Peking Duck House
28 Mott St (bet. Chatham Sq. & Pell St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 227-1810
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Family Friendly
Chinese New Year brings good fortune. In our case it brought a trip to Peking Duck House on Mott Street in Chinatown. The restaurant plays to a touristy crowd, but who cares when there is duck involved.
The menu begins with how Peking Duck is prepared. I won't bore you with the gory details. But let's just say it makes Abu Graib look rather tame. It is all in the quest for the lightest, crispiest skin and the restaurant pulls it off perfectly. The Peking Duck is only sold whole, or if you order from the prix fixe menu. Each duck is cooked until golden brown, head on, and is paraded through the restaurant. Like a good glass of wine, customers are asked for their approval. The ducks are then given to the head chef who carves them at a table in the center of the restaurant. Then it's time to eat.
We ordered from the prix fixe menu which turns out to be a decent deal. It starts with a small cup of soup, wonton or shrimp with sizzling rice. We also got a sampling of appetizers, including crispy spring rolls, barbecued beef on a stick, vegetable dumplings and something that looked like a lettuce wrap with vegetarian duck aka tofu. But we were here fore the real duck.
Four main ingredients go into the making of Peking Duck:
- Thin slices of duck meat and skin.
- Pancakes which look more like tortillas.
- Celery and green onions sliced thin.
- And hoisin sauce.
Add a bit of each to a pancake, fold and eat. It's that quick and scrumptious. Or, if you’re like my son, you can just dip the meat into the sauce. Either way is fine.
The meal came with a choice of one entrée for two. We chose the house steak which is great. Tender chunks of beef in a rich garlic sauce served on a bed of fresh Chinese broccoli. The table next to us seemed to be enjoying its deep-fried whole fish, which as Billy Crystal might say, looked "marvelous." It was cut in such a way that the meat fanned out across the plate. Other dishes include braised pork, Shanghai shrimp and sizzling rack of lamb.
Dinner ended with fortune cookies. Mine read, “Keep your feet on the ground even though friends flatter you.” Good advice at any time. Happy Chinese New Year!
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Review By: Thomas Rafael