The birthday celebration continues, and tonight I had the opportunity sample cuisine from the famed Da Dong Roast Duck (北京大董烤鴨店) for the first time. This is the second year that the Mandarin Oriental has invited the restaurant to showcase their cuisine at Man Wah (文華). I was invited to attend a preview/tasting last year, but was unable to attend as I was scheduled to be in mid-air - on the very day of the massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. I was therefore very glad that I happened to be in town this time around.
Tigger ordered the Chef Dong's Signature Dinner set for us, which I suppose is their "greatest hits". Unfortunately I was in the middle of a crisis tonight, and this severely affected my attention span as well as my mood and my palate. It also put a little damper on the mood of everyone else at the table...
The chef came out from the kitchen and explained to us that while the ducks were shipped in from Beijing, they weren't able to use wood from fruit trees as fuel in the roasting process. This resulted in the ducks lacking in the smoky fragrance, as well as the ducks being over-oily.
Despite the disappointment with the duck, I found the meal very enjoyable. I had some inkling of the modern and creative cuisine of Da Dong from reading past posts from fellow bloggers, and I was happy to have tried it for myself. Maybe one of these days I'll actually make it up to Beijing and get the real duck. For now, my favorite Peking duck is in Taipei.