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Peking Duck -- Educate me please!

Never tried it and not sure what to expect. In Quincy, I see that Quincy Dynasty offers 1/2 peking duck which is served boneless with pancakes and hoisin sauce. That preparation interests me, however, on another post someone suggested the roasted meats at East Chinatown, also in my neighborhood. So, what's the best way to go?

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  1. I'm really disappointed in you guys. I know that there are more of you that have ordered this than not. I always thought you had to order the whole duck, and preorder as in King Fung Garden. Now, I'm seeing Quincy Dynasty offering it with pancakes and I always see them hanging in the window at East Chinatown. Can't someone share their experience?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Pegmeister

      Ducks hanging in windows are roasted. They are not Peking ducks.

      1. re: Pegmeister

        Or possibly pipa duck, which is an entirely different animal (no pun intended).

        I'm not expert, but I think the blanks are because there really isn't great peking duck in this area. King Fung was one of the better renditions, but I'm not clear if they still offer this at the newly owned Chinatown King Fung, or at King Fung II in Brookline. I'm sure other restaurants do offer this on their menu, but I can't really speak to their versions.

        This is not a small meal by any means. I'm weary of someone offering 1/2 duck. Maybe appealing for its portion size, but then duck likely not be freshly cooked, so how long has it been sitting there drying out?

        1. re: kobuta

          Just an fyi, we were there for a birthday party two weeks ago and the Chintatown KFG is still serving peking duck. It's still the same three courses, etc. I can say the one at New Shanghai around the corner is absolutely foul: the sauce is wrong, the duck is dry, and the skin is tough.

          1. re: gini

            Good to know. Would you say that it's as good, better or worse than the previous KFG rendition?

            1. re: kobuta

              I went to KFG right after the change in management, and those that had the duck said it wasn't very good, kind of fatty, and the skin was not crispy. They also forgot to serve the soup part, and some of the vegetables. Granted that was months ago, so they may well have improved.

              I remember that the prior owner was there, apparently giving the new folks some training, and told us to stop by their new place in Brookline. She got some nice glares from her successors.

              1. re: kobuta

                I think it's about the same as the previous versions. Still not the best Peking duck out there, but really the only good option in Boston.

        2. I'm not educated on this, but I'm hoping someone's got an answer!

          1. this is what I understand, my father used to work at Weylu, according to him, in boston area, lots of restaurant's peking duck are just roast duck from the chinese BBQ places, & they slices & serve with pancake, & consider peking duck, especially Cantonese restaurants.
            So seems like King Fung garden may serve the real thing, or as authentic as can be, just because you have to preorder it
            That's quite a few yrs ago, now with a lot more restaurants/ chefs from mainland china, I am sure some of them have the real thing. still, a Cantonese restaurant serving Peking duck? or ordering peking duck from a cantonese restaurant may not be best choice.

            1. The draw for me with PK Duck is the crispy skin. Prior to roasting, the skin is separated from the body , coated, then the duck is dried so the fat renders out leaving a crispy lacquered skin ( you can find more detail on the process on wikipedia or other resources). The meat, as a result of this process is usually very moist.

              Some places carve it table-side, some (like King Fung I believe) make several courses of it. One thing that seems to be consistent in all of the places I've had PK duck is that it is served w/ moo shu/i like pancakes, scallions (possibly other vegetables ) and Hoisin sauce and you place the duck, veggies and Hoisin in the pancake, roll it up and eat it.

              It is indeed tasty. I am by no means an authority on this and there are variations. Also I think the allure of a Peking Duck diminishes somewhat when you are in an area that has a bona fide C-Town. While not quite the same, a lot of the roasted ducks you see hanging in the window have the same appeal of a crispy skin and moist meat.

              I can't confirm, because I've never been, but if I were a betting man, I'd say that the boneless 1/2 peking duck which Quincy Dynasty offers may have some shortcuts, but if you enjoy the dish, you may want to try this preparation from some place like King Fung and I think Chef Chang's has gotten some love for their PKD, those may be closer to "The Real Deal"

              1 Reply
              1. re: Food4Thought

                Chef Chang;s closed a short time ago. There was an article this week in the Globe.
                That is if you're talking about the one in Broookline.

