Peking duck has been a staple and opulent dish for the Chinese for more than 700 years. Traditionally, it was considered an imperial dish only served to royalty and their honored guests.
What's great about Marco Polo Plaza Hotel in Cebu City is that they always serve Peking duck during their dinner buffet. They have a roasting station that features this water fowl.
I was staring at the roasted ducks behind the display case and was deciding if I should ask the chef to carve some for me. Since it's Chinese New Year, a little indulgence of fatty meat and crispy skin wouldn't hurt. Unfortunately, they don't have those little pancakes (that looks like lumpia wrapper) available.
The ducks are roasted while hanging on hooks inside an open-oven. This method lets the stem out and doesn't leave a smoky-flavor on the meat.
Some folks don't like duck because of its gamey taste. We consider the duck eggs as a delicacy and goes well with cold beer. But Filipinos still consider chicken as our main go-to protein.
The proper way of eating Peking duck is by wrapping it in paper-thin pancakes. But, before you do so, you can add some cucumber slices and top it off with some sweet bean or hoisin sauce to enhance the flavor of the roasted duck. Food experts even suggest to taste the white meat by dipping it in sugar first.
Hopefully, Marco Polo will have these ingredients in the future to add to their diners' Peking duck experience. It's a luxurious treat that you can't duplicate at home.
It was during our trip to Hong Kong where we learned how to correctly eat a Peking Duck. We were in Spring Deer restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is known for this specialty. It was my Dad who taught us how to prepare the duck wrap properly.
The master carver would go around the restaurant with a trolley and would carve or slice the roasted duck right in front of you. They would serve the duck slices on a plate and then you have the little plates of cucumber, sweet bean sauce, and pancakes placed on the table.
I just remembered this memory while waiting for my turn to have some of that tasty duck. It's really a special and delicious treat.
Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Here's a short video of our Hong Kong Peking Duck: