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Aug 17, 2006 07:58 PM

Best Peking Duck in Manhattan?

We're flying in on Saturday morning, what is the best peking duck in the city for dinner that night, I know I'm posting this late so I'm hoping someone notices this...

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  1. I had really delicious peking duck last night at Chanoodle (79 Mulberry St). It was super crispy and not at all greasy. Also, it was very flavorful, the waitress brought out the platter, but then made the sandwiches for us. The one thing I found disturbing was that the whole duck came with 4 legs!

    3 Replies
    1. re: EAP

      Are you sure leg 3 and 4 were not just the upper part of the wing?

      1. re: LVI

        Positive. There were definately 4 drumsticks.

        1. re: EAP

          maybe the duck was marinated in wine?

    2. If you're in Manhattan, I'd recommend Phoenix Garden on E. 40 St. & Second Ave.

      1. Just go to Chinatown and get the real thing at Peking Duck House at 28 Mott Street. They have another location at 236 e 53rd st (2nd & 3rd ), but I've never been there. Their duck is EXCELLENT! :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: teresa

          i was at the 53rd st. branch earlier this week and duck was excellent.

          the dumplings were a little weak though...

          1. re: teresa

            I was just there (surprisingly, since I am not a big fan of Peking Duck) and the duck was quite good. The place is kind of fun as a throwback 'hi class' style Chinese retaurant, contrasting with the grungy, crowded places in Chinatown and Flushing that serve more interesting, 'authentic' food. PDH is quiet and serene, with excellent service, and the combo meal included some good sizzling rice soup, a selection of decent appetizers, the duck, and then a perfectly prepared steamed fish (delicious cheeks and eyes) and a veg (chinese broccoli with too much oyster sauce). With beers, tax and tip it came to almost $50 a person (we got combo for 3), a lot for Chinatown, but a good deal for a huge amount of good food in a comfortable setting with excellent service, less than you would pay in a midtown 'hi class' Chinese place. Chinatown is a lot more fun to walk around in afterwards, too, and you can follow up with Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

            1. re: teresa

              Every time I've gone it's been very good. Not Chinatown prices. Especially like the sizzling rice soup discussed by kenito799. They never bring the PD soup (you have to ask for it?). I've heard mixed reviews on this site.

              1. re: teresa

                I was just at PDH on Mott, and I have to say that the place really failed to impress me. My friends and I ordered the Peking Duck Dinner. First off, I believe that Peking Duck should be served on the soft buns, not the flour pancakes (i.e. tortilla).

                Second, the appetizer combo was very mediocre - the kind of stuff you can find at any fast food Chinese place, and of the same quality.

                Third, not a single one of the four entrees was what I or my friends consider as good Chinese food; the Orange flavored beef was too sweet, the scallops in the Beef and Scallops weren't even cooked together (cooked separately and thrown together before serving, the scallops looked 'nuked), the pork in the green beans and pork was ground pork (not minced meat), and the sauteed prawns w/ginger and scallion sauce tasted like fish.

                Although the service was decent, this is definitely 'americanized' Chinese food...and being asian, my friends and I weren't impressed at all. And the fact that even its namesake wasn't as good as other places I've had in Chinatown, I'd definitely recommend against PDH if your Chinese experiences take you beyond the pork fried rice variety.

                1. re: dick980

                  Hi dick980,

                  While I am not a big fan of PDH and I agreed that their food is mediocre at best, peking duck can be served either on soft buns OR flour pancakes (crepes). In fact if you go to Hong Kong or Canton areas in China, you will find that majority of the restaurants serve peking duck with the flour crepes. Both the buns and the crepes are common ways of serving peking ducks, nothing is wrong.

              2. Mainland Restaurant on 1081 Third Ave has delicious Peking Duck. They claim to have the only wood burning duck oven in NYC, and they hired a chef who trained in Beijing and flew him to NY. The way they prepare their duck is the "Old Fashioned" way, hence the dish name - Old Fashioned Peking Duck. The skin was crispy, and the duck itself was meaty, not bony as in many other Chinese restaurants. My only criticism is that the brown sauce they serve alongside the duck was too sweet for my taste, more sweet than at other restaurants. I just added less sauce to my pancake and it was fine.

                Another tasty dish they serve is their special fried rice. Being Asian, I always eat white rice with my food. For some reason though I ordered the special fried rice and it was so good. It was filled with lots of ingredients that blended well together - the rice wasn't hard or dry, just right.

                Atmosphere is sexy, candlelit and dim. Lots of group diners. You'll enjoy eating here if you want to have a fusion NY Upper East side experience.

                4 Replies
                1. re: MarilizOn2

                  Mainland is now Ollie's Brasserie. went there last night in search of excellent Peking Duck. My wife had eaten there earlier this year when it was Mainland and raved about the duck. Well, it is no more. The first sign of trouble was that the wood burning oven that was once on proud display was now behind one of those glass rain-wall type things and obviously not in use. Concerned, we asked the manager whether the same chef with the duck expertise was still there, he confirmed that he was. Unlikely. The duck we were served was oily, flavorless, and rather lacking in meat. Got about two meager servings per person and just gave up, was not worth eating. In retrospect it was probably frozen and reheated. Complete disappointment and a waste of $40. The rest of the dishes we ordered were average. >:(

                  1. re: tero

                    Very good to know. Thanks for this intelligence. I was thinking about going there, but now, I think, will stay home.

                    1. re: tero

                      My wife and I went there last night. The duck was awful. Greasy and tasted like it was microwaved. The other entrees were bad too. Stay away.

                    2. The Maple Garden restaurant also known as Beijing Duck House - on
                      53rd Street between 2-3rd Avenues - has the very best. It is always ready, need not be ordered ahead of time. You may also request the bones be put on the table after the meat is removed.