Best Peking Duck in town?
- Shannon Clark Feb 17, 2004 01:30 PM
As a dish that frequently takes 24hr+ to order, Peking Duck is not something I get all that often, but done right, it is a really great meal.
So two questions.
1. What restaurant(s) have the best Peking Duck in town?
2. Which places have the best that DO NOT require 24hrs advance notice - i.e. where you can just go and order it?
----Shannon wrote: 1. What restaurant(s) have the best Peking Duck in town?
A very good question. Funny thing you brought it up, since I woke up craving Peking Duck for some reason this morning. One of my all time favorite dishes on earth, and I really don't know where the best in Chicago is...so I need the help too...
I recently ordered it at Evergreen last week, which didn't need a 24 hour notice time. I guess it was decent...wasn't a home run, more like a bunt single..but gets the job done right?
We go to Emperors Choice for the 3 course Peking Duck. I have been to Beijing, and had more courses...but 3 courses is enough for most Westerners. I don't need the tongues in my soup etc. Emperors Choice also has excellant seafood. Especially the scallop (fresh in shell) as an appetizer. Enjoy
I'm sure there are better places, but I had it recently at Opera. It was their own version of it, so it's not completely traditional, but it was GREAT. It was served in three courses (like it's supposed to be) but instead of soup, they substitute a noodle course with lot's of garlic that I really enjoyed. It's not cheap, but you can order it off the menu eith no advance notice required.
So let me get this straight. The best Peking Duck in Chicago is at Opera or Red Light (same chef for all intents and purposes) and as far as I'm concerned neither has very much to do with Peking Duck. In the past two months I have had Peking Duck at House of Fortune, Emperors Choice, Little Three Happiness Seven Wives and Moon Palace. I always stick with the three course (skin in pancakes, soup, stir fried meat). House of Fortune is probably the all around best, but only because I didn't like the soup at Seven Wives very much. The other two courses were outstanding. LTH is very good, except for the stale tortillas that they call pancakes. Emperors Choce and Moon Palace were good all around, but the meat course was not quite as good as a few of the other establishments. I also had a Peking Duck at Happy Chef about three months ago, which was largely inedible (although I like a number of menu items there).
I think, at least based on the consensus so far, that the "best" may be the Peking Duck menu at the Penisula, but even that didn't sound flawless.
House of Fortune sounds promising - do they require 24hr notice?
As a relatively expensive and generally large (at least many courses usually) dish, I guessed that few people order it at every Chinese restaurant the eat at, or all that frequently - so that my question might be difficult to answer.
Thanks for your summary of many of the Chinatown options!
Are there any non-Chinatown options you would suggest? (any place in Chinatown north? in the rest of the city? though it doesn't help me, out in the burbs?)
re: Shannon Clark
I guess I just have a thing for duck skin. The meat and soup travel well, but you have to eat all of the skin ASAP. No advance notice is required at House of Fortune. Let me know if you like it. I haven't tried any Peking Duck outside of Chinatown. I personally have had nothing but miserable experiences at Shanhai Terrace, even though I generally think the food is quite good.
Since it hasn't yet come up, I'll note, cautiously, that the peking duck at Silver Seafood (which, of course also specializes in various bbq and roasted fowl) had excellent, always ready PD before the bottom apparently fell out of the place at the end of last year. Really nice, fresh wrappers, good soup, and a sort of different last course, almost a casserole with bok choy and dried mushrooms with XO sauce when I had it. I still have not made it back for one last try before giving up on SS. A pricey, multi-course duck dinner might not be how you want to take one for the team, but I'd admire you if you did.
For duck-skin lovers, Szechwan East's version is a plus, since you can get skin and pancakes as an appetizer, without extra courses or advance notice. I think they also have it on their buffet.
In the north suburbs, Mandarin Village offers a two-course version, skin-and-pancakes and stir-fried meat and vegetables, also without notice. The latter's a trifle bland. However, it's also reasonably priced.
340 E. Ohio St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Dinner, 2-10 p.m. 7 days
Lunch buffet, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. M-Sa
Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Su
Mandarin Village Restaurant
7150 Carpenter Road (at Touhy), Skokie
Dinner, 3-8:45 p.m. M-Th;
-9:30 p.m. F-Sa; -8 p.m. Su
Lunch,11 a.m.-3 p.m. M-Sa; 12-3 p.m. Su
BYOB Free parking
I don't think this has been mentioned - but the Peking Duck at the newly expanded Sun Wah at 5041 N Broadway in Uptown is great. I think they prefer if you order ahead (not too much effort in my view) but I think you can also order a duck at the table on slower nights.