Sun Wong Ky, 51 Byron Street, Footscray.
Footscray’s Little Saigon Market will never be replaced – figuritively and, it often seems, quite literally.
But we mostly have an ability to live in the present and appreciate what we have, rather than what once was.
So we enjoy the sparkling neighbourhood that has grown up around the burnt-out shell of the old market.
Centred on Byron Street, the neighbourhood has numerous businesses and a chilled-out vibe that is a nice retreat from the traffic and bustle of Barkly, Leeds, Hopkins and Nicholson streets.
Sun Wong Ky is fully symbolic of an area in transition – its new shop sits right opposite the premises it once occupied in the old market.
When the new place opened, the offerings and set-up seemed to us rather basic and aimed more at take-home customers.
Now, though, there is a much more eatery thing going on (see menu below), so we are right up for taking their Chinese roast meats for a whirl.
There are a few tables and chairs inside, but we take one of several outside tables and enjoy watching the world go by as we wait.
Bennie and I both choose the two-meat roast combo, priced at an excellent $12.80.
Soya chicken and barbecued pork for him and …
… soya chicken and roast pork for me.
This is great stuff – as good as any Chinese roast meats we’ve enjoyed in the west.
And that’s saying a lot.
The chicken – even the bigger, denser pieces – is very tender and juicy.
Likewise with Bennie’s barbecued pork.
The roast pork has superb crackling – not too gnarly, yet with plenty of crackle.
Cooking juices have been poured on the rice and under each pile of meat is good bok choy.
By contrast, our serve of chicken feet ($6) is dull, with none of the zingy saltiness from blackbean sauce or chilli kick we expect.
They’re big, though, and even surprisingly meaty – more like eating wings than feets!