The closure of Long Sing Supermarket in July 2017 left a small hole in the city’s dining options. A reliable cheap lunch spot — and the only inner loop option for Cantonese-style Chinese barbecue — suddenly vanished.
Thankfully, Mimi and Cho Woo, the couple that owned and operated Long Sing for over 30 years, are back with a new restaurant to serve up the roast pork, roast duck, and char siu pork that earned wide acclaim. Now known as Siu Lap City, named for the Chinese word for “barbecue,” the new restaurant opened quietly this week at 2808 Milam, in the same shopping center as Pho Saigon and Luna y Sol Mexican Grill.
While the location may be new, the recipes are not. Anna Woo, the middle daughter of Mimi and Cho, explains the situation succinctly.
“Quality is our priority no matter what,” she tells CultureMap. “We just want to make sure everything tastes the same. That’s what keeps customers coming. Nothing’s changed, except for the location.”
Inside, the restaurant offers a counter service setup with a few tables for dining in, but most people will probably take their good to-go. The real magic happens in the back, where whole pigs and ducks are prepared for cooking.
While dishes like sweet and sour pork or barbecue spare ribs can be found at most Chinese restaurants around town, few focus specifically on barbecue the way Siu Lap does. Just like with Texas barbecue, preparing the meat properly requires specialized equipment and deep knowledge of seasoning and roasting techniques. For example, Siu Lap uses different ovens to roast pigs and ducks, which helps ensure that each protein get cooked properly every time.
In addition to the traditional siu lap dishes, the restaurant also serves sweet and sour pork, mapo tofu, and various organ dishes, including its popular beef tripe. An order of two meats served over rice costs about $8, which is a slight increase from the $7.25 at Long Sing, but is still a pretty serious value.
“We want customers to enjoy our food,” Anna Woo says. “We don’t want to be overpriced.”
Whether ordering a whole roast pig for a celebration or just grabbing a lunch plate to-go, Long Sing filled a vital role in Houston’s food community. Now that Siu Lap City has opened, the Woo family will continue to serve their signature dishes to another generation of Houstonians.
Siu Lap City; 2808 Milam St., Suite F; Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 3 pm; 713-236-8171