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

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Hi,

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!!!

Nadine
--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.
      Thanks!

      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: The Chemist

                        1096 Clark

                        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?

                      2. For me The BEST Pekin Duck is at :
                        Pekin Garden, they have 2 restaurants one in montreal the other in west island
                        1) 5339 Ch Queen-Mary Montreal, QC - BYOB
                        2)4794 Boul Saint-Jean Pierrefonds, QC
                        I tried both places Peking Duck and they are amazing, the pancakes and "hoisin" sauce are all homemade. By far the most authentic Pekin Duck in Montreal that I have tried. Best of all the one on Queen Mary is a BYOB!! It's a 2 course Duck meal, you can have 3 if you want. But I like 2, Cause then you get more meat when you wrap it with the pancakes and just not skin and fat. The second service is of course the soup with Tofu, rice vermicelli and nappa cabbage. Their general tao is also very good, not much batter a lot of meat!

                        5339 Chemin Queen-Mary
                        Montreal, QC H3X 1T9
                        (514) 484-9139

                        4794 St Jean
                        Pierrefonds, QC H9H 4B2
                        (514) 620-8944

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: java_wired

                          Thanks for the tips, java_wired! I'll have to try the one on Queen Mary - it's closer to me than Chinatown, and my usual standby Mon Nan has gone downhill so I haven't had Peking duck for ages. Looking forward to it.

                          1. re: java_wired

                            This Peking duck is different from the roasted half duck with pancakes that's been on their menu since forever? Don't recall seeing it. When did the QM branch switch over to BYOB? That's cool.

                            1. re: carswell

                              Np kpzoo! Enjoy!
                              Yah, BYOB is cool, I was happy when they switched!
                              Carswell..different? Well they have two types if i remember correctly
                              1) Peking Duck that we are talking about...you have to call like 1 hour in advance though and they only sale it whole i think, no half pekin duck,
                              the other
                              2) Imperial Duck, you dont need to order in advance, and it can get it full or half duck...I think that what ur talking about. umm, the imperial one reminds me of southern US pulled pork meat or the french confit de canard but less salty. So its like a chinese pulled confit de canard in pancakes! the skin on this one is also crispy.
                              Bon appetit!

                              1. re: java_wired

                                Mmm - that Imperial Duck sounds really delicious, I'll have to try that too! Thanks for the further explanations.

                            2. re: java_wired

                              In my experience, Peking Garden makes good Peking duck, but certainly not the best. I first had the dish in Beijing, and Peking Garden does not make it nearly as good as it was in China...
                              That being said, I'm looking forward to trying Mon Nan!

                              1. re: amelie1980

                                I've found that Mon Nan has really gone downhill, so don't get your hopes up too high. :-(

                                Have you had any good Peking duck in Montreal?

                                1. re: kpzoo

                                  I remember having a very good Peking duck in Montreal on one occasion. Unfortunately, I was too young to pay attention and I don't remember where it was (someplace in Chinatown is all I know!).

                              2. re: java_wired

                                I tried the peking duck on Queen Mary and I found it dry and tasteless. I suspect it was not even fresh. I think Mon Nam is truly the best in Montreal (and I have tried many places). (I am Chinese). The pancakes at Mon Nam are definitely the best. Other places (ie: Kam Fung) make their own pancakes but they are think a gooey, not thin and floury as they should be. Mon Nam specializes in Peking Duck and has good turnover so it is always fresh. Their dumplings are pretty good too...

                                -----
                                Queen Mary Restaurant
                                5504 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3X1V6, CA

                                1. re: dragonsrouges

                                  Dragonsrouges - when was the last time you were at Mon Nan? The last couple of times I went I was very disappointed - the peking duck was nowhere near as good as it used to be - which is sad, cause it had been my go-to place.

                                  1. re: kpzoo

                                    I would have to agree with kpzoo, the Peking duck at Mon Nam was a bit disappointing IMHO.

                                    Mon Nam serves 3 services: The soup, the pancakes and the stir-fry.

                                    My husband and I were not presented with the Peking duck before cutting it up. We were immediately served the soup. It was ok, nothing exciting about it. It just consisted of duck bones, green onions and tofu.

