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Do you have to go to Beijing for Peking Duck?

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fryrose Sep 24, 2006 05:07 PM

Sunday Morning had a short segment on Peking Duck that had my mouth watering. A chowish friend and I have had this dish on our "to do" list for a while. My question is, are there any great places to try this dish in Chicago and what makes it a great dish to you. The Sunday morning segment showed them eating it in 3 waves. First they ate the skin with the fat dipped in sugar and garlic, then they ate slices of meat in a pancake with plum sauce, scallions and cucumber, and then I did not catch exactly how they finished their meal. The Chinese chef that described the dish said it had to be cooked over a wood fire and the host said that it is a dish you need to eat in Beijing. If I can find something that tastes half as good as what they were eating looked like, I think that I will be a happy camper.

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    Jesster RE: fryrose Sep 24, 2006 06:14 PM

    Two spots in Chinatown come to mind:

    Moon Palace (312-225-4081) I've never tried the Peking Duck here - but it sure looks good and word of mouth says that it tastes even better. Everything I have tried was quite good.

    Emperor's Choice (312-225-8800) Here you have to order it a day in advance and I believe it is served in two courses and costs like $40. Food is generally pretty good here - but skip the inferior egg rolls.

    Also, awhile back a friend raved about a Peking Duck experience at the Shanghai Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel (Michigan Ave.) It is served in 3 or 4 courses that sounded a little more fancy/upscale than what you described.

    1. YoYoPedro RE: fryrose Sep 25, 2006 12:45 PM

      Try Opera in the South Loop, it is one of their signature dishes. It is served in three delicious ways. Normally sells for $32, but on Sundays and Tuesdays, they have a $25 prix fixe menu that includes a choice of ANY starter on the menu, ANY entree and ANY dessert for $25. Hard to beat, and choices include the Peking duck. MMmmmmm... I salivate thinking about that crispy skin.

      2 Replies
      1. re: YoYoPedro
        SkinnyChef RE: YoYoPedro Sep 25, 2006 07:56 PM

        As a side note, you can't beat that Sunday & Tuesday deal at Opera! Marche does there's on Monday - & if you go to either one, they give everyone in your party a $50 off $75 gift certificate to use at the sister restaurant. Best deal for 3 people & it's an endless loop!

        1. re: SkinnyChef
          YoYoPedro RE: SkinnyChef Sep 27, 2006 12:05 AM

          I think that the $50 GC deal only lasts through end of September, but I could be mistaken.

      2. SkinnyChef RE: fryrose Sep 25, 2006 07:53 PM

        My definitive place for Peking Duck in Chinatown is House Of Fortune. 2 courses is $25 I believe. That's a whole duck for the wrap and then the carcass used for a duck soup. You get about 10 or so wraps. It's actually a pretty cool show watching the waiter wrap them all up table side with just some chopsticks.

        Next door to House of Fortune, Evergreen does the same thing, but cuts the wraps in half so you get more rolls, but smaller bit size pieces.

        I would stay away from the downtown hotel spots that offer it as they're probably just ducks they bought from Chinatown & doing a big up-charge for them.
        If you can make it out to the Brookfield area, try Mandarin Sun. I think it's a sister restaurant to Ed's Potsticker House. The wraps here are supposedly made from scratch on site instead of the standard pre-packaged moo shoo wraps. Their plum sauce is also a unique blend with a deeper color & more complex flavor.. seems to have either some cognac or some mao tai jiao (aromatic chinese liquor) mixed in. If I remember correctly, they do it 3 ways here: the duck soup, the duck wrap and a duck meat stirfry w bamboo shoots & egg.

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          fryrose RE: fryrose Sep 26, 2006 01:26 AM

          Thank you all. And I am also very excited to learn that Ed's Potsticker House has a sister restaurant out my way. Can't wait for the roadtrip!

          4 Replies
          1. re: fryrose
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            Eemee RE: fryrose Sep 26, 2006 11:35 PM

            You can have Peking Duck at home with a whole roasted duck from Chinatown deli. Put the duck in the oven and bake/roast for about 20 minutes until the skin is crispy. slice thin slices and wrap in MooShu wrapper with some green onion and hoisin sauce. I've served this at holiday dinners and it is always a hit.

            1. re: Eemee
              YoYoPedro RE: Eemee Sep 27, 2006 12:07 AM

              Which Chinatown deli are you referring to? Or is it actually called "Chinatown Deli"?

              1. re: YoYoPedro
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                Eemee RE: YoYoPedro Sep 27, 2006 12:45 AM

                My favorite Chinatown deli for roasted duck is Wing Chan in the Chinatown Square Mall. There's another deli at the corner of Wentworth and 25th (forgot the name) that's also good.

                1. re: Eemee
                  SkinnyChef RE: Eemee Sep 27, 2006 05:13 PM

                  Don't remember the name of the place either, but I like the one on Wentworth & 24th Place better for their ducks (Right on the corner, facing Wentworth). The majority of the items they make are ducks, so they usually have a pretty good, fresh supply of them & a bit cheaper too. Wing Chan has a better variety of Chinese BBQ items though & is the long standing benchmark for Chicago Chinatown BBQ.

          2. YoYoPedro RE: fryrose Sep 27, 2006 01:27 PM

            Thanks! I'll have to check them out. My most favorite foods are crispy duck skin, crispy chicken skin and crispy pork skin, not necessarily in that order...

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              Jesster RE: fryrose Sep 28, 2006 03:06 PM

              Good point - we almost always do (our variation on) Peking Duck at home. As northsiders, we pick up roasted ducks at either Sun Wah Bar-B-Que or Hon Yee on Argyle just west of Broadway - where they are $12 each. We STRONGLY recommend that you politely JUST SAY NO when they offer (assume) that you want them to chop/hack it up for you unless you prefer your duck with large and tiny bones in every bite.

              It is a bit of a hassle to carve the duck yourself - but it's worth the trouble...

              Call to check hours as they both close early and one is closed on Wednesdays, the other on Thursdays.

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