The restaurant is a convenient 15 minutes drive away from the place where I live.
At first glance, it's just a Cantonese seafood restaurant. So I was not sure about the quality of their Peking duck.
"They specialize in seafood. Are you sure their Peking duck is good?" I asked my friend in a suspicious tone.
"I've tried it before, and it's not bad." my friend said convincingly.
I decided to believe my friend and give it a go.
We asked about their Peking duck and ordered one. We waited for the duck to arrive at our table while playing a game of scrabble on our mobile.
After a 15-minute wait, the duck showed no signs of arriving soon. I was growing impatient. The manager was passing by our table. We stopped him and asked about the duck we'd ordered. It turned out that they hadn't started cooking it because the waiter who took our order didn't put it onto the computer.
We went to the restaurant late. So we were starving to begin with. Now we were starving and irritated! I felt like exploding but I resisited the urge. The waiter got a harsh scolding from the manager, but they did nothing to appease us except telling us that the duck would be ready "soon".
My friend wanted to leave but I was too hungry to leave. After what seemed like an eternity, the duck finally arrived.
Luckily, the duck was decilious!
We wrapped slices of cucumber and spring onion and pieces of crisp duck skin with pancakes.
Then we dipped the wrap into a sauce specially made for Peking duck. It melted in our mouth.
The second dish was stir fried duck wrapped in cabbage leaves and it's equally delicious. I've noticed that not many Chinese dishes make good use of raw vegetables. In this case, the combination of hot, stir fried duck and cold, refreshing cabbage leaves was just beautiful.
We talked about Peking duck and the city of Peking (or Beijing, whichever you like)while eating with gusto. My friend is reasonably well travelled and he said Beijing is on his top 5 city list. He was not saying that for my sake. He has a genuine fondness for the city.
I have no intention of writing in detail about things that make Beijing an attractive city here because that's gonna take 3 days and 3 nights. However, one thing is for sure: having not had Peking duck is one of the biggest regrets in life.