Monday, 7 May 2012

Review - Simon's Peiking Duck Restaurant

11th March 2012

Simon's Peiking Duck Restaurant
197b Middleborough Rd,
Box Hill South

Cuisine: Chinese

Taste Rating: 8/10   Value Rating: 8/10

Simon's Peiking Duck Restaurant on Urbanspoon

We went for dinner here on a Sunday night. We had a booking for the second session which starts at 8pm and had pre-ordered a Peking (or should that be Peiking) duck. The diners from the first session which started at 6pm were leaving as we arrived . It wasn’t long before the restaurant was packed to capacity for our session. Simon’s restaurant brings a lively activity to that corner of the shopping strip.

Simon Lay was holding court in the middle of the restaurant, serving a long table of diners. He is good natured and always ready with a smile and a joke. There was laughter as he flipped pancakes onto the plate of each diner at the table he was serving. One missed the target but nobody seemed to mind! Towards the end of the evening, when he had finished serving his table, he made it a point to walk around the restaurant to talk to diners at the other tables. He came to us and was nice and friendly, giving us a brief rundown on his past restaurant history at Old Kingdom and how he came out of retirement to open his current restaurant as he couldn’t stand the quiet life and yearned for the busy life of a restaurant. He was in denial (good-naturedly) that he had missed the target when flipping the pancake earlier. Let’s just call it a pancake malfunction, or maybe someone moved their plate!

The restaurant’s signature theme is for the whole duck to be used, resulting in minimal wastage. The menu offers two options for the duck to be served – Option 1 for $55 and Option 2 for $63. We opted for Option 2 which comprises 15 pieces of Peking Duck pancakes, shredded duck meat stir fried with noodles, and a soup made with the duck bones and bean curd. Option 1 is the same except that the main dish is stir fried bean shoots with duck meat. We also ordered two more main dishes – Royal Peiking Chilli Prawns and Sambal Belachan with four Seasonal Vegetables.

We were very happy with the Peking Duck pancakes. I am impressed with how tissue-thin the pancakes are – you can see the light coming through the pancakes - yet they are resilient enough to wrap up duck meat and vegetable batons with. The duck skin was crispy and an appealing caramel brown while the duck meat was tender and juicy. A definite winner!

For our fried noodle dish, we chose handmade noodles (the other three choices were rice noodles, egg noodles and hor fun). The taste of the noodles was nice with the duck meat adding flavour – and it was not too salty. The texture of the noodles was good, with the short to medium length making it easy to pick up the noodles with chopsticks.

The four-vegetable dish comprised snake beans (also known as long beans or yard long beans), Okra (also known as ladies’ fingers), eggplant and broadbeans in pods. It exuded a hot, spicy sambal smell when delivered to our table. The taste was as good as the smell with a nice smokey flavour. The eggplant was the best tasting of the four vegetables, with a brown colour and firm texture on the outside while tender on the inside.

The Royal Peiking Chilli Prawns batter was nice and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and the prawns would have been a winner right there. However, the prawns were sitting in too much sauce. The sauce was salty and this overshadowed the sweet and sour chilli taste.

The soup was well flavoured with star anise, ginger and in a nice touch, mustard greens (also known as Chinese mustard). The duck bones gave it a savoury depth. In Chinese cuisine, meat bones are commonly boiled to produce what is called soup or broth, but would be considered stock in Western cuisine. These Chinese soups are highly nutritious as the goodness of the bones is released into the soup over hours of simmering.

Overall, a very good evening with delicious food, and an entertaining host who makes you feel welcomed. If you love Peking Duck pancakes, you can eat your fill here of good quality pancakes at a reasonable cost. We will definitely make a return trip.

Front of the Restaurant
Outside Looking In
8pm session has just started

Seven Minutes later, the place is packed

The two Options for serving the Duck

Peking Duck slices

 Thin Pancake

 Assembling the Peking Duck Pancake

Crispy Skin, Juicy Duck Meat
 Pancake Folded

 Tissue-thin Pancake

My Attempt at Folding 

So Far, So Good

 Result of my folding attempt - looks OK?

 Meanwhile, the host is flipping pancakes at diners!

 Sambal Belachan with
Snake Beans, Okra, Eggplant and Broadbeans

Royal Peiking Chilli Prawns

Handmade Noodles with Shredded Duck Meat

Duck Bone Soup with Beancurd
flavoured with star anise,  mustard green and ginger

No comments:

Post a Comment