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Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

One of the greatest dishes in the history of food

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Have been to Hong Kong and Macau on two prior occasions, and visited Shanghai and Taipei previously, yet never in any of those instances was there the opportunity to sit down and enjoy the glory that is Peking Duck. On this most recent occasion, it was a priority to sit down and enjoy the ever-revered dish. And, contrary to popular belief, this is a much different entrée than the typical roasted ducks everybody sees hanging in the windows of many Chinese restaurants – still delicious, but Peking Duck is an entirely different beast.

It was on the day of arrival in Hong Kong that the dinner was already planned. Flew into Hong Kong International Airport aboard Cathay Pacific around 3:00 p.m. and made a beeline for the train heading downtown.

Staying in the Tin Hau district, it was a quick ride on the Hong Kong MTR to Central Station and, even before heading above ground, there it was – Peking Garden in Alexandra House, a one-Michelin star establishment.

Even though reservations are required, arrived a bit before the dinner crowd and was asked if it was possible to finish the meal before 6:30 p.m., it was around 5:15 p.m. – said it can be done and was seated right away.

Immediately, was served tea from a very ornate tea set and snacks of pickled vegetables and bean curd; opened the menu and dug around for the Peking Duck.

Putting in the order, the duck came out very quickly – assuming the place expects nearly every table to order at least one – and it was marvelous. The first server came and asked if there were a preference to separate the skin or not, went with keeping skin and meat together, he then left to carve the duck on the other side of the room. Another server arrived with plates of vegetables, sweet sauce, and steamed rice pancakes.

The duck spread across two gorgeous plates.

Before anything, had to try one piece on its own, to savor the dish that everybody and their mother raves about, and it was magnificent. Juicy and flavorful meat and crispy skin, a travel show on Korean network TVN called the taste unforgettable, it’s also indescribable. Started putting together little rolls of the duck and all the add-ons wrapped in the rice pancakes and it was nothing short of heavenly.

Doubt there will ever be another trip to Hong Kong without at least one night sitting down to a plate of sumptuous Peking Duck.

Peking Garden has several restaurants across Hong Kong, the Central location is in the basement of Alexandra House, at exit H of the Central MTR station.

Peking Garden has several restaurants across Hong Kong, the Central location is in the basement of Alexandra House, at exit H of the Central MTR station.

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Thanksgiving

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Left the United States three years ago and have lived in a country where Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday. Have compensated for it in the past by having a feast on that day – of course, nothing equal to the way its celebrated in the US – on one occasion, had potatoes and lechon, not quite turkey and mash, but it was delicious nonetheless.

There really is nothing like sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving feast, especially after not enjoying one for a couple years. From a country that isn’t native to turkeys (and not really much of a culinary fan of turkey), there is a majesty that comes with seeing a cooked and dressed bird arrive to a beautifully set table. Accompanied by all the fixings, in a time when people are supposed to express gratitude, it really brings out the emotions of being thankful for all the work that goes into preparing one dinner – a dinner that goes all day, but, regardless, a dinner.

Adding to the familial feel of Thanksgiving dinner, besides mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and candied yams; the dinner is always accompanied by traditional Filipino dishes, pancit (fried noodles) and lumpia (spring rolls). Combining traditions from two different cultures brings forward both a gratitude for where one comes from and everything done to bring someone to where they are today.

Hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving! Happy leftovers!

Hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving! Happy leftovers!

Written by Paulo Loreto

November 27, 2015 at 10:33 PM