I was introduced to this dish by a visiting chef from Hong Kong, who produced an overelaborate banquet of which I found this dish the most memorable (never having been an enthusiast of the carved-carrot school of presentation so loved by the Chinese).
The Chinese do not share our concern with serving meat hot On the contrary, many dishes like crispy roast pork and Cantonese duck would be ruined by reheating and are supposed to be eaten at room temperature. This is worth remembering when eating in Chinatown, where it is generally assumed that ignorant gwailo will complain if their roast meats are not hot and it is therefore a wise precaution to say 'cold meat' loudly several times to avoid a microwaved mess being brought steaming to the table. For a spectacular row, try sending this back.
The size of the cut of meat specified may seem rather large for four people, but you simply can't cook a small piece of meat in this way. However, these quantities provide lots of second helpings and sandwiches.
Of all Chinese spices, star anise is the most distinctive and powerful, so it should always be treated with respect.