I had a dinner in a large group here recently. We were just under 8 people so didn’t have a chance to get the Beijing banquet menu and just ordered off the regular menu. We also reserved a Peking duck in advance, which they recommend to do. It was ready to go and served right after the time for our reservation.
The Peking duck was served with pancakes, scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce. I thought it was ok. The skin could have been a little more crispy. They left a lot of the meat on the skin when carving. The last Peking duck I’ve had recently was at Great China in Berkeley, and that had a crispier skin. The pancakes were fine but a little on the gummy side. After the duck is carved they offer you the choice of frying the remainder of the carcass salt and pepper style or making it into a soup. We chose the soup, which was a little bland tasting to me. I think we should have went for the salt and pepper prep. I don’t remember ever getting a good duck soup from Peking duck bones.
In addition we had:
Tan Tan Noodle
Very good, bit of numbing and chili heat. The medium thickness noodles could have maybe been a little firmer.
Chicken with Explosive Chili Pepper
Great, like the version from Z&Y, crispy exterior, spicy chicken with a bit of numbing mala. Covered with a lot of dried chilis.
House Special Fish Fillet Boiled in House Spicy Sauce
They said this was made with catfish. Very good, numbing and spicy.
Pan Fried Pork Buns (not the actual name, I forgot what it was called on the menu)
Pot stickers were good but the buns were great. The bun had a meaty filling with a lot of juice, which kind of exploded when I bit into it. Kind of like a shengjian bao but with a thicker, more breadlike exterior.
Mapo Tofu (vegetarian)
Sprinkled with Sichuan pepper. Ok but probably wouldn’t order again, lacking in doubanjiang flavor.
Dry Sauteed String Beans
A good version.
Goubuli / Ignored by the Dog Buns
Ok, but filling could have been juicier and bigger.
Braised Pork Leg (?)
Don’t remember what this was on the menu. I think it was a pork leg. Impressive looking, carved tableside. Served with the steamed buns you sometimes get with Peking duck. Very good, fatty rich and gelatinous with the skin still on.
Highlights for me were the Pan Fried Pork Buns, Chicken with Explosive Chili Pepper, House Special Fish Fillet Boiled in House Spicy Sauce, and the Braised Pork Leg. Price was around $240 including tax but before tip, for 7 with a good amount of leftovers.