Monday, September 10, 2007

Ducking for More

A friend took us to a Beijing style restaurant for what else - Peking duck.

The place, a chain of eateries is aptly named Roast Duck King and we went to one in Dongcheng District.

When you walk in, it doesn't feel like a restaurant; it's a hallway that leads to several private rooms, many full of men carousing with maotai and beer.

We started off with a few appetizers including a "salad", which was actually cherry tomatoes, cucumbers sliced lengthwise, carrot sticks, Chinese radish (fuchsia coloured) and lettuce that you dip into a thick dark sauce with chopped garlic.

Another dish was a dark brown seaweed marinated with sesame oil and soy sauce with sliced cucumbers, and cold duck webs that were deboned and generously drizzled in a slightly spicy mustard sauce.

We also had a shallow pot of yellow fish braised in a thick sauce topped with chillis, but it wasn't spicy, onions and garlic. And inside the soupy sauce were corn bread fingers that were on the dense side.

Finally the main event. The roast duck was already thinly sliced and presented on a duck-shaped platter. There were steamed thin pancakes to wrap them in, or crispy sesame buns and garnished with a plum sauce, sliced onions, garlic, cucumber and even sugar.

The skin was very crispy and not too much fat, while the meat (only bits of it) were moist.

We also had duck soup, a white coloured broth with vermicelli and vegetable, and deep fried bits of bone with meat on them that were delicious because they were marinated with white pepper and spices.

This Roast Duck King restaurant is pretty close to Da Dong in quality. But when it comes to the entire dining experience, Da Dong still rules the roost.


IheartNY said...

You should write for the food channel!

ks said...

the decor of the restaurant is more traditional and the cooking and presentation also. but i must say the duck is much less oily than other regular peking ducks we ever have. that is the reason why our host chose this restaurant.
may be a good idea to comply a guide book of beijing eateries or try to establish a column in the beijing life style magazine.