Thanks to all who responded to my call for a bookclub-appropriate venue.
We ended up at King's Garden for the Peking Duck dinner. Not my first choice for
Chinese food (I have several favourites in Markham/Richmond Hill), however,
because of the proximity to downtown workplaces, it worked out well.
We opted for the Peking duck dinner for four. I must say the service was excellent.
Empty plates were instantly cleared, tea cups refilled, and plates replaced
As soon as we were all seated and ordered, a refreshing moist towellette to
freshen up started the service.
Spring rolls appeared almost immediately on the table: two per person.
This was followed by the duck skin with crepes, carved table-side, with a little
platter of thinly shredded scallions as well as that wonderful, thick plum sauce.
Next was the chicken soup. Awesome smoky, woodsy mushroom flavour and
cilantro to heighten the aroma and taste. We each
received individual but generous bowls.
The second part of the Peking duck, the diced duck meat came next. The
server spared us the indignity of asking how to eat this dish by individually
assembling one on each plate -- crispy, cold lettuce in the middle of the plate,
drizzled with the sauce, then topped with the diced duck meet.
As we were eating the lettuce wrap, the other dishes arrived: asparagus with garlic
and fried rice.
For dessert, we had mango pudding, rich and creamy with a little swoosh of chocolate
for garnish and if that wasn't enough, an almond cookie for each to end the meal.
Throughout, our tea pot was never empty and the servers hovered
nearby inobtrusively. I love the sensitivity to the customers -- forks were offered up front
to any who wanted it, and as I said, the ceremony of assembling the lettuce wraps, not only made
for an interesting presentation, it also avoided embarrassment for some who did not know
how to eat it.
All in all, a pleasant experience. $88 for the set meal plus taxes. The only surprise was
the added $4.80 for the tea ($1.20 per person). The tea charge is not exhorbitant, however still
a surprise because I'm just not used to paying for jasmine tea in a Chinese restaurant.
Overall, with tip, it worked out to be $30 per person, a fair price for the meal and the
experience. King's Garden is the one across from the Roy Thompson Hall.