Although it's stated on the menu that there's a waiting time of 1 hour, the Beijing Roasted Duck ($68) was the first dish to arrive, barely 15 minutes after our orders were taken. I thought it was a little unusual to have the meat served with the duck skin, as most restaurants serve the skin on its own. Further, maybe it's a case of the dish being overhyped, but I felt that the duck meat itself wasn't all that great. It wasn't as moist as i'd like, and a little too tasteless and one-dimensional. Oversea Restaurant's version was tonnes better.
That said, the crackling crisp piece of duck skin was divine, there was not a sliver of fat attached to it at all, the hallmark of good Peking duck is the separation of the skin from the meat.
Flour wrappers are used to wrap up the duck meat, together with refreshingly crunchy cucumbers.
And chives to accompany the meat.
We opted to have the remainder of the duck cut up and eaten on its own, and the liberal drenching of the soy and oil marinade made the duck a lot more flavoursome and palatable.
Despite the generousity of the ingredients in the Beancurd Thick Soup with Diced Seafood ($8), Chinese ham, mushrooms, scallops, prawns, fish, and beancurd of course, this was a little plain. A pinch of salt would have done wonders.
Ditto for the Bamboo Pith Soup with Diced Winter Melon ($8). It was somehow lacking in depth and taste. Their crabmeat with conpoy and melon soup at their Nan Bei Restaurant at Takashimaya version is way better.
I wanted to try the scallops sauteed with egg white and conpoy, but they'd run out of frozen scallops, and were charging 12 buckaroos for each freshly shucked scallop. So we chose the fish version of Sauteed Egg White with Fish Meat and Conpoy ($16) instead. Oh this was great. I love the plainess and simplicity of this dish. Egg whites were fluffy, not rubbery. Fish was fresh and firm. Conpoy lent just enough flavour without overwhelming the naturally clear taste of egg whites and fish.
We also liked the Braised Spinach Beancurd with Mushroom ($16). Soft smooth beancurd with a nicely browned outer layer and mashed spinach base, plentiful moreish shimeiji, shitake and white button mushrooms and lightly poached spinach, and a generous slathering of gooey luscious oyster sauce gravy.
The starter of Roasted Sesame Cashews ($3), smoky crunchy and mildly sweet, a nice balance of savoury and sweet elements.
290 Orchard Road
Tel: 6732 7838
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11.30am to 2.45pm for lunch;
Saturdays from 11am to 3pm for lunch;
Sundays from 10.30am to 3pm for lunch;
Daily from 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner