For those unfamiliar with the Peking Duck, it is considered one of the national dishes of China. (Also read: Best Peking Ducks In Beijing)
Origins traced back to the Yuan Dynasty (1206 – 1368) when it was listed among the imperial dishes in the Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages. Which means the emperors have to love it, and I assume they are pretty fussy with food.
If there is any dish that minimises wastage, the Peking Duck should be nominated.
Firstly, the thin crispy out skin is wrapped within a thin pancake with scallion and hoisin sauce. Next, the ‘leftover’ meat is usually used to fry with noodles, rice or vegetable. Lastly, the bones can be used to make soup broths. Almost every part is used.
Here are 10 Chinese restaurants in Singapore which serve up some of the best Peking Ducks: Note that pre-order is often required, from a day to a week for the more popular restaurants.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, 190 Orchard Blvd, Singapore 248646
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Jiang-Nan Chun’s signature Peking Duck ($98 for whole) left quite an impression, because it was one with distinct and fragrant smokiness – different from the rest I have tried.
That is because the duck is smoked over mesquite wood instead of the more typically used lychee or apple wood in a specially-constructed wood-fired oven. Mesquite wood burns at a higher temperature which produces a more smoky flavour.
Accordingly, the Peking Duck from the Michelin-starred restaurant is also marinated and painstakingly air-pumped for more than 14 hours to separate the skin from the fat.
I also thought that the skin of the breast was deliciously-crispy with a light crunch, best to eat on its own or just a dip of the sugar.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, B1-41/42, Singapore 018956
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Mott 32 located at Marina Bay Sands pays homage to 32 Mott Street in New York, where the city’s first Chinese convenience store opened in 1891.
I had to pre-order the signature Apple Wood Roasted 42-Days Peking Duck ($108) for more than a week in advance, so do make your plans. Late requests for the duck may not be accommodated.
One duck is sufficient for around 3 to 4 guests, roasted upon arrival and the cooking time is approximately 60 minutes.
I asked the serving staff and found out that the ducks (sourced from Malaysia and delivered fresh) are raised for 42 days of approximately the same weight, not too ‘old’ and all female ducks.
There was a bit of table presentation when even the peanut, sesame and hoisin sauce are swirled at the table in front of your eyes. Guests can have a hand at trying the swirling too.
I loved the crispy skin and the succulent meat, without the typical gamey taste. The rice-flour crepes were soft, though it was ironically harder to remove piece by piece as they were separated by paper.
The second choice of fried noodles was wonderfully done too. Ask for some of that chilli sauce which would enhance the overall flavours.
Min Jiang at Dempsey
7A & 7B Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249684
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Featuring contemporary Sichuan and Cantonese fare, the house speciality Beijing Duck ($118) at Min Jiang Dempsey is said to be prepared according to an ancient Chinese recipe.
The ducks from sourced from Silver Hill farm in Ireland (yes, London duck) which are known for its smooth texture and delicate flavour.
One day advance order is recommended, and roasting time is approximately 45 minutes to an hour per duck.
The wood-fired Beijing Duck served with Homemade Crepe is recommended to be first tried with crisp duck skin with some sugar granules.
The second preparation includes Stir-fried with Ginger, Stir-fried with Black Pepper, Spicy Duck with Lettuce Wrap, or Salted Vegetable Soup with Duck and Tofu.
Hua Ting Restaurant
Orchard Hotel Level 2, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879
Tel: +65 6739 6666
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 2:30pm (Sat – Sun);
Dinner 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
As one of the 5 dining establishments in Orchard Hotel, Hua Ting Restaurant is an award-winning restaurant specialising in an outstanding repertoire of classic and modern Cantonese dishes.
Iconic Hua Ting dishes include the Smoked Peking Duck infused with Aged Pu-Erh, Yuzu Sauce ($49 for half, $92 for whole); and the Hua Ting Signature Crispy Roasted Duck.
Picture this: the duck fat has been perfectly rendered off to create a crisp, caramelised skin, while the meat remains succulent and tender.
The smokiness added an alluring fragrance and earthiness, which you get when you eat it after freshly cut. (So please don’t wait too long.)
This is really one of the most memorable Peking Ducks I had in Singapore of late. My dining partner took a bite, and kept going “Hou sik, hou sik…” – eyes wide opened with an exclamation of its deliciousness.
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
Paragon #05-42/45, 290 Orchard Road, Singapore 238859 (Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6732 7838
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:45pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 2:45pm, 6pm – 10pm (Sat), 10:30am – 2:45pm, 6pm – 10pm (Sun)
How many would know that our very own Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck was once ranked as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants a couple of years ago, making it the only Chinese restaurant from Singapore on that list.
From the way the Peking Duck is prepared, you know that these chefs mean their business.
To be pre-ordered at least 3 days in advance, the chef will carve the Peking Duck ($108 for whole) skill-fully in front of your table, into thinly crispy pieces with little meat and fats, lightly scented by the lychee wood used in the oven.
There are 3 basic steps when it comes to eating it. Firstly, the crispest meatless slices are presented with a saucer of sugar, dipped and enjoyed on its own.
