We've got a prediction: Peking duck is going to make a comeback. As a matter of fact, we're pretty sure that once Mayor Bloomberg leaves office, this entire city is going to return to the days of 1980's New York, full of crime, Chinese restaurants, high-end French food, and Ghostbusters. And it's going to be awesome.
So how did we arrive at this prediction? We hit up Chef Ho's with a friend recently, and as we were eating the incredible Peking duck that this restaurant is known for, some thoughts entered my head. The most important of which was that everything is cyclical, and old school staples like this are making their way back on to menus around town (see, Carbone). It's also true that once one pioneering restaurateur does something, everybody else does it too. And news broke not long ago that the team behind Red Farm is about to open a new restaurant called Decoy that's entirely dedicated to this crispy duck delicacy. So yeah, that ought to pretty much seal it. Peking duck is going to have a moment again.
For those of you who are too young or not familiar enough with Christmas Day in New York City to have experience with this legendary Chinese dish, let us get you up to speed. There are many places in this city where you can get Peking duck, but there are only a few where you should get it. If you choose unwisely, there's a good chance you're going to overpay for something underwhelming, and that's no way to live. Let's start with the fact that under no circumstance should you go to a ridiculous place like Mr. Chow to eat this stuff. Actually, don't go to Mr. Chow to eat any stuff. Where you want to be is some restaurant that has white tablecloths and a janky looking fish tank in the room, along with a few diners in their mid to late eighties. Also, you should never pay more than $50 for it. We love Chef Ho's because you can get a whole duck for $38, and that thing will fill two people up to the point of shame. To that point, don't tinker with much else on the menu here, because it won't be as good as the duck. That's tends to ring true for the other good spots like Peking Duck House as well. You want the bird and maybe an order of pork buns, and that's about it. Now that I think about it, Peking duck and pork buns is a genius restaurant idea. Someone get my lawyer on the phone. Does LegalZoom have a phone number?
Food RundownPeking Duck
Tender, hot, crispy, and prepared tableside, just like Peking duck should be. Your waiter will make you up a bunch of rolls and throw them on the plate with the duck legs, and you will proceed to eat all of it. We also recommend asking for some chili sauce on the side for dipping purposes.Roast Pork Buns
The roast pork buns here are pretty damn delicious too. The BBQ pork is nice and flavorful, and two buns will only set you back $3.50. Not bad.Everything Else
We hear good things about the Ginger Duck and the Banana Chicken, but otherwise this is pretty standard Chinese takeout fare. Don't mess around too much.