We've just disovered that the local take-away roast chicken n chips shop, run by an Asian family, also sells Peking ducks. Fabulous! I love duck, and it's very rare that I get to have it at a restaurant, as it always requires 24 hours notice and I'm not usually that organised. Nor do I usually eat at Chinese restaurants, now that Thai and Vietnamese restaurants are so popular in Melbourne. Chinese food was big in the 70s, but has lost a bit of its excitement since the wave of immigrants from South-East Asia to Australia during the past few decades. The more subtle flavours and seemingly less healthy food of Cantonese cuisine (which makes up most Chinese restaurants here) just can't compete with the strong, fresh flavours and healthier cooking styles of the Vietnamese and Thais. But, you still can't beat classic Peking Duck - the glorious lacquered, crispy skin and the tender meat, served on thin pancakes and drizzled with sweeet & salty Hoisin sauce. Yummm. And even better that I can have it in the comfort of my own home.
This shop sold us not only a perfectly prepared duck, already cut into pancake-sized portions, a big pile of soft, thin Chinese pancakes, a container of spring onions, pickled ginger and vegetables & a tub of Hoisin sauce, but also handed over the bones and carcass to make stock! This cost about $28 and fed 3 of us for 2 nights.
We already had some Peking duck sauce at home, bought at an Asian grocery, which I preferred; the combination of salty and sweet just can't be beat (oooh poetry), so I slathered some over a pancake, added my duck and vegetables and closed my eyes in happiness. This was sooo good. I'm definitely making this a regular event when it's a non-cooking night. Certainly beats take-away pizza!