So last night Dax rustled up a few hounds and friends of hounds to get our duck on at King Fung; the tiny, tasty, breezy little storefront on 74 Kneeland Street. Per usual what it lacks in climate control and square footage it makes up for with great food.
I must first rather embarrassedly admit that Ive never had Peking Duck, so I can make the completely useless statement that this was the best Peking Duck Ive ever had.
We started with some apps: Peking Ravioli & Scallion pancakes. The Peking Ravioli is always good here, arguably the best in Boston but as Stagger noted, to make that statement definitively would require an elaborate longitudinal study that few of us (which isnt to say none) of us are willing to do. They always arrive sizzling, and taste nothing short of beatific after being doused in the holy confluence of chili sauce and soy sauce.
The scallion pies were also good, maybe a smidge thick for me. It recently occurred to me that I think the best scallion pancakes in Chinatown might be from that theater-crowd - otherwise crap-tastic - tourist trap Shanghai Café on Tremont. Odd. Again, more research is required.
While the appetizers were coming around they brought out a duck for us to approve and it was a golden crispy guy. He was really good-sized and he was coyly, even somewhat flirtatiously, craning his neck around awaiting our approving nods.
Joanie made the exceptionally good call to get the lamb chow mein, which arrived, with a disappointing dearth of lamb, but plenty of noodles. Having had the chow mein before, I noticed that they gave us a very generous portion of noodles. I love these noodles. Theyre thick and chewy, they make for a very satisfying slurp, and aside from their own inherent deliciousness they serve admirably as sauce & flavor delivery vehicles. I was very impressed with the Atkins-sensitive folks in attendance for resisting these as theyre like Kryptonite to the dearly departed doctors theories.
Then came the skin. At the risk of offending anyones gentle sensibilities, indulge me the brief moment of linguistic abandon to say, Awww shiiiit. Who are these geniuses that, presumably after years of exhaustive laboratory bench work (with acknowledging nods to the lab-rats in attendance), decided that the ideal first course of duck would be simply duck skin, with a few pieces of meat still dangling? We wrapped the crispy duck-flesh in little shumai-style pancakes with carefully flowered green onion sections, cucumber, tomatoes, and plenty of plum sauce and chili sauce. Dreamy little duck burritos soaked our fingers w/sauce and I was unable to determine if I was the only slob actually licking my fingers.
Course 2 was a somewhat less exciting duck stir fry, but really, what it seemed to most resemble was old school chop suey w/the addition of duck. Remember when your high school cafeteria might have had Chinese food day? It was like that, though I dont mean that statement to be as negative as it might sound. The comparison is really only in terms of ingredients. Bear in mind youre also getting big hunks of delicious duck as well. Again, we loaded this into our shumai wrappers and went to town.
The third course was a tofu and cabbage heavy duck soup with, I believe, mung bean noodles. They brought out two big tureens with lots of little bowls for all of us. Mmmm Im guessing the second course had all of the duck breast and this course had all the bones with meat still clinging to them (save the legs, which came with the skin). The duck fat made a nice, buttery flavor in the broth. The flavors in this third course were actually light enough that a robust white burgundy might have been able to hold up. There was plenty of this left over.
That sort of naturally brings us to the sauce. 2 bottles of pinot noir (one was Erath, I think, I didnt catch the label on the other) from Dax & the happy couple. I brought a bottle of a Portuguese red from Dao (though dont be impressed, I couldnt know less about Portuguese wine, hence why I bought it). My Spanish-wine-knowledgeable chowing companion informed me that the grapes are similar to (if not, in some cases, identical to) Spanish grapes. All wines held up well; quite a panoply of flavors in the whole meal so the best bet was something sort of soft to complement the homey food with some occasional tannins for the spice. And Nab started us off with some Lowenbrau. Nice.
We had 8 people and the total came to $90 or so. We all chipped in about $14 if I recall. Ducks are $30 each and we preordered two; then 2 orders of scallion pancakes and 2 orders of 10 Peking Raviolis, & 1 order of lamb chow mein. Cash only at King Fung, for those of you thinking of making the trip. Thanks to Dax for putting it together and thanks to previous posters for working up our appetite.