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Corner 28 – Peking Duck Buns, Why Has Someone Not Done This in Manhattan??

l
Lau Mar 30, 2011 07:30 PM

**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2011/03/corne...

Corner 28 is a Cantonese restaurant that has a lot of things going on. It has a big section serving shao la (Cantonese BBQ), it has another section serving si cai yi tang (4 dishes + 1 soup) and it has an upstairs that is a full service Cantonese restaurant. For today’s post, I don’t really care about all that, what I do care about is the part of the restaurant that is on the outside serving people on the street. The outside section is located on one of the busiest corners in Flushing. It has two sides, one side serves fresh cheung fan (steamed rice crepe) and skewers and the other side serves Peking duck buns.

There are two types of Peking duck in my mind. There is real Peking duck from Beijing where they cook it a certain way by pumping air into it and then roasting in an oven. It’s served with thin pancakes and usually has several accompanying dishes using the rest of the duck (it’s delicious if done right). However, there is a Cantonese version of Peking duck that is actually a roast duck served in a mantou (white sweet fluffy buns) with plum sauce and spring onions. I am very partial to Cantonese style Peking duck because I grew up eating it. At Corner 28, you’re going to get a Cantonese style Peking duck.

Normally, you need to buy a whole or half duck to get it served to you. However, at Corner 28 they serve individual portions for $1 per bun. The bun is fluffy and fresh, the meat is tender, the skin is nice and crispy and the condiments go really well with everything. I think that a large part of why it tastes so good is that even though it’s a street stand, they have very high turnover that you’re constantly getting a fresh duck. I definitely recommend stopping here even if you’re going to another restaurant. It will take about 2 minutes of your time, $1 out of your wallet and won’t ruin your appetite at all. 7.75/10

A good question was brought up by my friend when we stopped here last weekend, which is why has someone not done this in Manhattan? This place kills it in Flushing and I’m pretty sure that this is a dish that would be universally loved by all Americans. So if anyone is listening please open something like this in Manhattan.

  1. n
    nmprisons Mar 31, 2011 05:19 AM

    One of my favorite things to do in this city is to have the "Flushing Walking Tasting Menu," which basically means wandering around Flushing and having a course at various places. We always start with those buns. Maybe because they are close to the train, but more likely because they are the best dollar you can spend in the city.

    In Manhattan, the buns would end up being $4 and have chipolte-plum sauce or something stupid like that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nmprisons
      l
      Lau Mar 31, 2011 06:06 AM

      haha chipotle plum sauce....u maybe right about the best $1 snack in NYC

      seriously though eddie huang or david chang or one of those guys should do this (if you're listening...go do it!) or actually one of the chinatown places that already makes peking duck like hsin wong could do this in a heartbeat

      1. re: nmprisons
        k
        kathryn Apr 1, 2011 09:36 PM

        ...and if it were in Manhattan, it would probably be served from a food truck with a clever name and Twitter handle!

        1. re: kathryn
          l
          Lau Apr 2, 2011 08:23 AM

          haha that is true, not a bad idea!

      2. scoopG Mar 31, 2011 07:40 AM

        Thanks Lau for the shout-out for Corner 28! One reason it works is because the foot traffic there is insane - even on weekdays! Just as densely packed as China. Notice that even the McDonald's on Main Street has a "Walk-By" window for quick take-out! Maybe the first for a McDonalds...

        -----
        Corner 28
        40-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

        5 Replies
        1. re: scoopG
          squid kun Mar 31, 2011 07:53 AM

          > One reason it works is because the foot traffic there is insane - even on weekdays.

          Good point. That's why Hsin Wong on Bayard is a good candidate for this, as Lau suggests. Tons of tourists walk past every day. Or even better, Big Wong on Mott.

          But $1 is the magic number. To make it work, I wouldn't charge even a quarter more. (When Corner 28 started selling these, they were just 75 cents ... http://www.chow.com/digest/2456/chine...