After which, the other carved lacquered roasted ducked slices are to be wrapped in hand-made flour crepe, while you can brush some hoisin sauce across for additional sweetness.
The remaining meat can be cooked in a style of your preference, say fried into vegetables or made into a soup broth. My personal recommendation, and perhaps something unique to this restaurant (and Singapore), is to order their fried Mee Pok.
Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant – TOP of UOB Plaza
80 Raffles Place, #60-01, UOB Plaza 1, Singapore 048624
Tel: +65 6535 6006
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 9pm (Mon – Thurs), 6:30pm – 10pm (Fri – Sun)
This premier-dining restaurant is popular for its high-quality Sichuan and Cantonese delicacies served in three locations across the island – TOP of UOB Plaza, PARKROYAL on Beach Road, and PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road.
The Peking Duck (served in two courses, $70 for whole duck) is a must-try centrepiece meal. This decadent chef-recommended dish presents a whole duck done two ways.
For the first course, enjoy the duck’s thin, crisp amber-coloured skin the traditional way rolled inside a thin pancake.
Watch how the skin is delicately carved out and sliced in front of you, and then wrapped with seaweed, cucumber strips, fresh spring onions, and a thick, homemade sweet sauce.
For the pancake, you get two kinds: regular and green spinach-flavoured.
The default second dish will be “Sautéed Minced Duck Meat wrapped in Lettuce”.
Diners can also choose to use the meat for Fried Rice or Noodles, or even deep-fry and seasoned with salt and pepper, at an additional charge of $20.
TungLok XiHé Peking Duck 同樂羲和 – Orchard Central
Orchard Central 181 Orchard Road #07-07/09 Singapore 238896
Tel: +65 6736 0006
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 3pm, Dinner 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
TungLok XiHé Peking Duck 同樂羲和 is a culinary collaboration between TungLok Group and XiHe Group, two renowned Chinese specialty brands, the latter coming from Beijing.
It holds the distinction of being the first restaurant in Singapore to serve the London Duck in traditional Peking style.
Sourced from Ireland’s Silver Hill Farm, this Peking Irish Duck ($98) is cured for three days and roasted in precision. Order this iconic dish served with a special “8 Treasures Box” which is a condiments and sauce platter.
Other than the customary hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onions, the modern twists include sweet blueberry sauce and an unconventional ‘popping candy’ which sizzles in the mouth. I prefer to stick to the tried and tested, but suspect that kids would enjoy this novelty.
What we liked about TungLok XiHé’s rendition are the substantial slices of duck breast and tender thigh meats that get served, best eaten simply dipped in the sweet sauce. At some places, you hardly see the meat.
Hai Tien Lo 海天楼
Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 3, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595
Tel: +65 6826 8240
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Peking duck is eaten with various condiments and wraps. While other restaurants serve the typical crepe skin, cucumber and hoisin sauce, Hai Tien Lo offers additional ingredients of avocado, vegetarian beancurd skin, and… black caviar, giving the dish an added luxurious element.
Hai Tien Lo Style Classic Sliced Beijing Duck ($108) comes with Black Caviar, Avocado and Vegetarian Beancurd Skin served with Homemade Chinese Pancakes.
The avocado provides a layer of creaminess while the beancurd skin a crisp crunch.
The duck is presented at your table, then carved table-side. The chef would deftly cuts the meat into thin slices, and elegantly layers them on a plate with the skin.
Experience the crispy yet light met, which melts in your mouth with a thin layer of juicy fat.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Ground Floor, 1 Fullerton Square Singapore 049178
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Jade Restaurant’s Master Chef Leong Chee Yeng and team prepares the Roasted Peking Duck with Orange Peel ($88 for half, $128 for whole) meticulously, by first bathing the poultry in a medley of spices.
The Roasted Peking Duck – all thin and crispy with slim layer of fats, wrapped in pancake with marinated orange peel, yellow bean sauce and cucumber was sweetly delicious and light.
There is a beautiful sweet crisp, because the skin is coating with maltose syrup which gives it more caramelisation as well.
For the second course, you get a Sautéed Minced Duck Meat, Hong Kong Duck Liver Sausage, with Golden Crispy Cup.
6 Raffles Boulevard Level 5, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Singapore 039594
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 11pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 3pm, 6:30pm – 11pm (Sat – Sun)
If you have not been to Peach Blossoms in a while, the Chinese restaurant at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay has been transformed with a classy, contemporary decor with aesthetically pleasing Chinese dishes – many items like works of art.
Many of the dishes are cooked with high-quality seasonal produce, curated by their award-winning Executive Chinese Chef Edward Chong, from Applewood Smooked Jamon Iberico Pork Char Siew, Deep-fried Cigar Rolls filled with Black Truffle, Foie Gras and Prawn, to Sugarcane Smoked Kurobuta Rib.
Customers can experience a small part of the Peking Duck which is available with foie gras served in a golden cup in their Four Combination Platter ($38).
If not, go for the full experience with the Barbecued Peking Duck ($48 for half, $88 for whole) complete with golden-crisp duck and succulent duck with slight smokiness.
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