To be honest, I didn't even know that there was a Quan Jude in Melbourne. I had heard the rumours, but it wasn't until a friend went that I knew of it's existence. Last time I was in Beijing I hit up the Wangfujing Quan Jude a couple of times and I was very impressed with it; it was the first time that I had had Peking Duck, and I instantly fell in love, not dissimilar to a high school crush. Would it meet the quality that old kingdom has given us (minus the insane head chef)?
So it was on a freezing friday night that we found ourselves there. I had just returned from Malaysia, so I was certainly not prepared for the weather that Melbourne was enduring. We sat down, and ordered the duck, and braced ourselves for what we hoped was going to be an inspiration.
When our duck came, the chef cut it next to our table, his blade a blur as he cut off the prized skin from the stomach area and then presented it to us. It was glorious; with just a small dip into the plum sauce, the fatty, crispy skin came alive in our mouths.
Next up, the meat. Now, this is nothing like Old Kingdom. There, we are used to massive chunks of flesh, with fat and a little bit of skin. It's said that a good chef can cut up to 200 pieces of a duck. The skill is in making sure that there is enough fat, skin and meat in each piece. As you can see, the meat is very nice, tender and flavourful, the skin is amazing, but the fat, where is the fat? I remembered reading in the menu that the Quan Jude duck has only 7.5% fat. No fun :(
All in all, the duck was very nice, and the presentation amazing. The decor kinda reminds me of an 80's b grade chinatown movie. regardless, i will be going back, but this time getting more people to come, or ordering half a duck. it was just too much meat, without the glorious, glistening fat that i have come to know and love.