                                    Next were the pancakes. My father used to say that the key to a good Peking duck is in the pancakes. In Mon Nam's favour, the pancakes were excellent. They reminded me of the pancakes of the restaurant my father used to take me to (which has been long sinced closed down, unfortunately... They made the BEST Peking duck in Montréal!). However, they served the duck skins with way too much meat. (It is supposed to be just skin with maybe a little meat). The Peking duck sauce was good, although less tasty than I am accustomed to. The duck skins slices were really not as light and crispy, but rather a tad bit soggy (just a tad, not overly greasy-soggy).

                                    Next, were were served the stir-fry. What a disappointment! Of course there were barely any duck in it (since there were way too much in the pancake serving). It was basically just a mix-mash of bean sprouts and a bit of duck in a gooey mass of semi-translucent somewhat salty-corn-starchy sauce. No colourful julienned carrots and celeri... I think there were other unidentifiable veggies in the mix, but hardly!

                                    My review of my experience may seem harsh, but all that said, I think it's an OK place to get a quick fix. I'd consider it a fast-food type Peking duck, genre, à la Guy Lapatate of Peking ducks. The service was good, fast and cheap.

                                    There are 2 places that I currently opt for Peking duck. Surprisingly, Chez Chine in the Holiday Inn in Chinatown served a decent duck, moins the soup. The great thing about Chez Chine is that they actually cut up and serve the duck in front of you. I had also tried Mr. Ma on Mansfield + Cathcart a few years back. At the time I was impressed with their crispy duck and their flavourful version of Peking duck stir-fry served with mouse-ears mushrooms, carrots, celeri, bamboo shoots, shredded napa... However, we have to order 24 hours in advance.

                                    Hope that helps!

                                    1. re: Gosha

                                      WHAT DO YOU MEAN "ORDER 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE"?!?!? THE'RE (Mr. Ma) NUTS!!!

                                      1. re: Har_Gow_Freak

                                        Why does this surprise you? It's not like you're ordering risotto.

                                        There is a process to preparing the things and unlike what you see on Iron Chef, it does take more than an hour to make. Unless it's a restaurant which specialises in only Peking duck (which doesn't exist in Montreal), few eateries will have them always prepped and ready to go just in case someone comes in to order one.

                                2. re: java_wired

                                  I finally tried the peking duck at Pekin Garden not too long ago - worst I ever had!
                                  Barely edible, way too dry...
                                  Had I not been with a group and not wanted to make a fuss I would've surely complained.

                                  1. re: java_wired

                                    That stuff they pass for peking duck at those two places is far from PEKING DUCK!!! I'm Chinese, I go to Mon Nam, it's the closest to the real thing you can find in Montreal...

                                  2. I'm an absolute newbie when it comes to peking duck, I'm wondering is there any place in Montréal where you can just pick one up to go kinda like this picture (and is that even peking duck?), and where's the best place? :

                                     
                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Werzoth

                                      That looks more like Cantonese BBQ duck. There is a recent thread about BBQ Duck in Chinatown:

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610404

                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                        Thank you SnackHappy, that is exactly what I was looking for! =)

                                    2. I have since has what I was told was more authentic style Peking Duck at Jing Hua (8050 Boulevard Taschereau) but if you want the lettuce wrap you need to ask specifically I think...
                                      mmmmmmmmmm!

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: immaterialgirl

                                        We need the best Peking Duck for Xmas. chez chine or la maison kam fung....or..? Please, a new posting

                                        1. re: bigbunny

                                          http://www.shutupandeat.ca/?p=894

                                          Peking Garden in NDG has been doing Peking ducks for years!

                                          1. re: keelo

                                            I've been wanting to try this place for ages. Thanks for the reminder! Do you need to order the duck in advance, or can you just walk in and order it? I've been looking for a good Mon Nan substitute ever since their Peking duck became tasteless and disappointing.

                                            (p.s. Queen-Mary isn't quite in NDG, but it's definitely close!)

                                            1. re: kpzoo

                                              Apparently I already asked this question earlier, and the answer is that you don't need to order it in advance!

