Beijing Duck Restaurant
We had heard great things about the food at Beijing Duck, and Father’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out. Alexia had tried in vain several times to eat at the restaurant without a booking, so duly warned, we made a reservation for an early dinner on the Sunday.
Queens Road in Panmure is a quiet place on a Sunday night, but you can tell where Beijing Duck is because there isn’t any parking! (Also recommended Sri Puteri’s is just up the road). The large-ish restaurant is simply and cheerfully decorated in yellow and red and there are lots of round tables for groups. There were several tables already filled with people tucking into their food when we arrived at 5:30, and the restaurant quickly filled up. In fact, when we left an hour or so later, people were being turned away. Bookings are a must!
What else would you eat at Beijing Duck but the duck? This needs to be ordered in advance when you make your booking, and it seemed that almost every table in the place had done so. But be advised that at $48, a Cheapeats meal for one (or even two) this does not make! We recommend that to keep closer to our Cheapeats budget that you visit Beijing Duck with a group and share a selection of dishes accordingly.
Most people also ordered a vegetable dish or two, and those tables opting out of the duck seemed to be ordering shrimp, ribs and sizzling beef dishes. The menu features dishes from the Beijing and Sichuan areas of China and has a particularly good variety of vegetable dishes.
We decided to order the deep-fried green beans with Chinese bacon ($18) and also the Chinese greens with two types of mushrooms ($14), plus steamed rice to accompany. We were given tea as soon as we were seated, and the tea pot was topped up regularly with hot water.
The arrival of the duck was heralded by owner/chef Li Yue rolling it to our table on a trolley. The golden glistening skin of the duck was cooked to perfection. Then Chef Li proceeded to carve the bird with the most amazing speed and dexterity, creating a piled dish of duck meat and leaving a rather bare duck carcass. Chef Li is from Beijing and it is clear that his heritage, training and experience in China is well utilised (and appreciated) in his restaurant.
We had dishes of shredded spring onion and cucumber, dipping dishes of hoi sin sauce and a steamer of warm wrappers, and we created our own little parcels of duck heaven to enjoy. Mr Li had carved the meat so that most pieces had a little bit of the golden skin attached. It was delicious but filling and one order of duck could easily be shared by 3-4 people.
The vegetables also arrived, and we ate the bean dish so quickly that the kitchen sent out a second one! The beans had been quickly fried in the wok with slivers of Chinese bacon and resulting flavours and textures were just addictive! I preferred it to the rather bland baby bok choy in a sauce with mushrooms.
Thoroughly replete we finished our meal in a little over an hour. Beijing Duck may be a little more expensive than our usual Cheapeats budget allows, but it was a delicious treat. Put it on your “special Cheapeats” list! And don’t forget to book in advance!