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Beijing Duck

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Mangita Feb 20, 2010 06:43 PM

A few years ago there was a restaurant on the upper East Side that had fabulous Beijing Duck (it had a cherry wood oven) but alas like almost every interesting Chinese restaurant (in Manhattan) I have ever liked over the 20 years I have lived in NYC it went out of business. I have been to the places in Manhattan's Chinatown that "specialize" in this lovely dish but am not impressed. My sister is coming from out-of-town and wants me to find some place that can replace that duck from the upper East Side so I decided to put a call out to all you "Hounds." Is there such a duck somewhere in Queens or Brooklyn?

  1. l
    Lau Feb 22, 2010 07:30 AM

    to my knowledge there is no true peking / beijing duck places in NYC although peking duck house in ctown does specialize in it

    its a difficult dish to make and you need a ton of volume in order to make it work and i dont think there is really the demand in NY for it

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lau
      2slices Feb 22, 2010 08:24 AM

      regarding volume:
      The original Quanjude Restaurant in Beijing serves up to 5,000 meals a day,covers a floor area of 15,000 square meters with over forty private dining rooms and can simultaneously occupy 2,000 guests.

      Found the above on wikipedia, but went here a couple years ago. They give you a ticket with your ducks number, which is a running total since 1864. Gimmick? Probably, but it was pretty cool.

    2. a
      Anicca Feb 22, 2010 11:51 AM

      Sad, Peking Duck is really one of my favorite things on the planet, but I have not found really great PD in NYC. The Peking Duck house on Mott Street is probably the best I have found, but still no wow factor.

      When I was a grad student years ago I lived in Philly where there was an amazing and cheap PD house in that city's small Chinatown. Dinner for two was only $20 there. It too has gone out of business.

      I think a trip to China is long overdue.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Anicca
        m
        Mangita Feb 22, 2010 12:57 PM

        This is all very sad news! I think it is a wonderful dish.

        1. re: Mangita
          l
          Lau Feb 22, 2010 01:25 PM

          its like amazing if you do it right

      2. p
        Pookipichu Feb 22, 2010 10:13 PM

        I would look toward Manhattan for Beijing Duck. The top three ducks I've had have been at Shun Lee, Mr.K and Chinatown Brasserie. I had the duck again at CB recently and it was really, really phenomenal. The flavor of the duck was full and rich without gaminess, skin crisp and devoid of fat. The pancakes really set them apart, very skillfully made, fresh, pliable and thin, like the qualities of a good xiao long bao wrapper.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6890...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Pookipichu
          m
          Mangita Feb 23, 2010 11:47 AM

          I will try CB. In the meantime we should all look out for some corner of this huge metro area with great Beijing Duck. It must exist somewhere!

          1. re: Mangita
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            Pookipichu Feb 23, 2010 12:04 PM

            Keep us updated after you try it at CB. Beijing duck is my absolute favorite dish and I try it everywhere it is served so I can relate to your quest.

            1. re: Pookipichu
              m
              Mangita Feb 24, 2010 10:50 AM

              Will do!

              1. re: Pookipichu
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                foodismylife Feb 24, 2010 12:44 PM

                Was at Chinatown Brasserie on Sunday nite.
                Walked past a table eating it and the skin looked great.
                I found the dim sum excellent but the other food mediocre at best.
                I remember Shun Lee Dynasty in the old old days having peking duck in three courses and it was something else.
                I love the soup course.
                Havent been to the Peking Duck House in a few years but I did rather like it.

          2. shane Feb 25, 2010 07:30 AM

            Just out of curiosity: do people really say Beijing Duck? I've only ever heard it as Peking Duck. I always assumed it was a historical relic like Siamese twins or Prussian blue.

            2 Replies
            1. re: shane
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              Pookipichu Feb 25, 2010 07:38 AM

              Beijing Kao Ya is what Mandarin speakers say. It's more phonetically accurate than Peking Duck.

              1. re: Pookipichu
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                Lau Feb 25, 2010 08:44 AM

                peking is an old english tranliteration of beijing, so its the same thing. in english i think almost everyone refers to it as peking duck (i do)

                pookipichu is correct, beijing kao ya literally means beijing roat duck

            2. BklynBlaise Feb 25, 2010 09:05 AM

              Out of curiosity one evening, I ordered the Peking Duck from Chance Bistro, on Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The skin was nicely crisped, the fat rendered just enough, and the meat was moist and tender. Even the wrappers were good -- freshly made, in-house.

              The best Peking/Beijing duck I've had in Manhattan has been at S. Dynasty on Lexington and 48th St. (2nd Fl. - inside the Lexington Radisson Hotel). The food there is well above average, but unfortunately so are the prices. I prefer their duck over Peking Duck House's. The host or waiters usually make the wraps tableside -- before they start, I would suggest that you request they go easy on the plum/hoisin sauce. They tend to have a heavy hand with the stuff -- can easily overpower all else.

              1. bigjeff Feb 26, 2010 12:58 PM

                haven't had it yet at Andy's but it's on the menu and also stated explicitly that it is served 3 ways (as pancake things, as stir-fry, and as soup). haven't gotten a large enough group yet to go split that order though.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605843

                8 Replies
                1. re: bigjeff
                  EricMM Feb 26, 2010 05:28 PM

                  I've had it....though only as take-out. Was very good, but didn't get enough scallions, etc...but it did come three ways with a huge soup. Nobody's mentioned it yet, but my family does love the Peking Duck at Peking Duck Forest, in FH....I'm not one who can vouch for authenticity, but we have always enjoyed it there...and they will make soup from the carcass if you ask.

