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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.

                      1. Go the the Peking Duck House on Mott, which is just awesome. The one uptown I do not think is as good. Maybe it is just the atmosphere.

                        1. i agree - Peking Duck House on Mott - they have the great duck, alway ready and their pancakes are the best.

                          1. i haven't been yet, and have been meaning to, but i heard Nice Restaurant in chinatown does peking duck 2 ways. they carve it first, then take the carcass back to the kitchen and get all the meat near the bones off. stir fry that with veggies and sauce. the traditional way, i belive is 3 ways, where you boil the bones after to make a soup.

                            they also did this for us at Fuleen on division. it was good, and they give you the puffy bread like shanghai wraps there instead of the flat pancakes.

                            1. Peking Duck house is amazing! Hands down the best duck I've had in the city.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: thursdayclubjason

                                Wow. I could not disagree more. The skin lacked crunch and flavor...and there pancakes are more like tortillas than spring roll wrappers. Disappointing on every level.

                                And who wants to go to a cheap chic restaurant in chinatown? Finally, there attitude is not attractive.

                                I unfortunately can not recommend an alternative since I live in Chicago, but I definitely would NOT recommend this place.

                              2. Thank you, we went to peking duck house on Mott and it was terrific! The last time I had this dish was in Hong Kong and it was amazing!
                                Thanks for all your recommendations. We also ate at Honmura An and rei rei ken. All in all great food!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: hamahoney

                                  i had dinner at peking duck house on mott street recently and found their duck to be uninspiring at best. It was a bit greasy and the meat was not rather bland. Maybe they had an off night but I will be in search of better peking ducks elsewhere. Maybe chanoodle, phoenix garde, or maple garden? Thoughts?

                                  1. re: Dandel

                                    Maple garden on 53rd is now a branch of PDH on Mott. But it is still my go to place for Peking Duck in NYC.

                                    1. re: guttergourmet

                                      is the peking duck at the new branch of PDH on 53rd better than Mott street's?

                                2. I've heard the duck at Philippe is good - anyone tried it?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: jona2325

                                    When I tried the Peking Duck at Philippe, the duck was greasy and a little bland, and the skin wasn't crispy.

                                    1. re: pgallagher4

                                      I agree...wasn't too thrilled with the duck at Philippe either.

                                      1. re: Yaxpac

                                        Looks like NYMag just rated Philippe as best Peking Duck in NYC - gonna try it to see.

                                        1. re: jona2325

                                          It is likely that they only served the best peking to NY Magazine,not the usual diners =P

                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                            I rarely find any of NY Mag's review accurate. Sometimes, it makes me think that some of it's glowing reviews maybe related to paid advertisement. I just use it more as a guide and reference to locate a newly opened establishment to add on my hit list...and then decide for myself.

                                            For reliable peking duck, Peking Duck House in Ctown and East 53rd does deliver but, I won't order anything beyond the duck on both places...as the rest of the food on it's menu are pretty mediocre.

                                  2. PDH on 53 has excellent peking duck lunch specials if you're a party of four. I have often been recruited as the fourth so my friends can qualify.

                                    1. I just read about a place called Peking duck Grill I think on the UES. Anybody try it?

                                      1. This is counter-intuitive, but there's a very good Peking Duck at Sung Chu Mei on Hudson around 12th Street. The rest of the menu is just okay, but they do an especially nice, not-greasy PD.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: simkhele

                                          Maple Garedn has been affiliated with Peking Duck House for many years. They actually do it better. Pancakes are thin they way they should be!

                                          1. re: greatballsofhockey

                                            Where is Peking Duck House?? I went to East 53rd street between 2nd and 3rd and it was nowhere to be found. I 411'd and got the address but when I found the number it wasn't PDH, just a hotel. Woe!

                                        2. I can't say that it is the best peking duck, but we had a wonderful one at Chin Chin last night - incredibly crispy skin. This is more of an upscale Chinese - pretty room and good service. I've also had very good duck at Tse Yang, but it is very pricey and the rest of the food is not worth it.