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Kuala Lumpur - London-style Chinese Roast Duck in Bangsar Village

OK, so I tried the fabulous roast duck from Four Seasons of Bayswater (London) in its newish Bangkok outlet last weekend. This evening, I decided to give Village Roast Duck in Bangsar Village a try - after all, it's owned by 4 Ipoh-born siblings who'd worked for 8 years in roast duck restaurants in Bayswater, London. Owner, Choo, and her brother Kok Wai both worked at the famous Four Seasons, whilst their other sister, Tienna, and brother, Kelvin, had worked at Gold Mine and Kam Tong.

So, how was their roast duck? My verdict from tonight's dinner:

- Roast duck: beautifully-textured and perhaps one of the best in KL - it's moister than most versions here, and perhaps even surpassing the famous Sze Ngan Chye, the "King of Roast Ducks" of Petaling Street. But the sauce was not as sweet as the versions in Four Seasons or Gold Mine in London, perhaps to suit Chinese-Malaysian tastes. The duckmeat, layered atop napa cabbage, was much, much chewier than the UK versions, and perhaps can be attributed to the type of ducks used here. I'd rate Village Roast Duck behind the London restaurants, and even Four Seasons Bangkok, which I enjoyed more;

- Steamed minced pork with salt fish. This ... is... THE ... BEST ... version of this dish I'd had, ever! Well, I certainly hope what I had this evening was not a fluke: perfect combination of tasty minced pork, silvered ginger, crisp salt fish, scallions and egg. It was perfect. The problem with most places which served this dish was that the salt fish used were just waaay too salty, or of poor quality and smelt too strong. In some places, the minced pork was too fatty, whilst in yet others, it was too dry. At Village Roast Duck - everything was perfectly balanced, and the steaming was perfectly timed and done just right.

- that ubiquitous Chinese-Malaysian Four Types of Vegetables Stir-fry: I find this dish everywhere where there are Chinese-Malaysian restaurateurs: in Singapore, in London. in Hong Kong. The dish consisted of aubergines, long beans, okra and stink-beans (petai) fried with lots of onions, dried shrimps, garlic and the unmissable sambal belachan chilli paste. Explosively hot, but lip-smackingly delicious;

- Pan-fried carrot cake with beansprouts and eggs. This dish was the only disappointment for the evening - the cubes of carrot cake had been pre-deep-fried before being stir-fried with the beansprouts and eggs. I didn't think the deep-frying beforehand was necessary - the carrot cake came out harder and drier than it should be. They should have also used Chinese XO sauce to stir-fry this dish like in Singapore or HK, where we find delicious versions of this dish. Village Roast Duck's version tasted funny and slightly disagreeable.

All in all, a great place to come for a simple, family dinner - guests are also served complimentary soup of the day, which is also replenishable - we loved the soup we had: very delicious pork and carrot consomme. Dishes are generally very well-prepared, and prices were reasonable for high-rent, upmarket Bangsar Village.

Address details
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Village Roast Duck
Lot 8, 1st Floor
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre
1, Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2287 4128

 
 
 
 
 
 
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  1. So - THE London Duck in KL but chewier... :-) By comparison with other ducks in KL and S'pore, though, is it that much chewier, or about the same?

    Interesting, the minced pork & salt fish dish - such a rustic homestyle dish in that restaurant. It's certainly comfort food, but wonderful especially when well done. Here's some blather we had on CH Stateside about it and some variants on it, plus some other related chit-chat: :-)
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8102... (and the subthread descending from it)

    3 Replies
    1. re: huiray

      Admittedly, it was less chewy than other "usual" roast ducks I've tried, e.g. the famous Johnson roast duck back in S'pore, and those from the many, many mobile roast duck trucks you seem to find near the entrance of every housing estate here in KL.

      BTW, I am absolutely amazed by the detailed discussion you guys have on the humble steamed pork and salt fish dish!

      1. re: klyeoh

        Thanks. Over here in these parts our choice of Chinese roast duck vendors is somewhat more limited, to say the least!

        On that other thread, did you read as far as the "Tai Yee Ma Kar Lui" ? :-)

        1. re: huiray

          Yes, I did - then, I realised, "Gee, I've actually tasted more types of Chinese food than I thought!", coz I'm familiar with *all* those dishes mentioned! :-)

          Off topic, am just going to Jalan Ipoh for another culinary voyage of discovery in a while. Will post some threads if I come across anything interesting.

