Archive for January, 2007

China – Peking Duck!!

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

CIMG2484.JPG At my favourite Chinese restaurant in Sydney (previously, in the world until now), the Peking Duck costs $55 for two courses. The actual pastry wrapped duck pancakes; and either noodles, fried rice or san choy bau with the meat as a second course.  Well, little did I know that in Beijing, at what is considered a fine dining experience beyond the reach of most Chinese, it costs only 98 Yuan or $13.33 Australian dollars for one!  This specialty restaurant is known for what it calls “Super Lean” roast duck.  It’s called Beijing DaDong Roast Duck Restaurant.  It is injected with water during its 70mins cooking time, and cannot be described as oily, and with just the right amount of fat for flavour. This restaurant’s menu is the size of a Vogue magazine, but thicker, with amazing photos showing off the creative flair of the chefs. 

CIMG2508.JPGWe had also what my sister called the “Exploding fish”.  A fish whose flesh has been cut into strips that stand upright, covered in light batter and deep fried (again, not oily tasting!) and served in a sweet and sour sauce. It is such an impressive looking dish, and tastes great too.  Not fishy at all, and not too tart either.  A visual and literal feast!

CIMG2500.JPGThis dish looked too good to eat. Admittedly, we ordered it because we liked the look of it on the menu.  These cute little birdies were slightly hard (so maybe decorative), but filled with lotus seed paste.  The dish is actually duck and taro meatballs, served in a deliciously crisp noodle basket, and sweet and sour sauce. 


Kung Po Chicken (left), and XO Scallops.  CIMG2517.JPGGenerous serves.  Unlike many of the other chinese restaurants to come, the dishes were not drenched in and sitting in a pool of oil, nor heavy and sit in your stomach.  Flash fried to keep in freshness and flavour, with every attention to detail in presentation.  If you’re not hungry, you can choose the small size, or medium or large size.  These are all small sizes! Dinner for 7, including four $4 cocktails, $200, no sweat.  And to finish…toffee coated apple fritters! 

Yum Cha (or Dim Sum) in San Jose, CA

Friday, January 26th, 2007

CIMG1977.JPG After a long two weeks in the mountains of Utah and Arizona (and New York!), I was desperately missing a good yum cha meal.  Luckily, my aunty has been living in San Jose for the last 2 years and knew exactly where to take me for authentic chinese (and of a standard comparable to China).  This is a gorgeous version of my favourite, scallop dumplings. Such amazing attention to detail, and bright colours, filled with juicy scallop meat (often restaurants are stingy with this due to the price), and with the different addition of peas. Bring it on! 

Butterfly, San Francisco

Friday, January 26th, 2007

CIMG1940.JPGThis is one of the funkiest restaurants I’ve been to (funky – is that a daggy word? Is daggy a daggy word?).  Located right on The Embarcadero, San Francisco, its uber-cool status is reflected in its clientele who look like they could have just walked off a photo shoot for a spread in Marie Claire.  It’s “pan asian” which I’m assuming is what the Americans call mod Asian/fusion.  Whatever it was, it worked.  We had some entrees to share – Sesame Coated Endamame (US$3) was a large bowl with a great flavour added by the sesame oil.  Four duck confit spring rolls (US$9) were crispy on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside, served with chinese hot mustard and honey dipping sauce. (more…)