Peking Duck is a traditional Chinese dish from Beijing, duh! It involves roasting an entire duck by hanging it onto metal hooks, the entire process is quite complicated, I think you have to fill the duck with water for a long time to ensure that the skin is expanded, and that’s the secret to crispy skin apparently?
Simon’s Peking Duck is said to serve some of the best Peking Duck in Melbourne, and we finally paid it a visit earlier this year with the whole family.
The man himself, throwing pancakes like it’s no big deal.
It seems silly to order anything other than Peking Duck, given that there was nine of us, we opted for three whole ducks, one duck is usually enough to share between two or three. Each duck comes with the duck itself, duck meat stir fried with your choice of noodles or with bean shoot, and duck bone soup with beancurd, which I didn’t manage to get a photo of. The noodles set is $64.80 per duck, while the bean shoot version will set you back $54.80 per duck, which is very reasonably priced imo.
For those of you who have not had Peking Duck before, it does take a bit of DIY. Simon will show you how it’s done at the beginning, so make sure you watch what he does closely! But basically, place one piece of cucumber, one piece of spring onion, and one (or two, if you’re feeling like double meat) piece of duck onto the pancake, and spoon some of the Peking sauce on top. And then just wrap it like how you would a burrito!
When you’ve got the little wrap happening, it’s time to shove it all in your mouth! The crispiness of the duck, with the oil oozing out of every bite, complemented by the crunchy cucumber and spring onion, and sweetened by the Peking sauce, it’s seriously a flavour explosion in your mouth. You’ll finish this in less than a minute and making your second one right away, trust me. Each set comes with 15 pancakes, which means that there’s plenty for everyone!
The noodles were a bit overcooked, and they’re a lot less rustic than I expected. The flavour was still good though, and the shitake mushroom added some earthiness to the dish.
The hor fun actually tasted better than the handmade noodles, which I did not expect tbh haha. I think it’s because it wasn’t as saucey, which meant the hor fun still had a bit of bite to it.
The bean shoot version of the stir fry was certainly a lot lighter, and the crunch of the bean shoot created some interest to the dish.
The atmosphere at Simon’s Peking Duck is definitely on the loud end, approaching obnoxious even. Service wise, besides Simon himself, I actually found the staff quite rude, we had a few questions about the types of noodles to use in the stir fry, and the maître d (I’m assuming) answered us very impatiently and almost forced us to order something, there’s a difference between a suggestion and pushing a choice onto the diners, and he definitely took the latter approach. This unfortunately tainted our dining experience.
If you are to visit Simon’s Peking Duck however, make sure you make a booking beforehand and tell them how many ducks you wish to order, as they often do run out on a busy night!
How to get there:
Catch the bus #733 and get off at Aldinga St/Middleborough Rd, and the restaurant is two minutes walk away.