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!!!
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?
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.
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!
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...
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!
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.
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