Nothing beats good old pork on your fork. That soft juicy meat with that oozing layer of fat, all covered with a thick layer of crackling that glistens like unwashed hair after three days. We’ve got the best places for you to snap up some pork belly, hear the crack of the crackling and pop it into your mouth. Pork so good you’ll want to take it home and have it stay the night.
Located within a lane way of Angel Place, decorated with empty birdcage after birdcage, is China Lane. Serving up modern Asian food in a downtown, upmarket Shanghai atmosphere, China Lane has sweet and sticky cuts of pork belly that’ll have your mouth dripping and wanting more. Their satay-basted and covered pork is topped with crunchy peanuts that complement the crunch of crispy pork skin, while the meat just melts in your mouth.
With 4 in Hand’s Dining Room officially closed and waiting for re-opening under Guilliame Brahimi, we’ve turned to 4Fourteen for our pork belly fix. Only a suburb over from Paddington, the Surry Hills based restaurant is big on flavour, just the way we like it. With an industrial chic warehouse feel, the nose to tail speciality of Fassnidge is evident here. The suckling roast pig is juicy and soft, you’ll be licking your lips and licking the sauce off the plate.
Run by previous chefs of Merivale family member, Ms G’s, Mr Wong is the place to let loose and unbuckle those pants. The restaurant’s interior and food is a delicate blend between Chinese influences and flavours with French flair, proving that the two are the perfect pair in a relationship. The sweet and sour crispy pork drips with a combination of oil and sauce, so watch out and don’t waste any on the table.
The perfect blend between Vietnamese and Japanese, Mr. Bao has got us covered with not only our bao fix, but our pork belly cravings, too. While their pillow soft baos have a variety of fillings and options, here at the Urban List office, the crispy pork belly one takes the crown. For those who just can’t get enough, from Thursday to Saturday, the menu offers their larger plate of crackling pork belly with Asian slaw. Who said anything about sharing?
Porteno prides itself on authenticity when using traditional Argentinian Parilla and Asado cooking methods. A fan favourite with meat and hearty meal lovers, Porteno’s Chanchito a La Cruz is a definite must when visiting. The 8-hour woodfired pig is soft and juicy, melting in your mouth while every inch is filled with that smokey flavour that’s so important at Porteno.
The modern take of a traditional Vietnamese banh mi features thick cuts of crispy pork belly and slaw between fresh hot bread rolls. But that’s not the only traditional menu item that’s changed. At Mr Crackles, you can get crispy pork nacho fries also. The slow cooked pork is prepared with five spice, the golden brown skin is crispy and crunchy. For the fanatics who just can’t get enough, the option to purchase just the pork belly is available, whether you want it by 100 gram or the kilo.
The industrial loft style restaurant is a favourite across Sydney CBD with their multiple locations. Home Thai's crispy pork belly is fat ribboned and smothered with sweet curry paste, filled and rubbed with traditional Thai spices such as lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime. A crowd favourite, the pork is golden and dark brown, crunchy from the fry and sweet from the simmer, served alongside bright green beans that help to take away the heat.
LP's Quality Meats
Just as the name leads on, Chippendale is home to some top notch pork belly goodness. Leading the pack is the fearsome porchetta: fennel rolled, chilli garlic pork belly; smoked along with the rest of their daring menu over local woods and specially made in-house condiments. And just when you think your pork palate is perfect, think again. LP's meat within a meat (yes it is possible) dish, lamb belly stuffed with Merguez sausage, is your new best friend. Complemented perfectly with pecorino, anchovy caramel and a wholesome corn on the cob, this menu is a dream even to the sides. We suggest bringing more than one fork to this outing.
Whether its lunch or dinner... or both, Lotus can tame your pork crazed cravings. Its famous red-braised pork belly coupled with dark soy and shallots is a sheer standout along with the Shanghai-style ribs and wok-fried beef with black pepper and barilla. If you're looking for a quick bite or a grand meal, Lotus has express menus and banquets fit for every stomach. Welcome to your new daily meat routine, you are so very welcome.
Image credit: Lisa Brooke at China Diner