                  1. re: EricMM
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                    Pookipichu Feb 26, 2010 06:37 PM

                    I've had the Peking Duck in FH, and it's fine for Queens, but doesn't compare to the top ones in Manhattan. For Queens, Tung Shing House is the best bet and Mulan is better as well.

                    I don't like Peking Duck House (Manhattan) and I've tried both their locations. It's mid-level quality and not a good value. I'd rather pay a little more and get excellent duck.

                    1. re: Pookipichu
                      bigjeff Feb 26, 2010 09:31 PM

                      PDH is so bad and the rest of the food aside from the duck so poor and expensive for what it is. thanks ericMM for the report on that peking duck; sounds great and extravagant for takeout; you must have had some lucky guests that night!

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        missmasala Feb 27, 2010 04:28 AM

                        Last time I had PDH it was terrible, and instead of true pancakes they actually served us flour tortillas!!!!

                        Someone posted years ago that the peking duck at World Tong was good, but I can't vouch for it myself. I would love to find a good version of this somewhere in the outer boroughs. And since I'm not a purist, a cantonese place that makes it well and serves it with the buns instead of the pancakes would be fine.

                        1. re: missmasala
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                          Lau Feb 27, 2010 06:00 AM

                          actually anyone know a place that serves a good cantonese version of peking duck, i love the cantonese version....i used to go to nice restaurant, but it closed a couple yrs ago

                          1. re: Lau
                            p
                            Pookipichu Feb 27, 2010 06:33 AM

                            I have the perfect solution for you. At Chinatown Brasserie, they will substitute buns for pancakes and voila, you have perfect, crisp duck and fantastic pillowy, slightly sweet buns for cantonese style.

                    2. re: EricMM
                      bigjeff Feb 27, 2010 09:00 PM

                      ericMM, was the duck from andy's served with pancakes or buns?

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        EricMM Feb 28, 2010 08:16 AM

                        Pancakes, as I recall. I actually kind of like Peking Duck Forest....Of course, we always get the duck...but I've always liked their squid in XO sauce..my son likes their dishes with Chinese sausage. Their ordinary stuff is expensive, but a lot of dishes, like the squid one, are the same price as Ping's, my kid's favorite place.

                  2. f
                    Fleur Feb 28, 2010 09:38 PM

                    PEKING DUCK HOUSE in Chinatown is consistently reliable. The Peking Duck is perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and carved.

                    Be advised that this is a very rich, heavy, but succulent and wonderful dish. The portion served will easily serve 4-6 people.

                    They serve hundreds of ducks a day during a busy weekend. People come there for the duck, and they are the specialists and pros.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Fleur
                      missmasala Mar 1, 2010 12:28 PM

                      except that they gave us flour tortillas instead of pancakes with our duck. (see post above.) It was a weekday lunch, and maybe they don't do that on weekends, but i think doing it at any time is unforgiveable.

                      I have to say, I think this place has really gone downhill.

                      1. re: missmasala
                        NYJewboy Mar 2, 2010 07:25 AM

                        whoa...

                        1. re: missmasala
                          m
                          Mangita Mar 2, 2010 10:33 AM

                          I have to agree that I have never been impressed with PDH and while I was never served tortillas I found the duck "serviceable" at best plus the overall dining experience did not do justice to the dish- it was rushed and if you don't stop the carver he whisks away the carcass which still has a good amount of meat etc on it. So, unfortunately, PDH is not an option for me.

                          1. re: missmasala
                            E Eto Mar 2, 2010 02:00 PM

                            I noticed the flour tortillas at PDH years ago. I doubt it's any different now.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2303...

                            1. re: E Eto
                              l
                              Lau Mar 2, 2010 02:18 PM

                              wow i haven't been there in many years...that is sort of ridiculous if they're doing that

                              i see you mentioned nice restaurant, i used to like it there too...too bad it shut down

                              1. re: E Eto
                                missmasala Mar 2, 2010 05:13 PM

                                that makes sense, because when i went in the fall, i hadn't been there in years.

                                how do they get away with that?

                            2. re: Fleur
                              bigjeff Mar 2, 2010 05:55 AM

                              avoid their dinner deals as well since the rest of their menu is so overpriced and generic; you get stuck ordering a few more dishes that are a waste. if anything, just feast on duck. I even remember one time trying to order some chinese greens and all they had was american broccoli.

                              1. re: bigjeff
                                EricMM Mar 2, 2010 01:47 PM

                                I've always gotten Chinese broccoli...but we specifically ask for it. We have gotten their dinner deals, because they include the kind of stuff that most of my family likes. But I agree, I have no reason to go there if I don't order the duck.

                                1. re: bigjeff
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                                  diprey1 Mar 4, 2010 02:11 PM

                                  I would not recommend this restaurant at all, living right 'cross the street and being semi-serious about food. If you must go there, Beijing duck is OK, and they do have a decent yu choy: once I even had an OK steamed gai lan mui, but that's quite an exception. I feel that their chef is atrocious with regard to any Southern food. Don't get me wrong: you might enjoy it if you don't have any comparison point. But for me, no amount of sweet talk would do it (most staff there are native Cantonese speakers.)
                                  Please note, Flushing is less than 10 min drive away.

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