The poor Duck!
I admit I feel guilty every time I eat this…it’s usually just a few times a year so, in the end, the grief doesn’t kill me (just the poor duck!) but though I’m not vegetarian, I try to eat sustainably, meaning I don’t eat meat every day – not even every week – I eat it once in a while when I really feel like it.
So despite my love for duckies – live duckies I mean! – here I am in London’s China Town searching for a nice restaurant where to have my guilty ‘Crispy Duck‘!
I didn’t pay attention to the restaurant name as, honestly, in the main China Town road they are all pretty much the same. We picked one where my friend had eaten before and it was clean and tidy enough to make us decide to go for it.
Just have a look from the outside and, most of all, check if there are any Chinese people eating inside; if you can see only tourists then go and look for another one.
I’m not crazy about Chinese cuisine; I worked for Chinese people for 3 years and I tried a lot of different things but still, it’s not my favourite. I don’t like the greasy and sticky pork, far from me to eat chicken feet and most of all keep the hundred-year egg away from me – these are an experience that I don’t recommend you try, not even once!
But there are things I really like such as the Wonton soup and of course Crispy Duck!
The name won ton means ‘swallowing a cloud’, and the dumplings floating in this soup apparently are thought to resemble clouds – I just learned this now!
The Wonton soup is a light soup broth that comes with dumplings; now you need to be careful that you are ordering the Cantonese version with shrimp as it’s much nicer than the traditional pork version.
When ordering it bear in mind that in most menus you will find it listed among the starters and you would have to ask to have it as main dish.
You will get a few different plates and you then assemble your mini Chinese pancakes filling them with the duck pieces and other ingredients.
Usually you will get some finely cut spring onions and some cucumber plus a little bowl of a black thick sauce (I still don’t understand what this is yet!), apparently you can have two different kinds of sauces called Hoisin sauce and sweet bean sauce – I truly have no idea which one was served to accompany my duck.
The beauty of eating crispy duck is that you also get to ‘play’ with your food – for once!!- in a certain way as you need to assemble your little pancakes and eat them with your hands – unless you are incredibly good at wrapping them and by using your chopsticks!
The duck looks like anything but a duck – that makes me feel much better every time! – and it is ready to fill your pancakes!
If you don’t know what to order at a Chinese restaurant you will love this dish because it is light – at least compared to most of what you will find on the menu – and quite healthy though… I still don’t have a clear idea of what is inside the sauce…