It's been raining non-stop for the past week, up until the day of 端午節 a.k.a. the Dragonboat Festival (sorry, I guess I should be posting about zongzi). Why does this matter? Because for the past week, I've been held prisoner in my apartment by ever present rain clouds. So when the weather cleared up, ever so slightly, I went out venturing to find a place called 金廚北平鴨 or 'Golden Kitchen Peking Duck.' When I got there, I found that this Peking duck 'restaurant' was no more than a hole-in-the-wall on 師大路 (Shi Da Road), near the night market. I wasn't entirely sure whether I should've been impressed or disappointed, given how 2-bit this rather well known place seemed to be. One way or another, I wasn't leaving without some duck, especially since it started pouring when I was there.
As I looked in the glass, I was eerily mesmerized by the hanging ducks. Yes the shop seemed rather rundown, but the food looked downright tantalizing... whole ducks, donning crispy and 'puffed out' skin, glistening with bright red duck sauce/oil. I quickly placed an order for half a duck, which cost 240 NT (just short of $8), and stood patiently as they went to work on it. They slice off the surface layer of meat, which is to be eaten with thin pancakes called 薄餅 (bao bing), sweet bean paste, and scallions. Then the rest of the duck, bones and remaining meat, are stir fried with chives and other greens to be served separately. They handed me my order... the sliced duck, the stir fry, and the pancakes, and I left. Into the downpour. The entire walk back home (like 2 miles!) was done in sandals and soaking jeans. All I could think was "this better be some crazy good duck." Seriously, this was flood worthy rain.
And ohhh, it was. That's what I meant by sliced duck. Each piece just thin enough that there's appreciable meat, accompanied by enough crisp skin for texture. As I mentioned, in each thin pancake, you place a single piece of duck (okay, if you're like me you sneak two in), smother it with sauce, and add a piece of raw scallion. It's the Chinese burrito, but without the accompanying gas ha. The other dish, the stir fry also tasted good enough, heavy on the chive flavor, with a hint of herbal medicine. I did not take a picture. Being completely honest, it wasn't very photogenic. Was this place good? Well, I don't think I'd brave torrential rain again, but yeah it was, maybe not as good as a dedicated Northern Chinese restaurant, but better than the $1 bun place in Flushing. To get authentic Peking duck for $8 is fine by me.