                                              1. re: kpzoo

                                                Yes, we're both right, no need to order it in advance. lol.

                                            2. re: keelo

                                              Finally tried Peking Garden.

                                              Good news: They have a fairly decent web site with their menu online - http://www.jardindepekin.com/

                                              Bad news: They don't deliver.

                                              We got the order to take out and chose the "Peking's Special" combo. This came with an order of Peking duck for two, which consisted of 4 nice pancakes, a bag (kind of odd) of cucumber and green onion shards, and a chunk of duck on the bone, wrapped in tin foil. I wasn't expecting the duck to be on the bone, but because it was well cooked, it was falling off the bone so it was easy to tear off chunks to bundle up into the pancakes with the hoisin and greenery provided. It was quite delicious, if a little different than what I was expecting. I would definitely try eating this in the restaurant to see how it's served - I'm sure it's even better right out of the kitchen.

                                              The rest of the order was OK - pretty standard suburban Chinese; mixed veggies, chicken with cashews, fried rice, and some odd toast stuffed with a shrimp paste.

                                              I seem to recall another thread where people said there was a Chinese menu you could order off if you ate in the restaurant, so I may give it a try and see what they have. In any case, I'll definitely try the Peking duck again.

                                              -----
                                              Peking Garden
                                              5339 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3X1T9, CA

                                              1. re: kpzoo

                                                Great! I'm glad you liked it. Most take out menus are abbreviated anyways, I guess it's easier for them, or use this as a way to entice customers to eat in the dining room.

                                                1. re: kpzoo

                                                  The regular menu at Peking Garden is very uninteresting(just Chinese-Canadian dishes, except for maybe Peking Duck). Can someone confirm, they have a Chinese menu serving authentic Chinese dishes(or some kind of secret menu)? Is it all caucasians that attend this restaurant? I need some assurances.

                                                  -----
                                                  Peking Garden
                                                  5339 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3X1T9, CA

                                          2. Hi there,

                                            I am looking to go for Peking duck for about 10-12 people, ideally in chinatown or plateau area. Can someone recommend a great place? And how many ducks I should order to fill this many people? Also, if any where delivers, I may just host it at my place (I live in Little Italy)

                                            Thanks!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: spectraversa

                                              Ive tried the one at Mon nan and found the duck to be pretty good and moist. It also comes with a duck bone soup and a stir fry with duck in it as well. I also enjoy going to peking garden from time to time for their version, but its not as moist but with the pancake and the sauces its quite tasty. AS far as the rest of their menu, Im pretty sure its all canadian style chinese like BLM mentioned.

                                              1. re: jay_81k

                                                Ok I had the best peking duck last night that Ive ever had and it was at Beijing in chinatown. It was 30$ for the whole duck, they seperate the top parts of the duck with the crispy skin to eat with the pancakes and they make a stir fry with the rest of the meat. This was much better than mon nan's version although theirs also came with a soup made from the bones. But there you only get half a duck for around the same price. And as far as peking gardens version, I will never eat that one again.

                                                1. re: jay_81k

                                                  I love Beijing's version too! Although I always ask if they can serve the stiry fry duck with the ginger and shallot/green onion preparation that they have on the regular menu, rather than the normal default sauce that they use (which they are happy to do!). The ginger goes so well with the delicious duck!

                                                  1. re: unlaced

                                                    Do you have to call in advance for Beijing or can you order it at the table?

                                                    I think I'm scheduling in a Sunday afternoon Chinatown visit...

                                                    1. re: OliverB

                                                      You can order it at the table, but once when we were going with a big group, and were going to order 5 ducks, we called in advance to make sure there were enough!

                                            2. My husband is Chinese and he says that the best Peking Duck in Montreal is at the Phoenix D'or in Ville St-Laurent (942, boul. Décarie).

                                              They serve it over many courses like the soup, pancakes,....

                                              The service is really great, the waiters and owner really know what they're cooking.

                                              I would suggest to reserve the ducks if you're going with a group.

                                              1. Sung Long Sing closed down due to retirement. I heard that they were renown for their Roasted Suckling Pig.