I am not entirely sure why, but I’ve struggled to find BBQ Pork in Perth. I’ve been to quite a few Asian eateries and have looked through the menu without any sign of BBQ pork. Lots of seafood. But no pork. I have specifically asked at a couple of places, only to be told, “No, we don’t do BBQ Pork”. Maybe it’s a Northern vs Southern China thing?
This is in stark contrast to the year in which I lived in Perth – 2004 – when I enjoyed possibly the world’s best BBQ Pork. Every Sunday night I would go to Han Palace on Bennett Street, just around the corner from where I was living on Wellington Street. Having enjoyed the delights of their BBQ Pork, I used to go there every Sunday night, and purchase some take-away. I didn’t want rice. I didn’t want vegetables. I just wanted the pork. And from there I would head out for a drink or two at The Court (when they still had a lively Sunday night scene) and then often to Connections. It was a great routine.
After a few months, the woman at Han Palace said to me, “How come you only eat pork? You should have rice and vegetables too!”, to which I replied, “Because you have such great pork”. In honesty, she was probably correct, but I figured since I ate a reasonably well balanced diet, it was okay to have a Sunday night “pig out” (pun intended) on BBQ pork, while watching “Big Brother” was a reasonable indulgence.
When I told some people in Perth about this, they joked, “I’ll bet she calls you pork boy”. The name has stuck ever since.
So in heading back to Perth, one of the things I’ve really been anticipating has been to go to Han Palace on a Sunday night for some BBQ Pork. Imagine then, my disappointment to discover last night, it was closed for Christmas. They were planning to re-open in late January in a new venue, according to the sign on the door.
I consoled myself with some pork tonight at Old Shanghai which is nowhere near as good.