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Mar 25, 2008 03:42 PM

Real Beijing Duck / Peking Duck - best place in Montreal?


I have searched this board several times about a good place for having the real Peking Duck, but most of the few recommendations had been quite old.

We would like to introduce the real Peking Duck to friends and it should be as close as it can be like in Beijing itself, if possible ;-)

Once we went to Rouge Restaurant in Chinatown at a Saturday afternoon and the duck was just reheated and very bad service...

So, where is the best place to go in Montreal? Any ideas or updated experiences?

Thanks a lot!!!

--squirrelfun :-)

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  1. I'm not even sure, there's even one Chinese establishment making authentic Peking Duck. What they say is Peking Duck is most probably Cantonese roast duck, even at Village Mon Nan restaurant(I could stand to be corrected, since I've never eaten there). Does Village Mon Nan even make their own ducks?

    11 Replies
    1. re: BLM

      Yeah, you might be right...I ve heard about the roast duck people prefer in Montreal...I ve just moved to Quebec so I wondered whether they have it or not. Even in Europe you can get it only in very selected restaurants with a kind of special license if I am not mistaken.

      1. re: squirrelfun

        That might be because Peking duck is roasted in a wood burning oven. AFAIK there is no Chinese restaurant in town with one of those.

        1. re: squirrelfun

          I personally love Mon Nan (upstairs on Clark) for peking duck. I have no idea how "real" or "authentic" it is, but it's served in 3 courses: first, a duck soup, next, a platter of glistening sliced duck breast w/crispy skin, hosin sauce, shallots & pancakes, and finally a duck-meat stir fry with veggies. You can get a whole order (about $40-50), or a half order (about $25) and there's no need to order it in advance. It's absolutely nothing like the roast duck I get at other restaurants (Hong Kong, for example) and a fun, enjoyable, delicious experience. HTH.

          1. re: kpzoo

            I'd just like to add that a half order is for 2 people , so the price is very reasonable.

            1. re: Moosemeat

              Agreed 100%! It's a full meal for 2, definitely. Duck-a-licious!

            2. re: kpzoo

              OH, that sounds tasty. Do they cut the duck in front of you? Or do they serve the already cut pieces?

              1. re: squirrelfun

                It comes out on a platter already sliced.

                1. re: squirrelfun

                  I've been searching for Pekin Duck forever in Montreal and it is the only place (upstair Mon Nam) that has it almost like it should be. The pancake is moist (when it should be dry), not a lot of meat but the skin is ok. Couldn't have better in Montreal. Unfortunetly...

                  1. re: mtl98

                    Thanks a lot to all of you. I think I will try it next time I come to Montreal...and let you know what I think about it. :-)

            3. re: BLM

              Inspired by this thread, I went with a friend to Mon Nam tonight. It may not have been as good as the best I've had in Toronto, and definitely nothing like the experience of getting it fresh in Beijing, but it was nonetheless a thoroughly delicious meal. The soup had duck bones and skin floating in it with nice big chunks of tofu; there weren't enough pancakes to hold all the duck meat, but they don't need pancakes to be delicious; and the stir-fry was different than I've had before, but very good.
              We also got their chicken with black beans and cashew, which was only mediocre. But all in all, I wholeheartedly recommend Mon Nam Village for Peking duck!

              1. re: cheap college chef

                You can order extra pancakes, and if I recall correctly, they were cheap. I wasn't a big fan o their stir fry, but the duck was delicious (about 1.5 years ago when I last went there).

            4. Ok... here's the low down. There are a few places in MTL that server Peking/Beijing duck, also called "Peen Pei" duck in cantonese. Kam Fung, Red Ruby, Furama all make their own duck, as full service restos but the best place is Mon Nan, followed by a close second, Hong Kong on St. Laurant.

              1st off... the duck is supposed to be served over many courses, as the duck meat is supposed to be used for many dishes.

              1. Duck skin wrapped in steamed pancakes. Traditionally, this should be just the skin. Thus comments about lack of meat is only ignorance. Essentially, this is really crispy skin in the wrap, saving the duck meat for later.

              2. Lettuce wrap. This is usually another course, with some duck meat served in a stir fry, which you wrap up in lettuce slices.

              3. Duck soup. The duck carcass is then slow boiled to give soup a strong duck flavor.

              Some other dishes are served in other places, but in Montreal, these are the 3 staples...

              5 Replies
              1. re: evildrgo

                Yummy, sounds really good. I will come to MTL this weekend and hopefully get the chance to try it. Thanks a lot for your detailed answer. Its always great to share such experiences. I love this website!! :-)

                1. re: squirrelfun

                  When you, be sure you go to the upstairs Mon Nan on the second floor, not the Mon Nan on the ground floor. It's the one on the second floor that specializes in the Peking duck. You have to go up a set of stairs and through an unmarked door - c'est pas évident. I hope you like it!

                  1. re: kpzoo

                    Thanks a lot for your advice.
                    Will let you know ;-) Have a great weekend!

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      Do you know what days they are open and if you need (or should make) a reservation? I am trying to go either this Tuesday or Sunday. Thanks.

                      1. re: The Chemist

                        Open 7 days. Was very empty yesterday so no need to make a res. on Tues - and you'd probably only need to make a res. on Sunday if you're going w/a very large group, otherwise I think you'd be fine.

                2. I will most certainly check this Mon Nan out because this sounds really fantastic. But, as the old saying goes, if you want something done right, then do it yourself...

                  Towards this end I would refer you to an amazing show called 'In Search of Perfection'. There is an episode of this show in which Heston Blumenthal (of the 3 Michelin Stared Fat Duck) reverse engineers the best Peking Duck in China and formulates a recipe that the intrepid home cook can prepare with some hard work and mostly common kitchen appliances. I have tried some of his preparations before and they are more involved than your average 30 minutes meal recipe but they turn out very very well so long as you are committed to doing them properly. I just used his 4 day preparation of butter chicken and it would rival the best I have had at any resto.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: The Chemist

                    Yikes...4 days! I once did a 48hr prep/marinade for butter chicken and although it was excellent, I am too lazy to ever retry. Take-out is way easier!

                  2. I'd like to add my vote for Mon Nan! How I dream of that crispy duck skin wrapped in those thin yummy pancakes... but I haven't really been able to find it anywhere else!
                    Anyone know where to get some to-die-for Moo Shu?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: immaterialgirl

                      Where exactly is this Mon Nam?

                      Going tomorrow night. Thanks.

                        1. re: MartinSLR

                          BTW - you'll need to go upstairs for the Peking duck. (There's also a downstairs Mon Nan but they don't usually do the duck.)

                    2. I have always eat pekin duck at Mon Nan aswell until i tried it at Beijing restaurant. It is situated in the chinatown on De La Gauchetiere corner St-Urbain. Now I always go there just to eat the peking duck. Its a full duck with 8 pancakes + a duck meat fry with veggies meal for around 35$. After you order the meal, the waiter will come back a few minutes later to show the entire roasted duck and after your approval, they bring it back in the kitchen to slice it.

                      Here's the address:

                      Beijing Restaurant Inc
                      92 Rue De La Gauchetiere O
                      Montreal, QC H2Z 1C1
                      (514) 861-2003

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Stradale

                        Do you need to order the Peking duck in advance at Beijing, or can you get it on the spur of the moment? Thanks!

                        1. re: kpzoo

                          No you dont need to order in advance. You can just order it like a normal meal.

                          1. re: Stradale

                            Awesome, thanks. Will have to try it some time and see how it compares to Mon Nan. Does it also come with a soup like at Mon Nan?