mostly keeping the two cooks at the front busy: The noodle guy
dips tangles of noodles and baby bok choy fronds in one
bathtub-size vat and ladles supreme broth out of another. Next to him, the meat guy gives you a assessing glance when the ticket comes in, then picks
out a duck just for you, as if it's got just the right shape to match your astrological sign. The thwack-thwack-thwack of the cleaver rarely stops for long.
The wontons I ordered were good, stuffed with shrimp, with a little crunch to them and wrinkled skins that trailed like silk across the tongue. The chicken-pork broth they floated in was clear and deep.
After a side-by-side comparison of Win's barbecue duck against Cheung Hing's
a few months ago, I'm still a Cheung Hing fan. It's a weak devotion, though, eroded after an hour with another plate of Win's duck,
the skin papery and sweet, the meat easy to suck off the bones.The duck juices sweetened and shined up the skinny egg noodles underneath, which flickered against my lips as I sucked them in, all crunch and snap.
(A side note to anyone who complains that the barbecue here isn't up
to Vancouver or Hong Kong standards ― move anywhere else in the
country for a few years and you'll miss it like the dickens.) I may have shied away from eating all the fat in the the siu yuk, or crisp-skinned pork ― middle age makes a man warier than he used to be ― but it was impossible to leave the table while a scrap of the bubbly, crunchy cap of skin still clung to the meat.
Noodles and meat, wontons and broth: Not much to make an excursion for, it seems on the foggiest days when Taraval and 41st seems like the Outer-Outer-Outer Sunset. Sometimes the humblest food, though, is the stuff that leaves me most content to have hunted it down.
Win's Restaurant: 3040 Taraval (at 41st Ave.), 759-1818.