I am going to be taking some "fuss pot" eaters for a traditional Peking Duck dinner in Toronto in about two weeks. Can anyone recommend a tasty-good quality place?
Of all the places I've been to recently (downtown), only Peter's Chung Kin on College serves authentic Peking duck. Namely
- there's a half hour wait for the duck. If there isn't, it means the duck is deep fried, not roasted
- they serve only paper thin slices of the skin, as it should be. The meat goes into the second course, a stir fry
- the pancake wrappers were the right type, thin ones like that used for mu-shu dishes. I've read that the small bun-like "lotus leaf cakes" are more authentic, but I've always had the thin ones when growing up in Hong Kong
- the skin is served on a bed of shrimp crackers. This is supposedly to draw away some fat from the skin. This was very popular in late 80s/early 90s but nobody else does it now. To me it seems to say they are "old school".
The rest of the menu is not too exciting, and the restaurent shows its age (15+ years?) so I don't know if that would be a problem with your guests.
My favorite is the ambassador up in markham (7 and East bever creek).
they make a great peking duck with the peoper 2 courses.
Go to Chung King Garden Restaurant @ Market Village (Kennedy & Steeles). The ducks they serve are of the biggest kinds I've seen amongst other restaurants i.e. more skin slices. The price is right too (about $35 for a 2-course Peking duck - sliced crispy skins with wrappers + pan-fried duck meat & iceberg lettuce OR duck soup (which is very light and tasty)).
Agree with teep that you better order this first thing once you sit down cuz it'll take 1/2 hour or so to prepare.
IMHO, the 8-person set dinner is the best deal in town - 8-9 dishes (including the 2-course duck, lobster, fish etc.) for under $200 and they give you enough food to feed 10. Call to ask.
Chung King Garden Restaurant
4394 Steeles Ave E Box 57, Markham, ON
We went to Chung King Garden as pickymama and agree it is among the best. The duck was dark, large and crisp. The skin slices for the first course were crispy and the fat, well rendered (good duck shouldn't be really fatty - though i suppose duck is always fatty...) The restaurant slices the breast meat with the breast skin so you get meaty pieces. The wrap is thin and big like a saucer, not the whiter and smaller puffier kinds you sometimes encounter. I found the hoisin watered down.
The second course had well trimmed iceberg lettuce and the leg meat and breast tenders stirfried until crispy. We only ordered the 2-course peking duck ($32) so did not try the duck soup.
Many other tables had the peking duck as well. It was very busy for a Monday night at around 7:30-8. Another table had a very good looking sweet and sour fish and later I heard another table recommending it so I'd like to try that next time.
On a side note, the other dishes we ordered were not as good as the duck. The crab and corn soup had frozen vegetables and was rather bland. The stir fried seafood noodles were kind of "home cooking" and boring, not to mention somewhat heavy, though the quality of seafood used in the dishes was surprising. The shrimps were the largest I've seen in a long time and the scallops were also of a decent size. The shrimp and chicken with cashews was nice. The szechuan shredded beef was tasty but I should have been 3 times spicier. At the end we were served a lotus nut and barley dessert soup that was really well done. I didn't do any of the ordering so I think I would have had a better meal had I chosen the XLB and lamb skewers.
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