Posts Tagged ‘Peking Duck’

King 5 Noodle House

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 by virginia

Ever since our fun Flushing food run, way back in July, I’ve been itching to make a return trip. But the fact of the matter is, Josh and I are lazy. It’s one thing to walk 15-20 blocks for a meal, it’s another thing to take a subway ride for almost and hour and have to switch trains along the way as well. But to be honest, the trip really isn’t that bad, and we really should try to do it more often. The best part about Flushing, for me at least, is the access to some of my favorite Taiwanese treats. I was craving Taiwanese breakfast foods and read on a few different blogs that the place to go was King 5 Noodle House in Flushing. So one nice Saturday afternoon, after Josh and I went to the gym, we hopped on the train and made the journey out.

Our first stop in Flushing, before King 5 Noodle House, was the peking duck window at Corner 28 where they sell peking duck buns for $1. We showed a bit of restraint and ordered just one bun each. The meat was a bit chewy and the skin wasn’t so crispy, but there were lots of scallions in the bun and plenty of hoisin sauce. It’s not the best peking duck, but for $1, it’s not bad. I enjoyed eating it while we walked over to the restaurant, and it definitely whet my appetite.

$1 peking duck buns

When we got to the restaurant, we only had to wait a few minutes for a table to open up. It was early afternoon though, and I was worried they had run out of soy milk by then, but we were in luck and everything was still available. We kind of went a bit crazy with our ordering. There were just so many things I wanted to eat, and I knew we wouldn’t be able to finish it all, but I also knew that it will probably be months again before we come back, so I indulged all of my cravings.

We started off with a big bowl of soy milk and an order of fried cruller (yeoh tiao, or “oil stick”) with a Taiwanese sesame pancake. Basically what you do is split open the sesame pancake lengthwise and stuff the cruller inside. Yes, you’re basically stuffing a carb inside of a carb. Then you dip the “sandwich” into soy milk (I prefer sweet soy milk, rather than salty), and eat. The cruller at King 5 Noodle House was light and crispy, and despite its name, it wasn’t the least bit greasy. The sesame pancake was flaky, and I like the combination of the savory carbs with the sweet milk.

Sesame pancake and fried cruller

To be honest, I don’t love drinking soy milk. I really only order it so that I can dip the cruller into it. The milk is served warm, and just so that you’re warned, in case you’ve never had homemade soy milk before, you have to drink it fast, otherwise it develops a weird skin that I find pretty unpleasant. It’s sort of like drinking milk that’s curdled, and has little bits in it. I mean, the skin really is perfectly safe, but that’s the impression I get, and just the thought kind of grosses me out. So drink up quickly! Or just do what I do, just use the soy milk as a dip.

Dipping the sesame pancake and cruller sandwich into sweet soy milk

Another one of my favorite Taiwanese breakfast food is a dan bing, or an egg pancake. Basically it’s a scallion pancake rolled around a layer of scrambled egg. In Taiwan, the pancake is usually pretty thin, almost like a crepe. Here it was thicker, like the scallion pancake you usually get as an appetizer. I wish the pancake was flakier, but I guess the heat and moisture from the eggs made it a bit soggy and chewy. Still, I like to dip slices of dan bing in some soy sauce and the combination of the sweet egg, savory pancake, and salty soy sauce is just heavenly. If you’ve never tried eating your eggs with a bit of soy sauce doused over the top, you’re missing out!

Egg pancake (dan bing)

Autopsy shot

The next item is sort of debatable as to whether or not it’s a breakfast food. But in Taiwan, we eat soup dumplings for breakfast. Yes, that’s right. Soup dumplings for breakfast! How awesome is that? The version we got at King 5 Noodle House was just ok; the ones we get in Taiwan are much better. I think they had been steamed earlier and reheated, so the skins were slightly tough and chewy. There just wasn’t enough soup, and they seemed slightly dried out in general. Too bad, because I liked the thinness of the skins, and the pork filling was tasty. We just doused them with a lot of black vinegar sauce.

Steamed soup dumplings

Moving on to lunch items, I realized that Josh had never eaten beef noodle soup (niu ro miem) during any of the trips we took to Taiwan. Beef noodle soup is almost like the Taiwanese national dish. There are so many hole in the wall places and food stalls in Taiwan that serve amazing beef noodle soup for incredibly cheap prices. Josh is a big fan of the beef brisket noodle soup that we get at Lan Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles, and I told him that while the noodles might not be as good, the Taiwanese version of beef broth would knock his socks off. King 5 Noodle House’s beef broth did not disappoint. It was rich and savory with a great aroma and lots of different spices that give it such depth of flavor.

Beef noodle soup

The noodles in the soup were pretty good as well, thick and chewy, though not as springy as hand pulled noodles. The bowl we got was such a huge serving that we ended up taking most of it home.

Thick and chewy noodles

On every table, there are containers of pickled greens. Put a spoonful into the soup, and the crunchy, slightly sour vegetables add even more flavor to the soup.

Chopped pickled greens

Lastly, we got an order of deep fried bean curd. I originally wanted to order deep fried smelly bean curd (stinky tofu) but Josh saw this on the menu and thought it would be the same style of deep fried tofu, just not the stinky version. We had amazing fried soft tofu in Taiwan that he absolutely fell in love with, so we were hoping this would be similar. Unfortunately, what they brought us was yeoh tofu, or “oil tofu”. Unlike the cruller, this was actually really very oily. It was fried tofu that was soaked in an oily mixture that had mushrooms in it. While flavorful, it wasn’t what we were craving. I regretted not getting the fried stinky tofu because when we saw an order go by, it was the crispy cubes that we had been looking for. It didn’t smell very stinky though, but I guess it’s hard to get truly stinky tofu around here. Nevertheless, we probably wouldn’t order this dish again.

Fried bean curd

We were really full by the end of our meal and probably didn’t need to order the noodle soup or the tofu, but like I said, I wanted to indulge all of my cravings. The Taiwanese breakfast foods at King 5 Noodle House didn’t disappoint. I’m not much of a breakfast person in general, preferring to order lunch foods whenever we go out for brunch, but Taiwanese breakfast is different. Most of the foods are savory, not sweet, and it’s very carb heavy, which always makes me a happy girl. Eating all these things again really brought back fond memories for me of being in Taiwan. It’s been a few years since we were last there, and we don’t know the next time we can make a trip back. So even though we find the subway ride to Flushing to be a bit long, it’s still shorter than a 17 hour plane ride to Taiwan. The next time I have a craving for Taiwanese food, I’ll happily hop on the train and return to King 5 Noodle House.

King 5 Noodle House
3907 Prince St.
Flushing, NY

Flushing Food Run

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 by virginia

This actually took place a few months ago, but Josh and I finally made our way to Flushing for a little food tour. As I’ve admitted many times, we’re pretty lazy, and we always say that we “don’t do boroughs.” However, after reading several posts on other blogs about some of the great snacks available in Flushing, I couldn’t take it any more and had to go try it for myself. I was especially excited to be able to eat some Taiwanese foods, as there really aren’t many Taiwanese options in Manhattan.

My family is from Taiwan and whenever we go there to visit, we eat nonstop. The food there is just incredible, with so much variety and lots of unique options. Josh has been to Taiwan with me three times and has fallen in love with the food just as much as I have. He’s proven himself to my relatives as being an adventurous eater, as demonstrated by our quest to find and eat a rooster’s crown at the Shilin Night Market, a mission we accomplished. We weren’t seeking to eat quite so adventurously in Flushing, but we did have a list of several places that we wanted to hit up.

On one sunny Sunday afternoon, Josh and I hopped on the train and made our way all the way out to Flushing. The 7 train wasn’t running from Manhattan, which only made the trip even longer. About 45 minutes later, we finally arrived. Our first stop was right outside the subway, a little takeout window outside the Corner 28 restaurant. There we purchased two peking duck buns for just $1 each.

The peking duck bun takeout window at Corner 28 restaurant

The buns were the soft, fluffy mantou variety, and the duck itself was perfectly roasted, with crispy skin and nice, juicy meat. The buns were stuffed to the brim with duck meat, cucumber shreds, and scallions. The whole thing was topped off with a healthy squirt of hoisin sauce. These peking duck buns were made fresh right before our eyes, and we quickly stepped off to the side and devoured them. They were delicious, and a total bargain at $1 each. We were tempted to go back and get a second, but we knew we had a full day of eating ahead of us, so we showed some rare restraint and continued on our way.

Freshly made peking duck buns

Our second stop was a tiny hole in the wall restaurant called White Bear. The menu there features several kinds of dumplings and noodles, but we were there only for one dish – the wontons in hot oil.

These gorgeous little meat-filled packets were doused in a chili oil mixture that was flavorful but surprisingly not spicy. The wontons were plump and meaty with nicely thin skins, and were tasty on their own but were even better dipped in the chili oil sauce.

Wontons in hot oil

The sauce tasted a little peppery, and there was also some minced pickled vegetable sprinkled over the top that added a slight sourness that complemented the savoriness of the dish. These wontons were probably my favorites of the day, and at $4.50 for a dozen, pretty reasonably priced as well.

