Three weeks in Toronto and I've been to New Hong Fatt BBQ Restaurant three times already 😄 But, I can't really say I am head over heels in love with it 😝
New Hong Fatt BBQ have been here at 443 Dundas Street West since the 1960s. It's a mom and pop institution in Chinatown rarely mentioned in "Top 10 Best" listicles. It was earlier known as Hong Fatt BBQ but updated to New Hong Fatt when the original owner retired about 10 years ago.
New Hong Fatt serves Cantonese style roast pork, char siew, duck, chicken and goose (goose in season only in the summer). Sitting inside the restaurant, I can see them constantly bringing out from the kitchen freshly roasted pig, char siew, ducks and chicken for waiting customers.
I said roasted pig because at New Hong Fatt they roast the entire animal (with head and tail on, not just slabs of pork belly) and serve customers the requested cut. (This is the custom here in North America, in Canada and USA).
Well, the decor inside New Hong Fatt is non existent and furnishings are spartan. Service was polite but I saw that the Toishanese owners were quite warm with regular customers who come in in a steady stream. (Most of the first Chinese who landed in North America were Toishanese.)
The first time I tried New Hong Fatt, I had their roast duck with noodles. (I want to try their popular roast pork and char siew next time).
The egg noodles were generic but done nicely al dente with a slight soft crunchy spring. The soup was mildly savoury sweet. But, what caught my attention was the duck.
The meat was pillowy tender and juicy. It was wrapped in a browned skin that had a visible layer of fat underneath. The skin had only a slight wet crisp which could be felt but not heard i.e. not crackly crispy.
The flavour was a nice mild savouriness that penetrated the fibres combining with slight gaminess from the fats. I love this and it reminded me of fat London ducks.
The duck noodles costs just CDN4.50 (before tax and tips) which is about the price of a Starbucks latte.
On the second visit, I had the roast duck with rice. The roast duck was just as good but the steamed rice was rather bad. Low quality grains, overcooked, and served in cold starchy lumps.
Third time around, I took away just the duck packed in a Styrofoam box and skipped the noodles or rice. New Hong Fatt sells a duck at CDN22 and half a duck for CDN11.
The roast duck was very good. Tender, juicy, full of flavour at just the right intensity of savouriness.
👉 I haven't tried many roast duck places in Toronto yet but I like it at New Hong Fatt. They were delicious and competitively priced. I would put New Hong Fatt's roast duck in the top band in Malaysia and Singapore. This would have been a perfect roast duck meal for me if the noodles or rice were better. Next time, I want to try their roast pork and char siew. Hopefully, I can have a chance to try their roast goose when it is in season. (They sell roast goose at CDN17 for half a bird.)
Restaurant name: New Hong Fatt BBQ Restaurant
Address: 443 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G6
GPS: 43°39'12.0"N 79°23'45.7"W | 43.653321, -79.396027
Tel: (416) 977-3945
Hours: 10:00am to 8:30pm (Tues off)
Date: 13 Mar 2017