2 weeks or 14 days or half a month ... that is how long most people have to book in advance in to dine here. Was it worth the 2 weeks wait? Perhaps 3 - 4 days would be more reasonable in my opinion. Anyways, this is one of the few remaining old-school Chinese restaurants in town and it is famous for its Peking Duck. It is also one of the favorites among tourists as well because you will find it being recommended in many travel books / guides. Now here is the million dollar question, if it requires weeks in advance booking, exactly when did the many tourists presence on this particular evening book their table? (did the guide book placed on their tables recommended them to book before they departure from their homeland?) hummm ... I should have asked ...
Based on the decor, I suspected that it remained pretty much the same over the last 2 (or 3) decades. We arrived around 8:30pm and it was full house with staff rushing back and forth. Dinner this evening was in celebration of my friend's birthday and he did most of the ordering as well so I was there to enjoy. Worth noting that most of the dishes come in 3 different sizes, Small - Med - Large. As mentioned in my SML post, the idea of offering different dish size was nothing new, it was there long before I was even born.
The first dish to arrive was the Saute Sliced Mutton with Spring Onion. It looked quite plain and unexciting but the flavors were rich and I ordered some rice immediately!
Saute Pig's Windpipe with Coriander was the next dish. Windpipe? Yes, this was the first time I tried it and I love it! The texture was chewy yet bouncy, toothy and carry a certain "bite" to it. Again I am in lost of words when describing the texture of "爽" in Chinese. Anyhow, with the strong flavors of coriander, the dish was quite a refreshing starter.
Of course we ordered the Peking Duck and here they offer Peking Duck - 3 Ways! The first was the traditional way of sliced skin with Chinese pancakes. It was fun watching the chef preparing our Peking duck!
The duck slices here included quite a large portion of meat and the duck was quite fatty as you can see from the fatty layer in between. It was alright, the skin was not overly crisp as expected but the meat was quite tender indeed. Flavor was fair but no surprises.
As mentioned before in my Dong Lai Shun post, one of the key factors for a good Peking duck (at least in my own opinion) is the pancake. There are quite a few style of pancakes and the one being offered here was the really thick one which I am not a big fan of. So thick that I thought I was having a pita wrap!
The Peking Duck 2nd dish was the common Lettuce Wrap with Minced Duck. Why did I focus on the lettuce? Because I was too lazy to move the dishes around for the picture. It was alright, no surprises to be honest.
The Peking Duck 3rd dish was the surprising dish or should I say soup. The remaining duck was chopped into pieces to make this soup. Not that there were much duck flavor to the soup but it was quite comforting to drink.
The simple pea sprouts in broth dish was good, not overly salty like many would prepare them.
Sizzling Shad was something new to me as well. Shad is a very rare breed apparently and is considered a delicacy in many of the coastal cities in China. One of the unique characteristics of the Shad is ....
... believe it or not, their bones and the sheer amount of them!! Every part of the Shad consisted this trident like bones and one had to be VERY careful when eating it. Did I mention there were just so many bones everywhere??? Flavor wise it was great, the sauce carried hints of acidity and went really well with the tender meat as well. Once again, be very careful!
Something I need to mention at this point: (1) The pacing of the dishes were quite ... fast, many dishes arrived at once and the whole table was full of food that we are rushing to finish! (2) When getting the bill, the server announced the amount of the receipt out loud as he approaches the table ... I really dislike this approach but have to take into account that it is one of the common practices of old-school restos in Hong Kong; but still, I hope they would change this habit.
Would I come back for their Peking duck? yes but only if I can book a table 3 days in advance. A 2 weeks advance booking for their Peking Duck might not worth the wait especially when I often have sudden cravings for Peking Duck.
- Saute Pig's Windpipe with Coriander - love the bouncy, toothy texture!
- Sizzling Shad - while it consisted of way too many trident like bones, the sauce was delicious with the meat.
- Pacing of dishes were quite ... fast
- Chinese pancakes for Peking Duck was too thick!
Spring Deer 鹿鳴春飯店
1/F, 42 Mody Road, TST
Tel: 2366 4012
View Larger Map