Wonton innards

Next we visited the food stalls of the famous Golden Mall. This place has been featured in many different blogs, articles, and even on tv. On the surface it’s not much to look at but inside it’s a food lovers dream.

The entrance to the Golden Mall

I was surprised by how tiny the food stalls were, with small tables and stools crammed inside, but that really gave an authenticity to the place, as I was immediately reminded of some of my favorite food stalls in Taiwan. The stalls are located down a flight of stairs and as soon as we entered, we smelled the familiar stench of stinky tofu. We followed our noses and immediately found a stall that offered the smelly delicacies.

The Happy Family Restaurant food stall

We pulled up some stools and placed our order for stinky tofu, watching as they deep fried a batch and topped the pile with hot sauce, sweet soy sauce, pickled cabbage, and cilantro. The first bite was deeply satisfying, as I had been craving stinky tofu since the last time we were in Taiwan, in November 2008. Although the stinky tofu here is nowhere as stinky as in Taiwan, we could still taste the subtle funkiness in the background. The smell might turn people off but the flavor is really something deliciously unique. It’s a little bit sour but also a little bit sweet. The tofu should have a nice crispy skin and silky innards, and topped with the spicy chili sauce and salty fermented cabbage, it’s a great combination of flavors and textures.

Stinky tofu in all its glory

After finishing up the huge plate of stinky tofu (also a bargain at $4.50), we traveled down the hall to Xi’an Famous Foods, probably the most well known of all the food stalls at the Golden Mall. It was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and has been highly touted in numerous articles. They’ve since opened up a few branches in Manhattan, but I’m big on trying out the “original” restaurant, if it’s an option.

Xi’an Famous Foods stall

There are many things on the menu that I wanted to try, but I also wanted to save some stomach room for more stops on our food tour. We had intended on getting a lamb burger and a pork burger to go, but as we were waiting we started chatting with the guy at the register, who I think is the proprietor of the place (he’s the one in the pictures on the wall with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert), and he convinced us to get an order of liang pi cold skin noodles, one of their most popular dishes.

The liang pi cold skin noodles feature slippery and bouncy thick wheat noodles and cubes of gluten, that have a similar texture to bean curd. The noodles are doused in a spicy, slightly sour sauce that is heavily seasoned with cumin. If you had no idea where this dish came from, you would think it tasted middle eastern because of the spices. It’s a dish with complex flavors but was also really spicy, so much so that my eyes and nose both started running. Yet we couldn’t stop eating it. There were fresh bean sprouts on top that provided a bit of crunchy, cool relief, but that wasn’t enough.

Liang pi cold skin noodles

I needed something milky and cold to relieve the burning in my mouth, so I sent Josh off in search of bubble tea.

The stall with the bubble tea

He came back with cups of ice cold green tea milk tea for me and black tea milk tea for himself, both with thick tapioca pearls floating inside. The milk tea immediately soothed my taste buds, and we polished off the entire plate of liang pi noodles. We decided to save the lamb and pork burgers for later, as we had more eating to do.

Bubble milk tea to pair with the spicy liang pi cold skin noodles

We headed towards the Flushing Mall for some shaved mango ice but I got sidetracked along the way when we passed some takeout windows (AA Plaza) under the railroad overpass that boasted scallion pancakes for $1 and 4 steamed pork buns for $1.25. How could I resist?

AA Plaza takeout windows

We picked up one order of each and continued on our way. The food court of the Flushing Mall reminded me of the food courts in Singapore, with lots of different options and places that specialize in just a few dishes.

I wanted to try many things but we were pretty full at this point so we just went straight to the shaved ice stand and got an order of mango ice.

The assortment of shaved ice toppings

I first had mango ice in Taiwan, at a place called Monster Ice, and it was absolutely wonderful. It featured delicate shreds of shaved ice topped with ripe, juicy mango cubes, mango ice cream, and sweetened condensed milk drizzled all over. The version at the Flushing Mall looked somewhat similar, with mostly the same ingredients, but the differences were huge. The mango here was sour and unripe, and the ice was shaved way too thickly, so that it clumped together instead of melting like snow in our mouths. The mango ice cream on top was tasty, but I was pretty disappointed with the dessert overall. It looked good, but taste and texture-wise, it fell far short.

Mango ice

We ended up eating the lamb and pork burgers for dinner the next day, as well as the scallion pancake and pork buns. I ended up reheating them in a skillet so the textures might have been off, but they were still mighty tasty. The lamb burger was served on a griddled bun and the meat was heavily seasoned with cumin. Again, it tasted more middle eastern than Chinese, but it was wonderfully exotic.

