Just Ducky at King Fung
6 of us got together last night at King Fung..the company was good...the Peking Duck was delicious..as were the dumplings..we also had lamb with scallions..ordinary, at best...finished up with a Mongolian Hot Pot..this was my first MHP..so I have nothing to compare it too..but it seems like a lot of effort for fairly so so food..for the uninitiated, a hot pot is a "mini bbq" placed on the table...use to heat up a broth..there are plates of beef, chicken, tofu, cabbage, squid,and tripe..which are thrown in...and then removed when cooked..unfortunately it was hard to tell when something was cooked..and even more difficult to pull it out of the pot...goes under the heading of glad I tried 1, won't hurry back for another..Joanie..a small plate of crisp duck and skin were saved for you..finally taken away at the end of the meal..Galley Girl..hope you're feeling better..you were missed also..including your journalist skills. My take on King Fung was stick to the duck and the dumplings.
Darn, I missed TWO voyeuristic eating opportunities!! Plus, of course, getting together with the hounds...But of course, reading everybody's posts has helped; I'm feeling fine now, just hungry!! I didn't see any mention of the subgum rice cakes, or rice sticks, that are supposed to be a big deal there. They were mentioned in some prior KF posts..???... And what kind of dumplings?
Thanks for posting David -- I will chime in here too. I really liked the Peking Duck part of the menu... the presentation of the whole duck and then the beautiful display of all that crispy duck skin and the two drumsticks were the highlight for me. All of this accompanied by traditional fixin's like hoisin sauce, scallion brushes, thicker than usual pancakes made for a delightful start. The duck course # 2 was also pleasing. As PSmith said in the first review of this place, the beansprouts were the perfect foil to the rich duck meat stir fried with other veggies - carrots, cabbage, etc. I would have liked some rice to go along with this dish and the lamb but that didn't seem to be part of the meal. As stated, the lamb was so-so (despite the delicious scallions) with the sauce being a bit too cloying and the meat being tough. The dumplings were very good as well. As for the Mongolian Hot Pot, I think it might have been better if we had more experience and better utensils -- the little baskets provided for fishing out the goods seemed better at pushing it all under the chimney. It was quite a lot of food for the intended "2" but it also was hard to divide the goods up evenly -- some folks got lots of noodles and no meat, others had the meat and no noodles, etc. The puzzling part was the end when the very nice waitress ladelled some more broth into the pot to make what I thought would be the end of meal soup. She extinguished the flame and took away the pot. Hmmm? The meal concluded with the duck bone soup which was so much like the MHP it seemed like overkill to me (although the broth was deliciously ducky as promised by Psmith). All in all, a successful endeavor. It was a pleasure to meet the hounds that were there and hopefully more will turn out next time we gather.
Well, Amy, I am sure if any of us had asked, rice would have been promptly provided. I thought about asking for a bowl a couple of times but finally opted to take the extra calories in the form of one of the beers that 9lives had so thoughtfully brought.
One comment to anyone who may walk past King Fung on Kneeland. The place looks kind of beat up and perhaps questionable from the outside. Chuck S said he remembered years ago when the location was a typical local diner serving the garment district that was once active around there. Inside, while small (5 tables/booths I think and the one table which can be expanded into a round table for 6 to 8 persons) it is clean and bright. Plus the smallness of the place may actually contribute to the basic quality of the food, allowing the obviously compentent kitchen to not have to become an assembly line.
I agree with Dave M.P. that the dumplings at King Fung deserve further attention. The chinese ravioli/fried dumplings we had are a significant notch over any I have had (Japanese, Korean or Chinese); being crispy crunchy on the outside, firm and juicy (not like "juicy buns" which have a spoon full of juice inside but like a juicy meatball) on the inside. Dave, I noticed you kept eyeing the table of the young parents with baby who had two or three types of steamed buns.
The mongolian hot pot was an entertaining experience for which we were unprepared. I am unsure if it would have worked better if one person took the matriarch/patriach role of doling it out to the diners or if we each took more active role of boiling our own. But as it was, it seemed one person would place 4 or 5 chunks of meat or tofu in and then only 2 or 3 could be fished out. Perhaps it was the troll of the hearth inside the hotpot cone taking his toll.
The duck was very good, others have described the first course of duck with "Chinese Totillas." With the second course providing contrast of duck with earthy veggies (carrot and sprouts) we might have done better to have had 2 ducks for the 6 of us and two types of dumplings/buns and passed on the theatrics of the hot pot. But that is easy to say in retrospect.
I found each of my dining companions to be warm, sensitive and knowledgeable (about eating out and living life fully). Being a regular Boston business visitor (who is usually working long hours in either the financial district or running around between places like Marlboro or R.I. or N.H. before settling into my downtown Boston hotel room) China Town is convenient for me to explore. But you guys had my head spinning describing exploits of tantalizing eaterying in places all over the Boston area. I really should have brought a tape recorder, since I felt it would have cramped the conversation if I had asked the raconteur of the moment to stop while I wrote down names, addresses, directions, suggestion on what to order, etc.
Quite a crew we were, and I did wonder, just before we all left, if I should suggest our stopping by the Taiwan Cafe on the way out of China Town to split a plateful of spicy basil eggplant to punctuate our evening meal. The meal at King Fung was satisfying, but I was looking to end the evening eating something with a punch. And, to me, the eggplant dish is as good as any dessert.
Now I've done it. I am trying to avoid eating late at night, but after thinking all these food thoughts I don't know if my growling stomach will let me go to sleep having only eaten airport soup and salad for dinner.
Dinner last night was indeed fun and delicious, I'd say the highlight was the first course of the duck, where we wrapped the skin, scallions and duck sauce in a thin pancake. This was very very good. As Amy said, the dumplings were very good, but we noticed that nearly every other table ordered a plate of a different dumpling, which were round. We had the traditional crescent shaped pot-sticker/peking ravioli. I'd be eager to try the other type if I go to King Fung again. Mmmm, that duck was good though, I felt very full of duck all last night! Thanks for a great dinner everyone