“Kau Kau means best BBQ pork in Seattle” says the business card of this landmark restaurant. While we’re no experts in either Chinese BBQ pork or the cuisine of of Seattle’s Chinatown, we’re not going to argue the proposition. Unlike the icky-sticky BBQ more typical of mediocre Chinese-American restaurants, Kau Kau’s pork has only a subtle glaze with just enough sweetness to halo the smoky, pure-pig flavor of the meat.
An alternative way to savor the house specialty is what’s billed as roasted pig. In this dish, crunchy seasoned skin is the lead singer, the pork it encloses offering gentle harmony. If supersucculent BBQ skin is your pleasure, consider roast duck, its booming dark meat encased in crisp skin that melts into pure flavor as soon as it’s bitten.
Kau Kau’s menu is huge, offering all the familiar Chinese specialties, including lo mein (expertly made and tasty, if comparatively boring), hot pots, pot stickers, fried rice, steamed rice, and fried prawns in every imaginable configuration. It’s for the BBQ we’ll return.