Sunday, 22 December 2013

Quanjude Peking Duck Restaurant

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Quanjude Peking Duck is an international chain of restaurants serving, funnily enough, Peking Duck.  The Melbourne branch is my go-to higher end Peking Duck source as I figure Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon would only sup from the best, yes?  There are photographic evidence of all sorts of international faces dining at various Quanjude's world wide.  It is worth spending time looking at their wall of fame in their stairwell. 

I should advise you that my death row meal would definitely be a Peking Duck with all the trimmings.  So be warned, the following description of the meal is quite an ode to the duck. 

The magnificent duck is carved before your very eyes. 

The best bits of the crispy skin is served on it's own with sugar for dipping.  It is a textural experience - crunchy salty duck skin with sugary grains.  Like salted caramel but better. 

The pancakes come in a steamer which keeps everything nice and warm.  This is important as you want a malleable warm pancake not a brittle and cold one. 

The slices of carved duck is laid out for you by the chef. 

You get your own set of accoutrements such as hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion batons.  I like this as you can double dip with no hygiene concerns.  Then it's assemble your own ducky pancake. 

Words cannot express to how much I love Peking Duck.  It's savoury from the gamey duck meat, it's sweet from the hoisin sauce, it's soft from the pancake, it's crunchy from the skin and cucumber, it's oniony from the spring onions and it's fresh from the cucumber.  It's magic. 

The duck carcass is taken back to the kitchen to make a broth which is served at the end of the meal.  Duck broth just sounds fatty but I assure you the flavour was clean and not at all oily.  Just a comforting savouriness. 

We also ordered a few dishes to go with our fried rice. 

Firstly we had the Pork Spare Ribs in Mandarin Sauce.  Very well made, as all the bone has been dissected and you are given just pure chunks of pork.  Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you - those really are sprinkles on top of the pork.  I found it a bit disturbing to see sprinkles one would see on a cupcake on top of my meat, however as the Mandarin sauce was sweet, the addition of the sprinkles just added another layer of sweetness to the dish which strangely worked. 

We also had the Lightly Fried Prawns with Egg.  This came with a salt and pepper dip and sweet chilli sauce.  This would the our least favourite as the prawns were somewhat smaller than what I expected for the price.  It was very eggy so the net effect was like eating an omelette.  An expensive omelette. 

Feeling piggish, we ordered an obligatory veggie dish which was Braised Mushrooms and Beancurd with Bok Choy.  This was well executed.  It's hard to cook bok choy without over doing it but it was perfectly cooked and the mushrooms were tender. 

Quanjude's serve up consistently good Peking Duck.  It is well worth visiting just for the duck alone.  The service is attentive without being hovering.  The tip is to put in your order of Peking Duck before you order the remainder of your meal as it can sometimes take a good 45 minutes for your duck to arrive.  You also get presented with a certificate with your duck number after the meal.  It's a bit confrontational in some ways as it gives the duck you just guzzled with abandon an identity.  But I'm not letting that deter me for next time. 

The deets:

Quanjude Peking Duck
299 Queen St, Melbourne, VIC
Ph:  03 9670 0092

Approximately $240 for the above meal. 

Fine dining. 

Nom Again:
Most definitely. 

Quanjude Peking Duck on Urbanspoon

Until next time,
Nom Seeker, Glutt

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