The review in our September issue is all about eating with your eyes. But food doesn’t have to be pretty to make you happy. Case in point: the barbecue platter at Taste @ Hong Kong in Chantilly. Served on a plate in the restaurant, it might have been a bit more visually appealing, but Taste @ Hong Kong is still offering takeout and delivery only, so a styrofoam container filled with browned flesh was what I got.
But once I tasted the pork and duck inside, my disappointment melted away. I’d had some less than stellar Chinese barbecue at another nearby purveyor, so my guard was up. Maybe NoVA just wasn’t the place to be indulging that particular craving.
But the aroma had me chomping down on chunks of the roasted whole pig even before I got to the car. Each slice of the fatty meat had two sides of flavor, one covered in crispy, salty skin, the other in a sweet, nutty sauce. I was satisfied, but the duck won me over even more. I wish the skin had been more crisp, but that was practically impossible, given the moisture within. Each bite left my lips covered in luscious grease, leaving me feeling a carnivorous savagery straight out of Lord of the Flies. I mostly overlooked the hoisin and sweetened soy sauce that came with the meat. They were more than flavorful enough on their own. Next time, I will order rice to soak up their juices, though.
Maybe when Taste @ Hong Kong reopens its indoor seating, I can eat with my eyes. But for now, my mouth is perfectly happy with what they have to offer.