    2. The best roast duck I have ever eaten was in London many years ago (1975?). It was at Chuen Cheng Ku in Wardour Street, Chinatown. I can still taste the duck in my memory.

      1. Back to Village Roast Duck this evening, with a visiting aunt & her family. The roast duck was fabulous as always - perfect texture, delicious sauce. The roast pork (siu-yuk) and BBQ pork (cha-siu) were revelatory here - simply scrumptious.

        The prawns with wasabi-mayo and tobiko roe dish was also fabulous.

        Aunt (who used to feed me non-stop long ago and was the one who turned me into a gourmand) loved her first taste of KL Hokkien fried noodles - Village Roast Duck did a passable version, topped with crisp lardons ("chee yow char"). Have to get her out to Kim Lian Kee in Petaling Street for a true charcoal-fired, "wok hei"-flavored version!

         
         
         
        11 Replies
        1. re: klyeoh

          A nice read.

          But of course you must get her to the street-stall versions [note the plural] of KL Hokkien Mee - and sample some of the other stuff all around as well, naturally.

          1. re: huiray

            Am planning Taste of Foochow in Pudu next for me aunt - chicken cooked in red wine with "mee suah" (rice vermicelli), plus those Foochow fishballs stuffed with minced pork.

            The next Hokkien mee foray would probably see me sallying forth into Birch Rd (Jalan Maharajalela) for Mun Wah's version :-)

            1. re: klyeoh

              Klyeoh, In your opinion, what is the major difference between Cantonese style roast duck in London versus that in Hong Kong??!!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                London-style Chinese roast duck has sweeter sauce/marinade, whilst HK-style roast ducks are salted before the roasting process, and the marinade don't taste as sweet.

                Also the types of ducks used - in HK, I gather the ducks are from southern China, versus the British/European ducks seemed to yield different textures. The British ducks seemed meatier, fattier and had softer flesh - akin to the northern Chinese ducks used for Beijing "kao ya" (Peking duck).

              2. re: klyeoh

                Klyeoh, how did your aunt like the food at "Taste of Foochow"? (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838131)

                1. re: huiray

                  She wasn't there - went shopping with her family instead before they leave KL tomorrow. I was there with a friend - who's Hakka-Chinese. I wished she was Foochow, so she could tell me more about Foochow food culture ;-)

                  BTW, I Googled for "Foochow cuisine" which didn't yield much, except for this:
                  http://www.goingwithmygut.com/going_w...
                  and
                  http://unclephilipsg.blogspot.com/200...

                  Hmm, home-made Foochow red rice wine - used for cooking purposes only, I presume.

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    google fu zhou cuisine and you'll find alot more (thats the pinyin for it)

                    its a fairly heavily seafood based cuisine (i talked to a fu zhou guy in NY about it for a while recently). you see alot of it in NY bc manhattan's chinatown is slowly turning into a mainly fuzhou neighborhood although in NY its a ton of xiao chi type of places. some of the stuff i've seen as being more common:
                    - yu wan (different than normal since they are those meat stuffed fishballs)
                    - ban mian (egg noodles in a peanut and soy sauce)
                    - yan wan (really delicate small wonton noodle soup)
                    - bian rou (similar to yan wan)
                    - li zhi rou (named so bc they way they cut it looks like a lychee, its similar to sweet and sour pork, really good if they make it right)
                    - they do use alot of 紅糟 (hong zao) in their cooking as well, but they call it bu zao 卜糟
                    - fo tiao qiang (Buddha jumps over the wall)
                    - its also pretty seafood heavy given its proximity to the sea

                    this london duck intrigues me, i really want to go try it next time im in london, whats your favorite spot in london?

                    1. re: Lau

                      At the moment, Gold Mine:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828315

                      BTW, am back in London again this weekend :-)

                      1. re: klyeoh

                        looks wonderful...ill have to try next time im in london

                      2. re: Lau

                        I wouldn't say Manhattan's Chinatown is turning into a Fujian dominated scene - these new immigrants from China are setting up and north of the current Chinatown.

                        Fujian Cuisine is distinct in several ways. For one it is marked by having many soup and noodle dishes. Their soups are laced with local wines, some are red in color made with the famous red wine paste or lees, a left-over sediment from making rice wine, and some are clear broths served plain or with fish balls filled with meat in their center. It is not uncommon at a Fujianese banquet to feature 4-5 different soups. Their soups might have turtle meat, sweet or salt water eel as well as small clams or pieces of coagulated blood from pigs or chickens.