Cumin lamb burger

The pork burger was served on the same bun, and the pork itself was stewed so that it was tender and falling apart. It definitely tasted more Chinese, but the spicing was more subtle compared to the lamb burger.

Stewed pork burger

The scallion pancake wasn’t as fluffy and flaky as I would have liked, but I’m sure it was due to the reheating. When we first bought it I could see that it was hot and crisp on the outside, so I know it must have suffered after spending the night in the fridge.

Scallion pancake

The pork buns were still really good, even after being microwaved. They were juicy and meaty on the inside, and the bun itself was still soft and fluffy. I would definitely get these again, and more than just four.

Steamed pork buns

Overall we had a really great time walking around Flushing and trying food from numerous places. The Golden Mall didn’t disappoint, and I wish we had more stomach space to explore the food court at the Flushing Mall. I smelled stinky tofu in there, plus I saw people with bowls of soy milk with fried cruellers, one of my favorite Taiwanese breakfasts. I loved the wontons at White Bear, and there are countless other restaurants in Flushing that we didn’t get a chance to try. I definitely want to go back, even if it means another 45 minute subway ride. The food really brings back great memories of my trips to Asia, and it’s definitely closer than taking a 14 hour plane ride.

Corner 28
40-28 Main Street
Flushing, NY

White Bear
135-02 Roosevelt Ave, #5
Flushing, NY

Golden Mall
41-28 Main St
Flushing, NY

AA Plaza
40-66 Main St
Flushing, NY

Flushing Mall
133-31 39th Ave
Flushing, NY

New Years Banquet at Zen Peninsula

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 by virginia

After we got back to the Bay Area, Claire and Sean dropped us off at my godparents house, which was about 20 minutes away from their apartment. I was thrilled to be able to meet up with my godparents for dinner before our flight from SF back to Newark. I hadn’t seen my godmother since our wedding in May 2008, and my godfather since the last time we were in California, in October 2005. They graciously arranged for us to have a New Years banquet dinner at a Chinese restaurant near their home called Zen Peninsula.

The restaurant was a pretty big and grand space, perfect for large banquets and wedding parties. It was decorated in similar style to restaurants in NYC Chinatown such as Jing Fong and the Golden Unicorn. There were 10 of us dining altogether so we had a big round table with a lazy susan in the middle. The meal started off in typical Chinese banquet fashion, with a platter of assorted meats sliced into small pieces. There was juicy bbq pork, slices of either pork or duck (Josh and I couldn’t agree on it but I still think it was pork) with super crispy skin on top, compacted tofu skin, and jellyfish.

A little taste of everything - jellyfish, compacted tofu skin, roast pork or duck with super crackly skin, and bbq pork

Funny story about jellyfish – if you’ve never tried it, it kind of looks like long, thick rice noodles, and has sort of a gelatinous, crunchy texture. For our wedding rehearsal dinner, we had a big banquet at Jing Fong where our meal started off with a similar platter of meats surrounding a huge pile of jellyfish. Most of Josh’s family and friends had never eaten or seen jellyfish before so they all thought it was noodles or some sort of vegetable, and gobbled up the entire serving. It was only later when they found out they had eaten jellyfish that they denied liking it, but the empty platter doesn’t lie!

Back to our dinner at Zen Peninsula, our next course was shark fin soup. It was served in a mild, clean-tasting, yet rich soup. The pieces of shark fin had a soft, loose texture, a bit similar to shreds of scallop or stingray.

Shark fin soup

Next was one of my favorites, peking duck. The pieces of duck were served with soft steam buns, scallions, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce.

Peking duck in a steamed bun

I was shocked when I saw the size of lobster in the following course. It was huge! It must have been at least five pounds, and was chopped up into large pieces that were battered with salt and pepper and deep fried. The meat was still moist and tender.

Giant lobster head

We also had a large dungeness crab that was battered and deep fried. I snagged one of the legs, which was sweet and flavorful.

Fried dungeness crab

A dish of vegetables followed, filled with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, tofu skin, and what I think were ginko seeds. They’re the yellow round things and had a soft texture and a mild nutty flavor.

Assorted vegetables

Then we had a big platter of poached chicken surrounded by a bitter green vegetable. It was a simple dish but the meat had a very concentrated and deep chicken flavor.

Poached chicken with a bitter green vegetable

Next we had even more lobster, this time in a ginger scallion sauce.

Lobster in ginger scallion sauce

Then fried rice with pork and shrimp.

Pork and shrimp fried rice

Our last savory course was something that I’ve never had before, a braised lamb dish in a hot pot with assorted vegetables. The lamb wasn’t very gamey but the whole dish and a really interesting and complex flavor that was kind of hard to describe. Our waiter would come by every so often to reheat the pot and add in a few more vegetables.

