I LOVE GOOD CHINESE FOOD but I have unable to find a Chinese restaurant that blows my mind in Brisbane (readers PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me out with this one- somewhere in Sunnybank.?) The being said I am always up for trying new Chinese restaurants in my quest to find the ultimate, so when my visiting Nan suggested she would like Chinese (she is a Chinese lover too- perhaps it is in my blood?) I grabbed my Brisbane's budget bites book (by Mei Yen Chua) to find a recommendation. I was a bit selfish with my choice as I have been feeling like soy chicken for a while now and when I saw it mentioned under Golden Door I just had to go.
We found the restaurant on Wickham Street among many other Chinese restaurants. It was, as Budget Bites had suggested, a very basic restaurant. I'm talking bare bones here. However, it did have a good but atmosphere, with the staff yelling in mandarin and it was packed with Asian diners (always a good sign at an Asian restaurant.)
We got our hands on the menu and the prices were very reasonable. We ordered the half BBQ duck (about $17 from memory), a half soy chicken (similar price), a large serving of BBQ pork (around $9), rice and steamed Asian greens with oyster sauce. We asked for the mean to be deboned at the cost of $2 per dish. For me, this charge is totally worth it as I spend so much time picking the meat from the bones.
We went to order drinks but realised there were none on the menu. Golden BBQ is unlicensed so if you are up for a long boozy dinner, this is not the place. In lieu of alcohol we ordered some iced tea and soft drink which came in the can or in the bottle- they do not serve with glasses or ice here.
Budget Bites suggested that Golden BBQ usually serve complimentary house soup, but ours was forgotten. The waitress was running about all over the place and in her haste, I'm sure completely slipped her mind.
First to arrive were the steamed Asian greens with oyster sauce and a little bit of oil. The greens were fresh but were a little over cooked, however the sauce and oil combined made a magnificent dressing and we quickly gobbled up every last bit of bok choy before the next dish could even arrive.
The service was super speedy and the duck was next to arrive (probably only 10 min after ordering.) The duck was yum. The flesh was tender and the skin was a little bit crunchy and fatty in a trademark duck style. The skin could have been a little crispier, but was still good and tasty. There was a generous serving of duck given the price.
Next came the soy chicken which is an old favourite of mine. The chicken was well cooked and the meat was very tender but the sauce and skin lacked the depth of flavour that should be apparent in soy chicken. Really and truly, the dish was a little bit bland which was very disappointing.
The undeniable star of the night was the BBQ pork. It was absolutely delicious and had a rich BBQ flavour with a tantalising sauce. Not one ounce of this sauce was wasted and my Main PIE LOVES anything BBQ pork related. He thought this dish was fab. It was definitely on par with some of the restaurants in Sydney that I frequent given any opportunity.
I even caught my Nan ladling the BBQ sauce pork over the chicken to give it some much needed flavour, which was a fabulous idea!
On the way out we spotted a pig hanging out the back. For some people, this would be a bit much to handle- but for me it was reassuring. Growing up in the country, with a cool room always filled with beasts, I found it comforting to know that they prepare their meat fresh on site.
The bill came in at just over $60 which I thought was very reasonable, given the quality and amount of food we ordered. This restaurant is cheap and cheerful, very loud and fast paced. I would not recommend eating at Golden BBQ if you are after a long, relaxing dinner- but for a quick Asian fix and some delicious BBQ pork be sure to pop in sometime.
157A Wickham Street
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
07 3852 5222