Monday, May 02, 2005

Peking Duck restaurant, Shanghai, China

Peking Duck restaurant, Shanghai, China
Monday 2 May, 2005

I'll be honest, I don't recall the name of this restaurant. It is a large chain of peking duck restaurants around Shanghai and has to be seen to be believed.

My expat friend took us there after asking me what I wanted to eat on my last day in Shanghai - peking duck and lots of it - came my reply. Well, apparently there is only one place to go in Shanghai. The building operates over several floors and I couldn't quite determine if every floor contained a restaurant but all I know is that this place was phenomenal. Female staff dressed in elaborate and extremely uncomfortable looking traditional garb with ridiculous shoes greet you and take your booking. From there it's anyone's guess as who gets served first. It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine attempts to bribe the waiter so they can be seated - believe me it crossed my mind as we waited for ages - it was hot, crowded and I was started to wonder if I really wanted to eat peking duck after all.

Thank god we stayed. Although the service is poor, the peking duck is exquisite and is carved at your table. As everyone orders it, you get to watch the skillful staff carve about 20 ducks before yours arrive. It is worth the wait - crisp skin, shallots, sauce and pancakes all round followed by san chow bow. One duck between four does not go far but it was just so good.


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