Bangkok's best Peking duck
Bangkok's best Peking duck -- Recommended: Siang Ping Loh
In Bangkok, most restaurants serve Peking duck with a Teochew twist, says Thai cuisine expert Chef McDang, referring to the region of China most Thai-Chinese emigrated from.
While diners in Hong Kong and mainland China are normally served only the skin, he says restaurants in Bangkok will cook the meat for you in whatever style you choose.
"The skin has to be crispy, no fat attached at all. And they carve it for you right there," he says.
The Grand China Princess Hotel's Siang Ping Loh Restaurant in Yaowarat has this trick mastered, and is happy to cook the remaining duck according to diners' wishes.
"At the Grand China, I ask them to take the bones and use them to make soup," says McDang. "As for the meat, they stir fry it very quickly in oil with a little bit of garlic and green onions. It's really delicate."
Grand China Princess Hotel, 215 Yaowarat Road, Tel: +66 (0)2 224 9977. Open daily for lunch from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and dinner from 6-10:30 p.m., www.grandchina.com/siang-ping-loh-chinese-restaurant
Bangkok's best Peking duck -- Recommended: Liu
A great plate of Peking duck has to have a perfectly balanced sauce to drizzle over the skins, which is usually a mixture of hoisin and other additions such as soy sauce.
The Conrad hotel's Liu restaurant has got the complete package right, from the sauce to the crisp veggies and wafer-thin panckaes.
Again, there's the matter of the leftover duck.
At Liu, they chop up the whole carcass with the meat and marinate it with garlic and soy, then deep fry it.
"I take home the leftovers in a doggy bag and eat it with rice soup," says Chef McDang.
Liu isn't the most well-known Chinese restaurant in Bangkok. But it should be.
In addition to a mean plate of duck, it also offers classic and new interpretations on Cantonese, Shanghainese and Sichuan dishes.
Also recommended are Liu's popular dim sum lunches.
Conrad Hotel, 87 Wireless Road, Phatumwan. Tel: +66 (0)2 690 9999. Open daily for lunch, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and dinner, 6-11 p.m., conradhotels1.hilton.com
Bangkok's best Peking duck -- Recommended: Scala Restaurant
Scala, a Shanghai-style Chinese restaurant, has been around for several decades -- its longevity is largely due to its famous Peking duck.
"In this defiantly retro haunt on the ground floor of the Scala cinema, yellow-jacketed waiters bring the duck you’ve always dreamed of, the amber skin crisp but not greasy, the flesh flavorful but not overpowering," says author and editor Tim Footman.
Those yellow-jacketed waiters carve it up right at your table, accompanied with perfect pancakes and sweet sauce.
Among the popular ways to serve the leftover duck are to deep-fry it in garlic and boil it in soup, but the chefs will accommodate any taste.
Ground floor, Scala Theatre Siam Square Soi 1. Tel: +66 (0)2 251 2863. Open daily 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.
Bangkok's best Peking duck -- Winner: Great Shanghai
"Great Shanghai has bland décor and dicey service, but the duck is pure bliss," says Bangkok 101 publisher Mason Florence. "Succulent meat and crispy skin."
The staff take great pains to make sure there isn't a spot of fat left on the skin when it hits your plate, expertly de-fatting it at your table.
Accompanying the duck slices are thin, non-sticky but soft and moist pancakes and what just might be Thailand's best Peking duck sauce -- homemade hoisin with the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.
The huge restaurant features authentic Cantonese cuisine, but the Peking duck is what everyone comes for.
648 Sukhumvit Road soi 24, BTS: Phrompong. Tel: +66 (0)2 258-7042. Open daily for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner 6-10 p.m.