One of the more striking Cantonese roast meats in Chinatown is the pípá yā 琵琶鴨 'lute-shaped duck'. The duck is cut open and roasted while splayed flat with a horseshoe-shaped metal frame. The splaying allows more moisture to evaporate and fat to drip out during roasting, so the meat is drier and the flavor more concentrated. Ordinary shāoyā 燒鴨 'roast duck' has a quantity of dark liquid inside that is discarded when the duck is cut into pieces (zhǎn 斬), but the pípá yā does not, and that accounts for part of the difference. The roasting process itself is the same as for ordinary shāoyā; there are no other seasonings used, for instance. The metal frame remains in place until the duck is cut up. All the Cantonese roast fowl have skin that is basically soft, unlike the more familiar Peking duck, which is specially treated to burn off the fat and leave the skin crisp (or leathery, depending on your chef's skill).
The name pípá yā has to do with the fact that the splayed-open duck is imagined to look like a Chinese lute — pípá 琵琶 (Japanese biwa, Korean bipa) — which has a round body. The duck's neck is usually curved to one side, unlike the straight neck of an ordinary roast duck. As with many Chinese culinary metaphors, 'lute' is not so apt as it is appetizing — I mean, in its suggestion of palace life or scholarly seclusion. When I was a boy, my friends and I called these things "frisbee ducks", which has no charm at all.
I bought one this morning from Sun Sai Gai 新世界 at 220 Canal, corner Baxter, one of Chinatown's long-term institutions (though the management has changed a number of times in the 35 years I've been going there).