I admit it, I went and ate the best Peking duck in Hong Kong as a Peking Duck virgin. That said, my wife isn’t and therefore she can confirm that the feast we devoured was one of truly epic proportions!
Having had to pre-book dinner, in a city where you can pretty much spend your whole life never going back to the same restaurant, we nearly missed our reservation after being distracted by the fantastic symphony of lights show.
Once we had found Spring Deer (our recommendation to go coming from Fodor’s guide book) I was rather struck by how few westerners were in the restaurant, as well as by the atmosphere; it felt like I had gone back in time, with the décor like something out of a very old school movie about China.
One thing that maybe could have been a touch better (and trust me everything else will be very positive in this review!) was the service but while it wasn’t the friendliest nor the most informative it certainly did add to the interesting surroundings in which we were about to enjoy a real feast!
We decided to go for fried rice with mixed meats and fried pork dumplings, with the main event of course being the Peking duck! With the rice turning up early we enjoyed a fantastic aromatic experience with the mixed meats (including prawns!) and we devoured this far too greedily as it turned out.
When the (ten!) dumplings turned up (as well as a second big bottle of TsingTao) we realised we had gone a bit deeper than intended but nonetheless we enjoyed the beautiful dumplings with a really flavourful sauce. The pork flavour was spot on and the vegetables (including a well balanced amount of ginger) really made this dish something special.
Of course this was all a little bit of an irrelevance when the main course finally arrived. With almost a ceremonial feel to it, a waiter/chef (I still can’t decide which) turned up beckoning to us that he had a delicious melt in your mouth dish ready for us.
Carving our duck with a dedication that many would do well to learn from we then tucked into homemade pancakes with possibly the most fantastic plum sauce I have ever enjoyed.
Simply put the brilliance of Peking duck comes from its balance. This duck had balance. It went from crispy sweet skin, to succulent flavoursome meat with a tender thin layer of fat in-between. Apparently what makes a good Peking duck is not the meat itself, but the way it is carved.
Yes, sadly we ate far, far more than we intended to. Yes they only serve ‘large’ portions of Peking duck. But would I go back? Yes.
Categories: Restaurant reviews