Review: Chinese Barbecue Joint in a Suburban Strip Mall Is a 'Rare Departure'
December 6th, 2017, 7:34 AM
Detroit suburbs don't get enough credit for having good ethnic restaurants in strip malls.
Tom Perkins of Metro Times visits Liang's Oriental Barbeque at 30953 Dequindre Rd. in Madison Heights, which sounds like a winner. Most customers are Chinese Americans, he writes:
At Liang's Oriental Barbeque — located in one of Madison Heights' many strip malls that contain a variety of Asian eateries — that tradition is on display in the glossy whole hogs, ducks, and chickens hanging from hooks above the counter, and the chewy beef belly, intestines, and other offal simmering in gravy steam pans.
One of the great bummers of eating in Detroit is that we lack much in the way of diversity and — debatably — authenticity when it comes to Chinese food and the cuisine of most other Asian countries. There's a lot more to Chinese cuisine than Sichuan or Cantonese, and Liang's is a rare departure from the Midwestern American-Chinese to which we're accustomed. I argue that someone would make a killing if they opened a southern China charcuterie (laap mei) spot in downtown Detroit instead of another restaurant focused on the same ol' charcuterie.
Not that all of the dishes at Liang's are unheard of, but it's definitely a different approach. The shop is an extremely basic set-up — carryout only. You walk in and point to the animal that you want. A woman with a large cleaver pulls the bird off the hook — or lops off a slab of hog — then takes it to a big butchers' block where it's quickly and unceremoniously whacked into hunks and slid into a styrofoam box.