Monday, 28 June 2010

Peking Duck at Da Dong Restaurant, Beijing (China)

This is a blog from our trip to China in February...

After finishing a family holiday on tropical Hainan Island in China, Mr FBC and I (along with my brother, sister and brother-in-law) quickly acclimatised to the freezing Beijing temperatures. It was minus 10 degrees (ahhh!).

One thing that we all wanted to do was try Peking Duck! Just in case you weren't aware, Peking was the old term used by colonialists for Beijing, supposedly it was what the old farts thought Beijing sounded like (not!). Anyway, I suppose Peking duck has sort of stuck and Beijing duck just doesn't have the same ring.
As we only had 3 nights in Beijing, I thought I would do some online research on recommended Peking duck restauarants. There was one criteria: I wanted GOOD Peking Duck. 
I came across a place called Da Dong which had great reviews. Bookings are recommended. Fortunately, my brother was able to get a mandarin chinese speaking friend to make a reservation for us.

My sister booked our accommodation and I picked the restuarant. I'm not sure if it was coincidence or just fate, however, when we got to Beijing and looked up the address of Da Dong, we found out it was located ACROSS the road from where we were staying!
When we arrive, we are quickly shown to our table. Da Dong is very swanky and uber chic. Da Dong is named after Chef Dong. His face is even on the business card!

The waitress does not speak English and unfortunately none of us speak Mandarin (except for the Mandarin Phrase book I have in my hand).  Mum: why didn't you make us go to Chinese Saturday school when we were little - I know we all begged to not go, but why did you listen to us - what would we know?! Thank god the menu is also written in English and has pictures. It's going to be a 'pick, point and eat' night.

First dish of the night is venison with pineapple. I suppose we chose it as a bit of a homage to 'sweet and sour pork'. The venison was very tender.
Sauteed Venison with Pineapple

Next dish was the diced chicken and peanut with spicy sauce. Again... I suppose we were paying our respects to 'chicken and cashew' nut. This dish was laced with lots of chilli and was very spicy.. but delicious.
Chicken, peanut and spicy sauce
The next dish, stirfriend scallops with xo sauce, really made an impression with its presentation. It was amazing to see the hoops of  deep fried noodles delicately balanced on the plate and juicy plump scallops covered in the salty xo sauce happily frolicking around the plate.
Stirfriend Scallops with XO sauce
My younger brother really enjoys tofu so we decided to try the braised beancurd broccoli. This is definitely the best looking beancurd that I've enjoyed, with each spoon containing a mouthful of tofu topped with a salty fish paste.
Braised Bean Curd with Broccoli
Finally, it's time for Peking Duck. Or should I say, a man with a large duck comes along and starts cutting up the poultry with lots of super quick and swift moves. We each get a side dish filled with condiments including soy sauce, slivers of shallots, ginger, cucumber, radish, sugar and black beans. We also get platters of pancakes and little sesame bread rolls.
A plate of condiments
Duck action! Chop chop!
Beautiful duck with crispy skin
We've all eaten duck pancakes but we're not sure what to do with all the condiments and bread. Fortunately, the waitress senses our distress and, due to our lack of mandarin skills, utilisies the 'watch and learn' approach to explain how we should eat our duck.For the crispy duck skin, she shows us dip the skin in the dish of sugar. We mimic - yum! The sugar crystals really offset the fat crispy skin. The skin is thin and brown and super crisp. It's not chewy at all.
Next the waitress shows us how we should wrap our pancake. Spread the pancake, then take a bit of cucumber, then a bit of plum sauce, then a bit of shallot. Wrap the pancake in half and then in quarters, so that it forms a bit of a cone. Voila! Peking Duck pancake. Sorry - don't have photos of the pancake :(  However, I do have a photo of what I'd call the 'duck bread roll'. There really isn't too much too it. Just wack some duck into the cute sesame encrused roll with some sauce and shallots. It was beautiful and so difference

Duck Bread Roll
We're pretty stuffed by now, but to make ourselves feel better, we order some Chinese Spinach.

Sauteed Chinese Spinach
Finally, to end our meal we receive a platter of fruit which comes on some dry ice so it looks a bit 'space age'.
Complimentary Fruit Platter
We really enjoyed our meal here and it was great to have Chinese food which is so well presented. If you're ever in the neighbourhood, you should definitely try Da Dong Duck.

Da Dong Jinbao Jie branch 11-10 pm. 5/F Jinbao Place, 88 Jinbao Jie, Dongcheng district. 8522-1234

Monday, 14 June 2010

Over the top?... moi?

Ages ago...... like in March... I received an 'Over The Top' food award from the the lovely Foodwink. Have a look at her food blog. It's definitely FOOD ...PORN at its best.  I'm sure the award should be taken away from me as it's been awhile since I was awarded and I've been extremely tardy on the blog front lately. winning the award, I  have to answer 35 questions with one word (sorry... I'm always too wordy so some answers are two words!) I always find these lists quite interesting and I think you can tell a lot about a person, even if each answer is very short. I wonder what you think of me (aka Mrs FBC). To make life interesting... I've made Mr FBC answer the questions too. I wonder what you think of Mr FBC too??

Mrs FBC's answers
1.Where is your cell phone? Charging

2.Your hair? Straight

3.Your mother? Chatty

4.Your father? Quiet

5.Your favourite food? Lobster

6.Your dream last night? None!

7.Your favourite drink? Passiona

8.Your dream/goal? Happiness

9.What room are you in? Dining Room

10.Your hobby? Food

11.Your fear? Failure

12.Where do you want to be in six years? Contentment

13.Where were you last night? Bundanoon

14.Something that you aren’t? Skinny
15.Muffins? Yum!
16.Wish list item? Audi TT Roadster

17.Where did you grow up? Sydney

18.Last thing you did? Dinner
19.What are you wearing? Trackies

20.Your TV? Masterchef!!!!

21.Your pets? Handbags!

22.Friends? Buying couches!

23.Your life? Searching

24.Your mood? Edgy

25.Missing someone? No

26.Vehicle? VW Polo

27.Something you’re not wearing? scarf

28.Your favourite store? Pentimento
29.Your favourite colour? Red

30.When was the last time you laughed? Today

31.Last time you cried? TV

32.Your best friend? Mr FBC

33.One place that I go to over and over? Work!

34.One person who emails me regularly? TwoThousand

35.Favourite place to eat? Yum Cha

Mr FBC's Answers 
1.Where is your cell phone? Pocket

2.Your hair? Short

3.Your mother? Mary

4.Your father? Graham

5.Your favourite food? Pasta

6.Your dream last night? Work

7.Your favourite drink? Coke

8.Your dream/goal? Writer

9.What room are you in? Living Room

10.Your hobby? Foodporn

11.Your fear? Disappointment

12.Where do you want to be in six years? Overseas

13.Where were you last night? Bundanoon

14.Something that you aren’t? Organised

15.Muffins? Banana 

16.Wish list item? IPAD

17.Where did you grow up? Sydney

18.Last thing you did? Ate

19.What are you wearing? Trackies 

20.Your TV? Masterchef

21.Your pets? None

22.Friends? Old!

23.Your life?  Philosophical

24.Your mood? Upbeat

25.Missing someone? No

26.Vehicle? VW

27.Something you’re not wearing? socks

28.Your favourite store? Pentimento (Newtown)

29.Your favourite colour? Red

30.When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday

31.Last time you cried? 1992

32.Your best friend? Mrs FBC

33.One place that I go to over and over? Campos 

34.One person who emails me regularly? Mrs FBC

35.Favourite place to eat?Home

Promise to share some more Food Porn soon!

see you,