              2. Thanks all, I really was somewhat suspicious of the 1/2 peking duck, because I assumed that the preparation was a lot more involved. I also, thought that the ducks you saw hanging in the window were peking duck. It never hurts to ask I guess.

                1. be careful of old duck, the only two times that i've gotten bad food poisoning were from eating roast duck from Chinese restaurants (not in Boston)...9 times out of 10 it's not a problem but the 10th time can be a doozy...

                  1. Skip the Peking Duck at Quncy Dynasty - there are a much better dishes at this restaurant. When I ordered it, there was no crispy skin, the duck was kind of overcooked yet fatty at the same time...and no flavor. I have been back many times but won't order this dish again here. It is my understanding that Peking Duck has crispy skin, and they return with several courses made from the same duck (ie duck soup, duck stir fry)...none of that here. Skip it.

                    1. Probably not"authentic" but Bernards in Chestnut Hill has a very tasty version of the crisp skin, scallions, hoisin sauce wrapped in pancake. Very crisp skin, very moist meat. Full and 1/2 size. They also have an excellent roast duck with chinese spices. Similar is their honey roasted chicken- again, very crispy, no excessive fat and very moist meat.

                      1. A friend of mine is from Beijing and has been searching for decent Peking Duck. Her conclusion is that no place in Boston does a good job of it. For Chinese New Year last year we went to KFG and were greatly disappointed. As others have said, it's all about the skin. This was soggy and limp -- such a disappointment. I think she's given up, but I know she keeps searching.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pamlet

                          It's not Peking Duck, but the tea smoked boneless duck with house made pancakes at Shangri-La is amazing.

                          1. re: pamlet

                            Has your friend been to Fuloon, the Brookline King Fung Garden, or to Chef Chang's House before they closed? All are very good. *Very* good.

                            Also, Jo Jo Taipei has Peking Duck on their special Chinese New Year's menu. I really want to try this soon, and I suspect it might be very good, given the high quality of everything else at Jo Jo Taipei.

                          2. I really liked the Peking duck at King Fung in Brookline. The owners of this King Fung are not the same people as the Chinatown one. They sold the Chinatown location and moved to Brookline. You have to order the duck in advance and they serve all 3 courses. I thought everything was really good, especially the stir fried course. The only bad thing is that this place is set up as a typical take out joint and they don't serve alcohol. Definitely not a romantic dinner type place but honestly, the best Chinese food always comes out of the sketchiest places.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cavaluv

                              Does Peking duck travel well - i.e., is it good as take-out?

                            2. Just for the record, I find the stir fry and the soup to be kinda boring. I just like good crispy-skinned duck, duck meat, nice, hopefully home made, pancakes, scallions, and a bit of hoisin. In my book anything else is just a waste, and in fact, I don't like it when they waste nicely done duck meat by putting it into a stir fry.

                              I had very good duck at the original King Fung, but they did it three ways and I would have been happier without the soup, etc.

                              That said, properly done, PD is delicious.

                              1 Reply
                              1. Peachfarm Seafood does a very respectable Peking Duck -- and doesn't require ordering in advance. They serve a platter of the shatteringly crispy skin, a simple stir fry with bean sprouts, but no soup, IIRC. Scallion brushes, pancakes and hoisin. YUM.

                                I enjoyed the soup at KFG -- super simple ducky broth with a few soft tofu cubes. Comfy.

                                1. while not Peking duck, the "Szechuan crispy duck" at Beijing Star in Waltham is well worth trying-- smoky flavor, slightly crispy/fatty salted skin, more of a Nanjing style, and the one we had was reasonably succulent. Not spicy despite the name. Does not come with pancakes, only 5-spice dipping salt.

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      I looked up the "salt and pepper bombay duck" at New Golden Gate (CHinatown), turns out it is not duck, but fish (flying fish?)

                                      New Golden Gate
                                      66 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                                      1. re: barleywino

                                        Somehow I have heard before that "Bombay Duck" is actually fish...