This weekend I hosted a ten-course banquet for visiting family at Merlion. The kitchen outdid itself. This may have been the single-best meal -- and certainly the best East Asian meal -- I've eaten in the Triangle. All ten dishes were impeccable.
We ordered several of the dishes we enjoyed at the Chowhound banquet earlier this year -- curry fish, fried whole fish, hakka noodles, shrimp-stuffed you tiao, chow fun. We added a fine fried shrimp dish; spicy chicken and basil; stir-fried pea-tips; and best of all a whole roasted duck (served without the house sweet and sour sauce). The duck was flawless: crisp, juicy, burnished. This was one of the best roast ducks I've ever eaten, and I've eaten a lot of them, as it's one of my wife's favorite dishes.
In the past, we've had one or two so-so dishes at Merlion -- the mango chicken, for example -- but when Merlion is on its game it's hard to beat.
I don't know the price, as my father paid. Coming from Boston -- he lives within a few minutes walking distance of China Town -- he was impressed.
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