head and shoulder above others.


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Not to be a pedant, but if we’re talking about the kind of Cantonese style BBQ (siu mei) that you’d find at Cheung Hing, the roast duck is not peking duck. Cantonese roast duck is “siu aap” while peking duck is “peen pei aap” (not sure on spelling, as the pronunciation depends on dialect as well, with some places in SF Chinatown calling “siu aap” as “siu ngop”). They are similar in some respects but differ in others like ingredients, preparation, etc. but perhaps most notably the texture of the skin. Cantonese roast duck has less crispy skin, the fat renders differently, and it’s often chopped not sliced. Cantonese siu aap is often served in combination with other siu mei roast meats or as a simple lunch with rice and a bed of braised cabbage or lettuce, while Peking duck is either served with baos (at Cantonese restaurants) or thin, stretchy pancakes (in many other types of Chinese restaurants) with different accoutrements. Both Cantonese roast duck and Peking duck are excellent, just thought I’d point out the distinction between the different products. At Cheung Hing Millbrae, for example, Cantonese roast duck is $15.95 while Peking duck is $28.00.

Nanjing duck is also a different type of preparation, even if it apparently was the predecessor to Peking duck.

So @droolingdoggie , when you ask for duck at some Cantonese BBQ places, there may be two BBQ types of duck that look somewhat similar. Siu aap is the BBQ duck normally hanging at butchers and accompanying “siu yuuk” (roast pork belly with crispy skin) and “see yau gai” (soy-sauce chicken) on lunch plates. For takeout, I prefer to buy the Cantonese duck whole (tell the butcher not to chop it) and make my own rice because sometimes the quick cleaving of the siu aap can result in little sand-like bone shards getting on top the rice.

Nice of you to bring some good BBQ to your mother! Ruby BBQ in El Monte is good, though I haven’t been recently.

There are lots of good Chinese restaurants in that 626 area. There are lots of styles of Chinese food, some of the more popular ones being Szechuan or Taiwanese. To help narrow it down, what sorts of foods does your mother like or not like (e.g. spicy or not, seafood, etc.)?

And speaking of other Cantonese style fowl besides duck, there’s also quail, squab, and goose. Fried quail is an excellent appetizer, roast squab is my favorite, and roast goose is my least favorite. I highly recommend roast squabs with a touch of five spice salt and a squirt of lemon as a nice appetizer often served at Cantonese seafood / banquet style restaurants (I don’t usually see it for takeout).


BradFord, your post did not discuss the “duck juice”, I recommend a shopper bring their own 4 oz container.

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Thank you for all your replies. My mom likes most non-spicy Chinese dishes. Seafood isn’t good since I am not dining in. I will be driving all the way from the Bay Area to OC, and therefore it’d be great if the recommended restaurants are close to the BBQ shops. (I will pick up the to-go food along the way.) Thank you again :blush:!

I recommend starting a new post with a different title.

If you do not want HK BBQ, maybe change your title.

Sounds good. In that case, perhaps look into Ho Kee Cafe and see if their menu appeals to you (multiple locations and you can order online). They have roasties but also a bigger menu, too. I enjoyed my meal with roasties and some Cantonese dishes there a couple of weeks ago; ‘ll update with thoughts on their menu and others’ later.

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I haven’t been since they changed from Beijing Pie House to Jin Hai Pie House.

But this stuff is inexpensive, travels and freezes well. Lamb pies, pork pies, other delicious food.

JIN HAI PIE HOUSE - 114 Photos & 41 Reviews - Chinese - 846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA - Restaurant Reviews - Phone Number - Yelp


Thank you again. My intent is to pick-up a bunch of dishes and BBQ meats to-go (can be from more than one place), of a quantity enough for three adults to consume over 2-3 days. She is getting some remodeling done and therefore does not want to cook.

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Well, none of these places actually makes real Peking ducks. Peen pei aap is not Peking duck neither. There are probably Peking style-like serving duck, but not true Peking duck. That being said, there are plenty dishes like that. Almost all the so called “Mongolian XXX” dishes are not Mongolian in any remote sense.

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Best Wishes for your visit….Looking forward to your trip report.

Right, if you takeout from a Cantonese bbq place (which is what OP was apparently referring to) and order “Peking duck,” the restaurant will likely give you peen pei aap and not a traditionally made Beijing kaoya. If one just orders a “whole roast duck,” there may be several options (peen pei aap and siu aap, with the latter as the default). I just wanted to point out the distinction between Cantonese roast duck one will get at Ruby BBQ, Sam’s Chinese Barbecue, etc. and the “Peking duck” also sometimes available at Cantonese restaurants (even if the Cantonese version of Peking duck may not be made entirely in the Beijing style) or Duck House. With that said, I think that Cantonese siu aap does better than Peking duck for takeout because of the latter’s crispy skin.

At the Cantonese roasties places, the claypot “yuxiang eggplant” version of Sichuan eggplant can be quite good even if they differ a bit from the original Sichuan version. To your point, Japanese version of Chinese food (which is quite popular in Japan now, both for casual and high-end) isn’t very Chinese, but it can be really good!

Perhaps try Ruby BBQ in El Monte, as @chienrouge mentioned and Ho Kee Cafe (I’ve been to the Arcadia one but haven’t tried the others in San Gabriel). At Ho Kee Cafe, there’s various BBQ meats, Hong Kong style wonton noodle soup, beef brisket with turnip (a very good claypot savory sauce version; elsewhere I usually like the clear broth version with preserved vegetables but I’m not sure if they make that one here), braised appetizers, and scallop and egg white fried rice, all of which should take out well. They also make good “salt and pepper” fish fillet (or chicken wings or squid), which isn’t the best takeout candidate, but you can re-crisp it in the oven, and the “salt and pepper” chili and green onion goes great over rice.


Agree, just saying that if we are talking about if something is a real Peking duck. Now that being said, there is a difference that Japanese-Chinese food which largely resemble Chinese food vs from so called Mongolian foods that Mongolians have never heard of.

Any stew foods should be pretty good for take out. Any fried foods like (your salt and pepper fish) probably not going to do well.

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Ho Kee Cafe

Ruby BBQ

HK VIP Kitchen

Sunny Shine BBQ


I had some really good roast duck from Hing Lung a few times via delivery. Their B&M is in SF Chinatown.


Hing Lung is not bad.

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