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Jun 9, 2000 12:12 AM

Best Peking duck

  • r

Does anyone know where I can get the best peking duck in New York?

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  1. m
    mark grossman

    shun lee palace is always rated the #1 chinesein NYC tho it is a pricey uptown upscale place.You couldnt go wrong there.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mark grossman
      David Edelstein

      There IS a place called Peking Duck in Manhattan's Chinatown that serves a pretty fine duck. But a few years ago (the last time I went) it was a pretty crummy place even for Chinatown. I heard somewhere they remodeled but can't confirm. Anyone?

      The thing to look for is one of those Tour D'argent-type Chinese duck fetish joints where they carve the duck at the table, make your traditional duck "wraps," bring you a soup made from the duck's bones and a stir fry of duckmeat, then give you the duck bill as a keepsake. (I made up the last thing but it's possible someone does it.) Does anyone know of a Peking Duck place like that in NYC?

      1. re: David Edelstein

        The Peking Duck House moved about two stores down from where it used to be. I'm not sure if it reopened yet. The location is on Mott Street across from Mosco. (where the lady sells those little cakes)

        1. re: David Edelstein
          mark grossman

          see my Peking Duck post on Shun Lee Palace

          1. re: David Edelstein

            Am not sure, but Tai Hong Lau (Mott St., east side, block just below Canal) may do something like what you describe. Walked by the other day--after passing the newly-reopened Peking Duck House (looks attractive)-- and read their sign saying something about 4 courses out of Peking Duck. I don't think it's offered every day. Friend recomended their Peking duck highly.

        2. Yin Cheng, a low-key, but unfailingly polite family-run Chinese restaurant at 166 Amersterdam Ave. and about 67th St,(212) 787-9001) has the best Peking duck I have eaten in New York. It beats out all the most expensive lah-di-dah extravaganza Chinese palaces, where you pay as if you've purchased the entire flock--not just the single duck.

          $24 for a whole crispy Peking duck will feed 3 to 4 people. I've eaten IN the restuarant only once--but Yin Cheng is my take-out choice at least once a week. (Im one of those foodies who takes out food much more than eats in.)

          When I have the duck delivered, it comes in two separate containers. One with the meaty slices attractively arranged by size and covered on top with the deliciously sinful skin. The other container holds all the meaty bones and extra skin for making soup. (But that makes a good snack, as well!)

          All the trimmings are delivered separately--the flat pancakes, hoisin sauce and scallions. This dish is a treat!

          Yin Cheng is the only Chinese place on the Upper West Side that steadily produces top quality food. As I mentioned, it is family run, and they take care in all their preparations. Other favorites of mine are their pork with pickled cabbage (the real thing!); black mushrooms with Chinese greens; spare ribs--a real highlight--meaty and non-fatty; and any seafood dish (Lake Tung Ting Shrimp is wonderfully eggy and filled with a crispy tasting variety of veg.) The shrimp, cooked fish and lobster is always top-notch.

          They offer some genuine Cantonese dishes. Try the minced beef egg drop soup. And the Roast Chicken under "Barbecued Meats" is perfect for my perenniel diets (my two dogs--chowhounds, themselves--get the skin.)

          In an area with horribly run-of-the-mill, gloppy, tasteless Chinese restaurants, I really appreciate Yin Cheng.

          Happy eating!

          1. No contest -- it beats Shun Lee hands down: the newly reopened Peking Duck House on Mott St. in Chinatown.

            I found the duck at the old place too greasy, but that may have been the effect of the atmosphere. The new place is strangely minimalist, even vaguely hipsterish, but with the same staff and recipes. The duck is fantastic, and will feed four.

            Little else on the menu is worth bothering with.