thanks to melanie and derek, we were able to take advantage of gold mountain's 1/2 free peking duck with dinner last night. that plus another 1/2 duck equals one whole duck. but the 1/4 duck included with the bbq appetizer plate amounted to a 1 1/4 duck dinner last night.
i don't know how the ordering process went since i was the last to arrive(a warning to future chowhounders to arrive promtly or suffer the fate of writing the summary). the final decision came down to the $68 family dinner supplemented with steamed eggs and clams, peking duck, and salt and pepper scallops.
$68 family dinner
clams with black bean sauce
prawns and honey walnut
crab with ginger and onion
mushroom and mustard green
coconut milk custard
golden gate bakery egg tarts(provided by derek)
the soup was the starter. thickened egg flower chicken broth with minced shrimps or scallops. i don't remember which one, but it did it's job to warm the belly.
bbq appetizer plate consisted of bbq pork, roast duck and pickled shredded seaweed on a bed of sweet fermented beans. the bbq pork was the only let down as it was rather mild. it lacked any kind of roasted or char'd quality. the duck on the other hand had a well roasted skin and the meat was juicy and succulent. pretty much as it should be when a fresh roasted duck is reheated. the fermented beans were a bit chewy and still had the skin attached, fine if you like a well aged variety, but i prefer the fresher crispy skinless variety. the seaweed was too sweet, could of used a bit of spicy kick. the duck came with plum sauce for dipping which was nice.
the salt and pepper scallops was more like fish and chips without the chips and scallops instead of fish. no salt and vinegar either. deep fried battered scallops seemed like a waste of some good scallops. it was all tossed with some fried garlic and onions but none of the flavor stuck. would have been better if they included a salt and pepper dipping dish.
peking duck was the standout of the night. even better since half was free. but the buns were a bit thin. i think they'd been sitting out for a while before they were steamed. the buns stuck together too much and also stuck to the steamer. once pulled apart, the glossy sheen that holds the bread together was gone making it more like white bread than peking duck buns.
clams with black bean sauce was fine. but everything is fine with fresh clams. the sauce was a bit thin and lacked any jalepenos peppers, but it was still good with rice.
the last time i had prawns with honey walnuts was in grade school, so it's been a while. the walnuts were good, the prawns were flour dredged deep fried coated with some kind of sweet sauce. probably could have been better, but i'll never know since it'll probably be another few decades before i try this dish again.
mushroom and mustard green was a bit overcooked i thought. the mustard greens could have been a bit crisper and it thought it came with too much thickened chicken stock sauce, but overall it was a good veggie refresher.
the crab with ginger and onion sauce was fresh. but i thought the crab was not battered deep fried enough or at all. it might have just been stir-fried so it didn't have any of the good deep fried nutty flavor and lacked the batter coating that usually soaks up the sauce. it was fine as is, but my personal preference is deep fried.
the only service hiccup of the night was when they messed up our steamed egg order and made it with scallops. they took it back and made us one with clams but it came way later than everything else. the steamed eggs were cooked just right like silken tofu, but a bit salty due to a light drizzle of soy paste and the clams were a bit over cooked. if you're familiar with japanese food, it was like a big bowl of chawan mushi with clams.
the coconut milk custard dessert was the highlight i thought. chilled and silky, the perfect refreshment after the meal.
the egg tarts derek provided were from golden gate bakery. if you're not familiar with them, they use puff pastry instead of the typical pie crust so it's lighter and crispier than the usual egg tart.
overall the dinner was good, but nothing spectacular. the pleasant company and foodie talk made the night much more enjoyable. i had never been to gold mountain for dinner, but i don't think i'd make a special trip back for dinner as the food is just as good or better elsewhere. i would probably not take my parents there for dinner, but i would definitely take them there for dim sum.
i will differ to melanie for the wine comments.
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