Last night, my sister and I were in the mood for some greasy Chinese grub. Instead of heading to our usual spot, Kam Shing, we decided to try the cuisine at Peking Garden. We were seated immediately and wasted no time in ordering, we needed food on our table STAT.
I’ve been daydreaming about Chow Mein (Cantonese-style) for a few days, so it only made sense to place an order. When it got to the table, I knew it was a mistake. Resting over a bed of crisp noodles, the saucy stir-fry of meat and vegetables was a complete bomb. The lack of salt and good ingredients rendered the dish tasteless and unexciting.
If the Sizzling Beef Szechuan-style was half as good as it looked, I might have been able to get over the disaster I sampled moments ago. With my knowledge and wisdom, I should have known that looks could be deceiving. While the beef and vegetables were adequately prepared, the Szechuan sauce was just awful. Traditionally, it's supposed to be very spicy with only a tinge of sweetness. However, it tasted like an overly sweet blend of ketchup and BBQ sauce - tailored for the Western man perhaps?
The star of the night (thank goodness) was none other than the Peking Duck, served with warm homemade pancakes, hoisin sauce, and julienned cucumbers and spring onions. Unlike other Chinese restaurants I’ve been to, the waiter skillfully and swiftly carved the roasted bird (skin still intact) at our table. With a hint of glimmer in my eyes, I put the pieces together, and hoped for the best. A mouthful later, I relaxed in my seat and savored the moment. The meat was tender and moist, the salty skin was fatty yet crisp, the hoisin sauce was smooth and sweet, the raw vegetables added a touch of freshness and the pancakes were soft and plain, which allowed for the other ingredients to shine. All elements created the perfect balance. T’was delicious.
Dinner at Peking Garden was bittersweet. The faintly lit restaurant was more decked out than its rivals and the service was efficient, but the food wasn’t all that good. I’m pretty sure I won’t be replacing my usual go-to place with this one, but I will say that the duck was some of the best I’ve had in the city (so far).
5339 chemin Queen-Mary | map