Like Portuguese rotisserie chicken, Chinese barbecue pork can be a bit of a crap shoot. You can only guess how many days it's been hanging there drying out under a heat lamp. But as with the best piri-piri-sauced birds, volume guarantees the sweetest meat. And for only $6 a pound, is there a tastier way to stretch a stir-fry?
Just around the corner from the Don Jail, the east side's Sing Sing (351 Broadview, at Gerrard, 416-778-8029, rating: NNNN ) might appear rather bleak, but it's one of the busiest barbecue shacks around. The reason: succulent, meaty five-spiced tenderloin-like pig paired with a sharp mustardy sauce. A few doors down, the intriguingly named Ka Ka Lucky (349 Broadview, at Gerrard, 416-461-3811, rating: NNN ) also draws crowds at dinner hour, especially for its lean, somewhat dry pork in sweet ketchupy syrup.
Best known as the Chinese restaurant in one of those Energizer battery commercials, cop favourite Hong Fatt (443 Dundas West, at Huron, 416-977-3945, rating: NNN ) produces first-rate mahogany-hued 'cue. Across the street in the former premises of infamous Famous BBQ, Flourish (444 Dundas West, at Huron, 416-599-3288, rating: NN ) may well, er, flourish, not for its pedestrian, medicinal-tasting pork but for its mouth-watering steamed chicken with scalded scallions.