Ken and I were recently lucky enough to welcome both sets of parents to New York! It was a busy weekend but we had so much fun exploring Manhattan, eating at a lot of wonderful restaurants and introducing our parents to each other and David and Laura. On the second day of their visit, we arranged for a large meal at the Peking Duck House in Chinatown so Ken’s parents could meet David and Laura. My mom called in before hand so we could figure out what to order for dinner and she ordered the peking duck three ways. When we arrived, they started bringing out the feast. We started with the first preparation of the peking duck – the skin and the meat:
This is the most traditional way to prepare the duck – we wrapped them in a thin flour wrap that was filled with sliced cucumbers, green onions and hoisin sauce. The preparation was enough for one wrapper a person but other tables that didn’t have as many people received the same amount of meat. I think you can only order one duck per table (but I’m not positive). The second preparation: duck stir fry:
The stir fry was my favorite preparation of the duck; they take the meat close to the bone and stir fry it with bean sprouts and more green onions. It was a simple but very hearty dish and there was surprisingly a lot of duck meat in the stir fry. After the two preparations came, the other dishes started arriving at our table. My mom did all of the ordering (I never order at Chinese restaurants; it’s literally the only time I leave all of the ordering to someone else). We started with silk melon and tofu balls:
Dr. Chen enjoyed the silk melon (Mrs. Chen’s dad used to plant them in their garden in Illinois) and my mom liked the tofu a lot. The tofu was very tender and delicate and the dish overall was a little bland for my taste (although I liked the silk melon a lot).
The vegetables for the night: green beans with pork and Chinese spinach:
As a kid, my favorite dish at Chinese restaurants was definitely green beans (I could eat the entire order by myself!):
Another great dish of the evening was the sea cucumber with tofu:
It was Ken’s first time eating sea cucumber and he wasn’t a big fan (and ended up throwing it out!) but I love sea cucumber and the gelatinous texture at Peking Duck House was very flavorful and yummy. My mom and David liked the dish a lot (we are all huge fans of sea cucumber!)
We also had huge prawns with salt and pepper and the last preparation of the duck – duck bone soup with tofu, pickled vegetables and glass noodles:
There’s a duck restaurant in Taiwan that does a similar preparation of the duck soup but I think they cook the soup longer because it’s much fuller bodied than the soup we had at the Peking Duck House in Chinatown.
Me and Ken at dinner:
We were presently surprised with how delicious everything was; some restaurants in Chinatown are definitely hit or miss (especially nicer ones!) but we really loved every single dish my mom ordered at dinner. Next time, she’s going to order the pork belly because we found out Dr. Chen likes that dish! Our parents got along splendidly and we all had a really good time at dinner.