                        They make noodles from wheat, rice and sweet potatoes. It is thought that Fujianese fisherman introduced the sweet potato into China from the Phillipines. They are known to shred and dry sweet potatoes to be eaten as a snack. When completely dry they are reconstituted for use alone or with another grain and when dried, ground into a flour to make noodles, coatings, congees, mixed with eggs, or used in a variety of ways.

                        Rice mixed with red wine lees provides texture as well as color, in soups or in other dishes such as Drunken Spare Ribs, Braised Meat in Red Wine Sauce or Pork Pickled in Wine. Used as a coating, the red wine lees is slathered on chicken and duck, in their soups, and mixed into dumpling skins.

                        Though Fujian soy sauce is well known in China, only a little is used in their dishes. It is incorporated into dipping sauces like garlic and chili, garlic and vinegar, garlic and scallions or in sweet dipping sauces.

                        Razor clams are popular and made many ways. One favorite preparation includes adding garlic and black beans, others use starch mixtures or are made with eggs. Oysters are popular: found in pancakes, omelets, soups, braised dishes and stew-type preparations.

                        Foods from Fujian have influenced and been influenced by the foods of Guangzhou and Chiuchow (Swatow), Hainan and beyond.

                        1. re: scoopG

                          yah thats fair, i guess they are more in the eastern part of chinatown vs the historical western part

                          singapore / malaysia are hugely influenced by fujian food since they are the biggest chinese group in singapore and malaysia, but there aren't many from fuzhou, they're all minnan and their food and dialect is different, its almost like two different sets of people which why i try to distinguish

            2. Back at Village Roast Duck this evening to try its roast duck with egg noodles. Very tasty, bathed in copious amounts of good quality soysauce, the way the Cantonese in KL liked their wanton noodles & like.

              The duck meat is still the best I'd had in KL.

               
              1. Wonton noodles with char-siu at Village Roast Duck yesterday evening: not the best char-siu in town but well-caramelised with nice, fragrant charred bits; wonton dumplings were superb and so was the soup they were served in. The noodles were super-thin and perfectly "al dente", HK-style.

                Surprisingly (or not), the dressing was KL-style dark sauce, not the pale, oyster sauced HK-style version I thought I'd find in this restaurant. I guess the KL Cantonese are *very* certain of their taste preferences!

                 
                1. Quick dinner at the Village Roast Duck last night:

                  Started off with a refreshing, chilled drink of sugarcane, carrot and waterchestnut.

                  On to the food:

                  - Four Types of Vegetables Stir-fry: this is the de rigeur dish in many Malaysian and even Chinatown restaurants in London these days - okra, long beans, aubergines and stink-beans (Malay: "petai"/Indonesian: "pete") stir-fried with a sambal of minced chillies, "belachan" (a very pungent fermented shrimp paste) and pounded dried shrimps.

                  It's a fairly "new" dish as it's not common in the 1990s or even 2000s in Singaporean/Malaysian restaurants. Then, I had this dish for the first time in a Chinese-Malaysian restaurant, Long Xia Zhou Shi Jia in Orchard Central, Singapore, in 2010 - and they served this so-called "Malaysian" dish which I was instantly hooked onto. Subsequent visits to restaurants in KL, Penang and Ipoh confirmed that this dish (previously a rustic, home-cooked dish which one would never deign to offer in a proper restaurant) had indeed hit the mainstream culinary market. The version at Village Roast Duck was *perfect* - just enough chillies to provide a spice-kick, with lots of sweet onions, and with all the 4 main vegetable component still maintaining a fresh crunch.

                  - the classic Hakka stewed pork-with-yam casserole, which was utterly delicious - the "nam yue" (fermented bean-curd) providing an addictive, 'umami' taste dimension to this quintessentially Hakka dish that's available at many Cantonese "dai chow" all over KL. My only complaint here: the yam pieces were sliced too thin, and much too mushy-soft.

                  - the complimentary dessert was "gui ling gao" - the jet-black bitter-tasting tortoise jelly which would *never* make any headway into the Western (especialy American) dessert market, but is much-loved by the Chinese.

                  Another good meal at this dependable eatery - the cooks were doubtlessly very talented: consistently executing each simple, traditional and oftentimes rustic dish to a very high standard.