This no-nonsense Chinese restaurant is apparently the best place for Peking Duck in Melbourne. I thought that I would test out this urban legend by assembling the best panel of judges I could think of – my (Chinese) parents, my (Chinese) family friend, myself (Chinese) and RM (not Chinese, but along for the ride).
The ducks have to be pre-ordered and for five people we were advised to have two ducks ($55 each). Part of the duck is carved up at your table for show and the rest is taken away to make a duck and beansprout stirfry and a sweet and flavoursome soup.
The panel’s verdict was that what made Old Kingdom’s Peking Duck spectacular was not, in fact, the duck itself but the accompanying paper-thin pancakes. By folding up a pancake using a specific 4-step method (too hard to explain in writing), the sauce ended up in a different compartment to the meat, cucumber and spring onion and a mouthful of the thinly-wrapped parcel didn’t feel like a mouthful of dough.
If you’re happy with eating a meal consisting of duck three ways then I wouldn’t recommend ordering anything else. Our other dishes weren’t so great – a bit too greasy and a definitely more than a soupcon of MSG. And stir fry bok choy for $17?!
The piece de resistance to our meal though was my request for deep fried ice-cream. Serves me right for bringing shame on my ancestors by ordering such an inauthentic Chinese dish, because below is what came out. Deep fried genitalia! Nasty.
- Old Kingdom, 197 Smith St Fitzroy 3065 +61 3 9417 2438