Thursday, April 23, 2009

Melbourne Day 5: Quan Ju De

We used to visit this Peking Duck place called Old Kingdom whenever we're in Melbourne. Then last year, someone called KittyCat suggested another place called Quan Ju De, which Roger also knew. So when we had a concensus of more than two, we knew we had to eat this duck.
Quan Ju De is located at the corner of Queen St and Victoria St in the City. This place is supposedly an overseas outlet chain of the oldest Peking Duck place in China established in 1864.
The whole place is decorated with much pomp and flair in the traditional Chinese way. You know, the usual royal yellow, red and gold which tends to make you feel like descendents of the Emperor (very far & distant ones). Ok, maybe not descendents. Maybe more like guests of the royalty.
The waiters and waitresses were very polite and were always serving quietly from a distance. No throwing of plates like frisbees here.

The Qun Ju De group claims to have over 60 restaurants & has served 5 million people every year. Imagine the number of ducks from Peking that ends up on the plate.

For some unintentional reasons that night, we ordered like a whole duck. When it came, we felt a bit guilty of being so indulgent, like we were slowly turning into Greg & Nee on the Go-bblers instead.
By the way, this place actually kept count of the number of ducks slaughtered, uhh, I mean sold. The whole thing was done very systematically, much like the Nazi's tenacity for efficiency. We were awarded a certificate with actual serial numbers. Ours was the 115,202,818th duck.

As with most Peking duck place, a Peking Duck restaurant is not a Peking Duck restaurant if the chef doesn't appear with his death-defying sword-wielding stunt show.

Cripsy skin with moist tender meat. Quan ju de duck is all that and it does not have a ducky smell to it. But somehow, it's a little bland and there's not enough skin to go around in a healthy sort of way I guess. It's still a little disappointing cs we love the meat and skin combination, the crispy & the soft together. Here they kinda separate the two from each other.

The pancake was served in a traditional looking bamboo steamer.

They were paper thin as claimed to be. Soft and warm, very the good!

The leek and cucumber comes free flow unlike Old Kingdom where they charge you for every refill, which was a bit annoying.

The soup comes with the set. We get one little pot per person of slow cooked duck soup. Very clear and bland in a good way, without the excessive oil (like the ones at Old Kingdom). Greg just couldn't take the soup there, but he finished his here like a good boy.
In our madness and overestimation of the stretchability of our stomach we had a whole duck plus these:

Spinach with crab meat. Heay, this is really crab meat. No joke. Fresh ones not your canned type. Result: Fragrant and smooth. Really tasty sweet!

Qianlong Seafood hotpot~ They don't scrimp on ingredients for sure. Good pot, generous helping ofeverything that's supposed to be in there, tasty without being salty and oily but we were just too full to finish the whole thing.
We find that Quan Ju De cooked very balanced dishes. They are not the typical oily chinese dishes. Duck wise, we think Old kingdom is comparable but dishes wise, Old kingdom is your typical greasy chinese food (the ones that can make both Roger & Greg hit the toilet immediately). But for that, we had to pay at least 1/3 more here in Quan Ju De. I guess there is a price when people treat you like royalty. If you pay me well, I can treat you like anything that you want.


KittyCat said...

Fascinating! We went to the Quan Ju De in Beijing but certainly didn't enjoy such lavish furnishings. Love the Emperor-style chairs :)

Funny why they separated the skin from the flesh? They served it together in Beijing...

Gosh, all this crispy skin duck is making this pregnant woman even hungrier!

KittyCat said...

Here's Quan Ju De in Beijing :)

terri@adailyobsession said...

looks like a place i'd enjoy eating in--provided i'm not paying:D

marlene said...

Quan Ju De in Melbourne? Alamak.. I should eat more before i go back!

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