          )

          -----
          Corner 28
          40-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

          1. re: squid kun
            l
            Lau Mar 31, 2011 08:17 AM

            weird i didn't know that the upstairs and downstairs are under separate ownerships

            1. re: squid kun
              scoopG Mar 31, 2011 10:47 AM

              Add a sign and a window through which to sell them and it's a go!

              1. re: scoopG
                l
                Lau Mar 31, 2011 11:33 AM

                exactly!

            2. re: scoopG
              l
              Lau Mar 31, 2011 08:14 AM

              yah that is true, but u get pretty decent foot traffic in ctown too depending on where u are although not as good as main street

            3. Chandavkl Mar 31, 2011 04:20 PM

              For that matter, why hasn't anybody done it in LA, SF or anywhere else? Corner 28 is the only place I've seen it. In fact offhand I can think of only one place that had a ducky appetizer, an Americanized Chinese restaurant in San Gabriel which sold little duck bao for something like $5 for an order of five, and they're out of business. I agree that it has to do with the foot traffic--you'll have to sell a lot of them quickly to make it worth while.

              -----
              Corner 28
              40-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chandavkl
                l
                Lau Mar 31, 2011 04:33 PM

                i think ure right, i dont think ive ever seen individual portions served anywhere including in asia

              2. Joe MacBu Mar 31, 2011 11:06 PM

                David Chang, on the inspiration for his pork buns:

                "I've had more meals at Oriental Garden in Chinatown than anywhere else, and they served their Peking duck with buns rather than pancakes."

                1. erica Apr 1, 2011 02:45 AM

                  They used to sell Peking duck "sandwiches" with the pancakes, scallions and hoisin for $1 at the big supermarket that runs between Mott and Elizabeth; you had to go inside and line up at the counter.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: erica
                    n
                    NancyC Apr 24, 2011 08:58 PM

                    I was a little confused by this thread, for the same reason! Did Deluxe Food Market stop selling these?? I used to get them all the time, hadn't in a while... but am still there several times a year picking up what I consider better frozen dumplings than the dumpling-specialty joints, and I just assumed they were still selling the mini duck sandwiches. Loved them, and because of location and those frozen dumplings, am much more likely to get those there. Hmm, I might have to check in a few days.

                    1. re: NancyC
                      Miss Needle Apr 25, 2011 07:36 AM

                      Yes, they did stop selling them. Wonder why -- maybe not enough profit margin to make it work. They certainly have tons of crowds and street traffic.

                  2. j
                    Jaleamia Apr 2, 2011 04:08 AM

                    I'll never forget the first time we stopped here a few years ago. We were curious about the line at the window and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Needless to say, we were delighted by what we found and couldn't believe it was $1. We often stop by and have a duck bun "appetizer" before hitting one of our favorite spots for dinner.

                    1. el jefe Apr 26, 2011 12:05 PM

                      Are they still selling the "duck carcass" or "duck bones" for $2-3 at Corner 28?
                      That was an even better bargain, but not really meant to be eaten while standing on the corner.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: el jefe
                        l
                        Lau Apr 26, 2011 12:51 PM

                        yah they still sell them if you click on the pic to make it full sized you can see the little white sign advertising it in english and chinese

                        1. re: el jefe
                          d
                          diprey11 Apr 26, 2011 02:45 PM

                          Yes, we bought two for soup a few weeks ago. No English sign though: just ask them

                          1. re: diprey11
                            l
                            Lau Apr 26, 2011 03:07 PM

                            actually the sign is in english now, if you look at the blown up pic you can see it

                        2. r
                          Riverman500 May 2, 2011 10:40 AM

                          Olliie's To Go on Broadway between 89th and 90th Street in Manhattan offers a Beijing Duck Sandwich in a soft bun for $2.95. The one time I had it, there was no crispy skin, but otherwise there was a good amount of duck and the flavor was good.

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