Monday, May 02, 2011

Happy Cook Peking Chinese

165 Springvale Rd
Nunawading, VIC 3131
Ph: 9894 1663

"It's better than ". That's what my friend Jordan told me. Having now tried Happy Cook, I'd have to disagree with him as I think Simon's ducks are slightly superior.

Happy Cook is quite hard to find, with the address listed as both 156 and 165 Springvale Road on Google depending on which site you read. The shop front is also very nondescript and when I arrived to an empty restaurant, I thought I was in the wrong place. However, when I could smell the Peking Duck, I knew I was in the right spot. Very quickly, the plainly decorated rectangular restaurant filled up with patrons, who were all eager to eat their duck.

To the duck itself, it is very good, with a crispy skin and a good flavour. It's leaner than Simon's which some may prefer, but not me. The skin is also not quite as crisp, and the flavours used to marinate the duck isn't quite as nice.

Another disadvantage is that the duck is only accompanied by 12 rather than 15 pancakes at Simon's. I know you can eat the duck by itself, but it really does taste better with the pancake. The pancake is your more traditional flour type, which some epeople prefer but I really love the thin egg pancakes of Simon's.

You can get the duck served as three courses with a good noodle stir fry or bean shoot stir fry, and a soup. The noodles are good, with a nice bounce. The soup is very good.

What they do better than most Asian restaurants is desserts. The banana fritters, shown below, are done in a slightly different style, in balls. A toffee also covers the banana balls and make it taste better than normal. Red bean pancakes, custard pancakes, fruit covered in toffee and ice cream are all better than average. Look at how happy Dennis is with his birthday custard pancake.

The service is efficient and friendly and do a good job. Combined with the tasty Peking Duck, it is a good restaurant. However, I can't help but compare it to Simon's Peiking Duck, which I believe is superior and at the same cost, I would rather go to Simon's.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Good Peking Duck at a good price.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Happy Cook Peking Chinese on Urbanspoon


  1. Someone should drive me to Simon's Peking Duck someday. :( I live literally 2 hours from that place. Public transport wise

  2. Michelle, where do you live? It's next to a train station so it might not be too hard to get to.

  3. I read COOK as something else and was like WOAH... then read it again.... sigh.

    Peking duck is the bomb, now I want peking duck :( :( :(

  4. Meorwyn, haha that would not be so appetising. Peking duck is indeed amazing.

  5. I think Happy Cook's duck is similar with Simon's. However Simon's service is sooo bad. The owner itself is rude. He is only happy if you order a lot of ducks from him. I once want to make a booking for 4 adult n 4 children (2 of them being under 1 n 3). The children normally won't eat the duck. So I was thinking of ordering the other food. This is what Simon said "If you don't order 2 or 3 ducks, better find another place cause this place is specialise with ducks! I better give this table to someone else"

    I think he is so arrogant and rude for saying that. I know that place is so popular but that doesn't mean he should say things like that. He is so money oriented. If you didn't order a lot he won't be happy. You have to eat in a rush cause there's a hour time slot. Not a very nice dining at all having to rush! I find it unpleasant.

  6. Anonymous, the duck at Happy Cook is still good and the service is probably better. It is true that Simon only seems to want you to order duck. I really didn't know he was that determined about customers ordering duck.

    You should definitely go to Happy Cook. Another option may be Old Kingdom, which is now located on Canterbury Road. It's got a very modern feel and the duck is good. The sauce, noodles and soup are better than Simon's too I think.

  7. Simon's restaurant is very arrogant. He only wants you to order many ducks so that he can make lots of money! People should boycott that restaurant no matter how good is the food.