Life in the ‘Jing: Peking Duck
One of the school introduction events was a Peking duck dinner at a local duck restaurant. This was a pleasant surprise for me (as I’d been hoping to do it eventually), and we all went out since it was exceedingly family-friendly, and enjoyed ourselves with colleagues & lots of tasty food. This was kind of a combination banquet-plus-duck meal; you traditionally (at least, as I understand it) would not have duck plus something like this as it’s just so.much.food. Our table did not even polish off half the dishes.
The food either had amazing form and presentation like the above, or a very traditional sort of look:
This was beef, with onions and potato, served in a big bowl. It was tasty.
Food continued – at least twelve dishes, which included but were not limited to:
- kung pao chicken (gongbaojiding)
- curry chicken ding
- slices of starch of some sort cut and stacked like a game of Jenga, drizzled with strawberry jam(!)
- cold spicy Sichuan chicken
- meatballs with hoisin dipping sauce
- the custard fish
- the beef & potato dish above
- a spicy shrimp dish
- corn and veggies
- braised tofu with sauce
- fried rice
- a whole fish, fried and covered in a sweet sauce (garlic and bean?)
- The Duck.
Oh, the duck.
Some people have commented that there are other, better duck restaurants in the area; this was pretty good, but I’d love to see what else is in the area to find out what’s better than this!
Peking duck is traditionally served with super-thin wheat pancakes, rather like roti or crepes or tortillas; you put hoisin or a fermented black bean paste on the pancake (or you can dip the duck in it), and then put in a few slices of some ‘filler’, such as sliced scallions, cucumber, yams, or – in this peculiar case, Pop Rocks (yes, seriously, our ’90’s childhood food… it’s the pink stuff in the dish in the above picture!). It also seems to often be carved at the table for each order, but I think with six tables, we would have been sore-pressed to have that happen: I doubt there were 6 folks who could have carved simultaneously!
Lay a few of the pieces of duck atop the filler (each piece with a small bit of crisp duck skin), then wrap up the little duck-burrito neatly, and eat. And enjoy.
And eat, and eat, and eat.
A big meal comes to an end, in China, with a batch of fresh fruit – and that was watermelon. Asha polished off three slices on her own, before being carried home on my shoulders/Adam’s shoulders, and passing out, replete.
We followed shortly after.
There’s conversation with some friends about going to the Forbidden City & Tiananmen Square sometime in the next month – I want to go before October holidays! – and apparently, there’s a great roast duck place around there, too…