Surrey Hills, VIC 3127
Ph: 9898 3343
You mention Peking Duck in Melbourne, and inevitably talk will turn to Simon's Peiking Duck. I really love Simon's ducks but not everything at Simon's is the best. And also, if you don't like an oily duck, you may actually not prefer Simon's. If you are looking for an alternative to Simon's, I would suggest the newly relocated Old Kingdom.
Old Kingdom used to be where Simon "Duck Nazi" Lau worked before he left and started his own restaurant. It used to be a dark crowded restaurant, but is now a light, modern, clean, comfortable place. The restaurant does not have the usual Asian feel and instead is minimal in decorations, opting for a light decor. Tables are spaced quite far apart so you can have some space. While the decor is not typical of other Asian restaurants, the menu is similar. Their Peking Duck is their speciality, and cost wise is the same as the other restaurants. You can choose between just the duck or also with the accompanying noodles and soup. We chose the full three courses.
The duck here has a really great flavour and I would rate it just marginally below Simon's. The flavour is excellent and skin is crispy. While Simon's duck skins are crispy, which I prefer, his ducks are also oiler. The duck here is less fatty and oily, which some people prefer. The pancakes here are of the flour variety, thin and soft. Again, some people may prefer this over Simon's eggy pancake.
For me, the items where Old Kingdom are far superior to Simon's is the sauce for the duck, the noodles and the soup. The sauce is this fragrant plum/hoisin mixture with a hint of chili. It is fantastic and really lifts the whole Peking Duck. The noodles are also really bouncy, light and fresh. The soup is clear and full of duck flavour instead of being cloudy and muddled in flavour.
I realised that I haven't posted as many photos of myself and my friends lately. So I've decided to change this and get back to what this blog was about, talking about my life and all the people in it, with food mixed in between.
Service at Old Kingdom is quite good, and I like the ambiance there. I prefer the roomier cleaner feel of restaurants. I would definitely recommending trying out Old Kingdom and I would happily come back here for Peking Duck. It's a worthy alternative to Simon's Peiking Duck.
Overall Rating: 15/20, Great Peking Duck in a comfortable environment.
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.