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Mar 9, 2002 04:21 PM

Great Peking Duck

  • r

After passing and turning up my nose at Shanghai Garden on Connecticut Ave. for years. I finally ate there Friday AND SATURDAY nights. While I was impressed with the other chinese dishes (a very nicely spiced Schezuan string beans), the peiking duck is to die for. Great price. Good skins. Meaty bird. Friendly wait staff.
And great retro atmosphere. They recently renovated the restaurant but luckily saved the '50s charm. Lots of kitschy wall hangings and decor. Plus, drinks with umbrellas.
Remember get there before 9 and order a mai tai while you wait for your bird.

4469 Connecticut Ave NW

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  1. Also check out Peking Gourmet in the Culmore Shopping
    Center on Rt. 7 west of Bailey's Crossroads. The guy
    who owns it was Chairman Mao's personal chef. Best duck
    outside of Peking, no lie. The four seasons green beans
    are superb with the duck and the mai-tais are semi-
    narcotic. Make sure Shrub senior isn't in town because
    they throw everyone out if his duck jones kicks in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      I agree that Peking Gourmet serves the best duck, bar none. I've been there when senior Bush was having dinner. They gave him a large room off to the left coming in the door. Prices and customers have gone up since the big publicity about his taste for their duck Same is true of Anthony's of Mulburry St. in Little Italy. After Reagan ate there it was very hard to get a table, at least on the weekend.

      1. re: flavrmeistr

        Unsubstantiated connection to Mao, as far as I know, a complete lie.

      2. Okay folks, this will be controversial but I suggest trying Duck Chang in Annandale. I haven't been there in a while, but every time I've gone the duck (and all duck dishes) have been great. However everything else on the menu is lousy, so just concentrate on duck!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rich

          Duck Chang's always had a great Sunday morning deal
          for a fixed price that included a wonderful duck soup,
          Peking duck carved at the table and unlimited amounts
          of three or four standard dishes. No buffet, everything
          was cooked to order. It's been a few years, admittedly.
          Has anyone been there recently?

          1. re: Rich

            Years ago, Duck Chang's used to be the best deal in town for Peking duck. It was always available even back in the day when you needed to order the dish in advance at most restaurants, it was always tasty, well prepared, and skillfully served. And cheap, too. Mr. Chang was, so the menu claimed, from the family in China that invented the disk, and that's where he got the nickname.

            He died a while back, and I think that I remember that some of the family is still involved with the restaurant. I haven't been there in years, so I don't know if the quality is still as good as with the old man on watch. But nobody's said that it's dreadful recently, so it's probably worth an experiment if you enjoy Peking Duck enough so that less than the best is still good, as long as it's good.

            1. re: MikeR

              I know "Joe" Chang, Duck's older son. He has his own restaurant on RT 1 in Alexandria. The younger son, whose name escapes me right now, usually runs the place in Annandale. Their (both) duck is quite good, but I'm afraid it's not as good as at the Peking Gourmet. Robert, the owner of the PG, tells about the process of preparing the duck, growing the (huge) onions on a farm in Centreville (seeds from China)m etc. Very interesting. They were serving over 600 ducks a week and that was pre Bush. Lord knows how many little fellows are being served up now.

                1. re: chowser

                  But, I assume, a different Peter Chang than the one who used to be a regular item here. Originally discovered at China Star, moved to another place or two, never cooking anywhere for more than a couple of months, and them moved out of town.

                  Rumors of his whereabouts still surface now and then.

                  1. re: MikeR

                    Yes, different Peter Chang. This one isn't a chef and owns the cantonese restaurant because it's a family thing. I don't know the other Peter Chang but am assuming he's Szechuan based with China Star.

          2. Speaking of Peking Duck, when I first had it in Philly's Chinatown it was served three ways, the crispy skin, a dish with the meat, and then the soup. It's been years since I have had it that way. No one seems to serve the soup any more, just the skin and the meat. Does anyone do that here?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ellen

              Ellen, I'm pretty sure that the Peking Gourmet does the soup. It's a separate order from just getting a duck.

            2. Charlie Chaing's on Connecticut Ave. in Van Ness and Tony Lin's in Rockville (Flagship center, across from the Giant) also have good Peking Ducks.

              Charlie Chiang's Restaurant
              4250 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

              Tony Lin's Restaurant
              12015 Rockville Pike Ste G, Rockville, MD 20852

              3 Replies
              1. re: DCDeb

                Are you sure about Tony Lin's? Have you had it? Did you have to order ahead? Did they serve the skin and the meat separately?
                I have found Tony Lin's to have pretty good food if you are sure to order off the Chinese menu. It is also pretty convenient. I just haven't ever seen anyone eating duck in there.

                1. re: Pappy

                  I'm with you, Pappy - Tony Lin's is on our regular rotation, but I've never ordered a Peking Duck there, nor have I seen anyone else order one!

                  That said, peering at their takeout menu, they do offer it ($12/half duck) along with another 4 or 5 roast duck dishes.

                  1. re: Pappy

                    Yup. I've had duck at both places and ordered right off the menu--without calling ahead. The duck was carved tableside with skin and meat separated.

                2. Shanghai Village in Bethesda does a mighty fine Peking Duck. Kwak, the owner, carves it table side, and makes sure to separate the skin from the meat, serving them on difference plates. It's the best I've had in the area.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: MsDiPesto

                      I second Shanghai Village. I tried Duck Changs recently and it was good but not as good and the soup cost extra. The one thing that Duck Changs does much better IMHO is that they have the thin pancakes which I prefer vs the thick doughy ones.

                      Anyone know whatever happened to Oriental Regency in Tysons ? They had a pretty decent Peking Duck but closed down awhile back.

                      1. re: ffxjack

                        We used to like Oriental Regency, but a few years ago there was a big change (probably ownership) and the food just wasn't as good after that. After about three tries, we stopped going there, and then noticed several months back that they had pulled out.

                        It happens . . . a lot.

                        1. re: MikeR

                          I love Peking Gourmet. It's a long drive for me, but it's so worth it. My Dad is a huge Chinese food fan and loved the duck there.

                          Now I want Chinese food.