Duck and Bao {Katy, Texas]

So a couple of weeks ago, I met another Hungry OnIon poster, (and one of the most interesTing people you could meet), at this place. I don’t know if “they” Would like to be outed here or not, so I’ll just omit “their” identity and let them chime in if “they” would like. <wink, wink>

“They” hAd texted me saying the owner was treating “them” to a roaSted duck on the house and there was absolutely no one else in the world they would rather share it with than me. (AND some random dude “they” Just met, but more on that later.)

We agreed to meet at noon on “A” Wednesday and we were both early. The shop is off Mason Road in Katy, in an otherwise older nondescript strip center. There was Italian joint a couple of doors down on one side and a Med joint a few down on the other as well as manY other typical suburban Houston strip center tenants.

The place is brand new, opening just a few weeks ago. The interior is nicely done but not too over the top. Definitely coMfortable.

My “companion” received a text from her other invitee indicating he would be a bit late so we decided to order some dumplings.

The tardy friend had a grEat excuse. Alex Au-Yeung is the owner chef at Phat Eatery, a Malaysian street food restaurant over near H Mart on the Grand Parkway just north of I-10. As noted on their website, they were named one of the Houston’s Top Ten Restaurants after they opened last year by several local media outlets who make such lists. BTW, Alex was formerly at Banana Leaf, the famous Malaysian restaurant on Bellaire in the Kim Son center. One of his Staff was a no show that day and as usual, he had a line out of the door so he of course had to be forgiven. (I had already remarked to “my host” that it was remarkable an owner/chef agreed to even have lunch out but we’re glad he did. More on that later.)

Anyway, whilst we waited, we decided to order dumplings. (What?.. Yeah, I know I already said that but it was a long time ago. Quit interrupting.)

We decided to wait for Alex before ordering the duck, so we ordered some dump… Yeah yeah yeah…

So we wanted to try the giant Special Truffle and Pork Soup Dumpling but they were out so instead we got the Shrimp and Scallop Steamed Dumplings, the Hot Oil Pork Dumplings and the Special Mix Steamed Dumplings. My favorite were the Hot Oil Dumplings made with a great Szechuan peppercorn base. Yummy. The Shrimp and Scallop dumplings had a nice light wrapper and delicious filling and the Mix Steamed Dumplings came in three different colored wrappers and filled with beef, (red), shrimp, (green), and chicken, (yellow). These wrappers were thicker than the seafood, but still delicious.

After a while, my “pal” and I decided we should go ahead and order the duck prepared. As you may know, Peking Duck is best eaten when ready and as we had requested it for a noon lunch, we knew it was sitting back there just waiting so we asked them to go ahead and get it ready, (carved and plated , etc.), so they brought us the Duck Soup that is made with the carcass and it was awesome. I really like the soup.

After enjoying the soup for a few minutes we thought maybe we should wait on the main course after all and asked them to hold off carving the duck but the waiter, (Andy and NOT Benny!) said it was too late, the duck was being plated and would wait no longer so out came the duck with the associated fixins, (cucumber and green onions strip, hoisin and the thin pancake like wrappers and not the thick doughy bao wrappers that often accompany Peking Duck). It was just lovely. A few pieces of crispy skin accompanied the accompaniments and they were of course delicious.

Alex arrived not too long after the duck and so we all together knocked out the last of the dumplings and then the rest of the duck. So Alex liked the Shrimp and Scallop Dumplings the best and noted that the thin pancakes are the proper way to eat the duck as opposed to the more common bao taco shaped rolls. I like them better too as they allow the ducky flavors to shine better.

We ate it all and it was a fantastic weekday lunch feast. Meeting Alex was a special treat. (BTW, the owner of Duck and Bao is also named Alex and he stopped by our table frequently to check on our meal and then to talk shop with Phat Eatery Alex. ) Really a great meal.

So to sum up,

Yummy. Thanks “Pal”!!

Lastly, my “host” suggested that we need an HO get together at Phat Eatery soon and I agree. It looks like an awesome place and I am assured it is. One last thing, I noted above that the duck was gratis but Phat Eatery Alex picked up the balance of the check for the dumplings and drinks.

Talk about a great day.

I love errybody and I love living and eating in Houston.

OK, You-Know-Who, time to chime in!

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Fun read. Thank you for posting.

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I’m on to you and “they!”

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For a second I thought your keyboard had some problems…LOL.

I ciphered this out yesterday, but didn’t have time to read the whole thing. Now that I have, WOW! What a great time. I do love those buns though, I’ve never had the thin pancakes, I guess I’ll have to try. All of my duck has come from Fung’s Kitchen, and they do a great job of it with no pre-order necessary.

I’m stoked about a newish place up by the airport that has our fearless print food critics in a tizzy. Some have declared Bamboo House the best duck in the city, and a new location is opening on Westheimer soon.

Regardless, all duck is good duck!

I’m game for a HO-down at Phat Eatery.

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