Braised lamb in a hot pot

For dessert, we had mango pudding, which was the best mango pudding that I’ve ever tasted. It was like a thick and rich jello consistency, and the mango flavor was really intense. It actually did taste like mangoes, which surprised me since most other mango puddings have an artificial taste to them.

Delicious mango pudding

Then we had some Chinese petit fours, which were a small roasted bun with a sweet paste filling, a square of mochi covered in coconut, and a small, dense almond cookie.

Roasted bun with sweet paste, mochi covered in coconut, almond cookie

Last but not least, we had a traditional New Year dessert, nian gao, which is like a sticky crepe made with rice flour and was filled with crushed peanuts. It was sweet and salty with lots of interesting texture to it.

Sticky dessert crepe with crushed peanuts

After the feast, I went to look at the fish tanks in the front that held some of the fresh seafood we had eaten during our meal. There was a tank full of ginormous lobsters.

Ginormous lobster in a tank full of ginormous lobsters

And one with huge dungeness crabs.

Dungeness crabs

King crabs with super long legs.

Live king crabs

Some freaky and scary looking eels.

Scary looking eel

And some giant prawns that were bigger than my hand.

Giant prawns

Overall I really enjoyed the banquet meal that we had at Zen Peninsula. The food was delivered at an even pace, and all of the dishes were hot and freshly prepared. Seafood is obviously one of their specialties, based on the dishes we had and the large tanks they had out front. My favorite courses of the evening were the two lobster courses (who doesn’t love good lobster?) and the peking duck. The best part of the meal, however, was being able to catch up with my godparents. I get to see them so rarely and each time is a wonderful treat. I feel so honored and thankful that they held off on their New Years banquet for a few days because they knew that Josh and I would be in town that weekend. It was a great end to a really great trip.

Zen Peninsula
1180 El Camino Real
Millbrae, CA

Lucky Sunday

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 by virginia

After our last peking duck debacle, Josh was still craving the crispy/fatty goodness of properly prepared peking duck so we went through the pile of menus that have been slipped underneath our door and found the one for Lucky Sunday. We placed our standard Chinese food order over the phone and our food arrived a short while later.

The peking duck visibly just looked better than the one from Empire Szechuan Kyoto. It didn’t look like it had been deep fried, and the skin was crispy and glistening. The pancakes they brought us were still warm and pliable, and they also provided a big pile of scallions and cucumbers to wrap with the duck. The duck itself was moist and fatty in a good way. The only thing I didn’t really like was the hoisin sauce, which tasted more bbq-y than what I’m used to.

Peking duck and accessories

Peking duck and accessories

We also got two egg rolls that were still warm and crispy, though the filling was kind of bland. I had to use a lot of duck sauce to get any kind of flavor, which was pretty disappointing. I probably wouldn’t order egg rolls from there again.

Bland egg rolls

Bland egg rolls

The cold sesame noodles were also lacking in flavor and seasoning. They didn’t put enough sesame sauce on it so the whole thing was really dry and bland. There was also a weird hint of coffee taste to the sauce, which I found kind of unpleasant. I was not a fan of this dish.

Bland sesame noodles

Bland sesame noodles

On the positive side, the sesame chicken was much more enjoyable. The chicken was a bit fattier than normal but that helped keep the pieces more moist and tender. Usually sesame chicken is made with all white meat chicken and it tends to get too dry. The breading ended up being a bit soggy but the sauce was sticky and gooey without being overly sweet, and was perfect for spooning over rice. They also included pieces of broccoli with the chicken, which were a nice crunchy addition.

Sesame chicken with broccoli

Sesame chicken with broccoli

Overall the food from Lucky Sunday was kind of a mixed bag but they fared better in the items that mattered more to us – the peking duck and the sesame chicken. While they weren’t the best versions that we’ve ever had, they were pretty good, especially since these dishes don’t usually hold up well when factoring in delivery time. I would probably order in from here again, though next time I would stay away from the appetizers.

Lucky Sunday
858 8th Ave. between 51st and 52nd St.
New York, NY

Empire Szechuan Kyoto

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 by virginia

Josh had a hankering for peking duck and we hadn’t ordered in any Chinese food yet from our new place, so I did a find-a-food search on menupages. There weren’t very many options that came up in the search, which I was kind of surprised about. Not knowing too much about each of the restaurants, we ended up picking the place with the best overall rating that was reasonably priced.

The delivery came pretty quickly the hot food was still warm in their containers, so bonus points for that. When I popped open the lid on the container that held our half order of peking duck, however, my face fell immediately. The duck was deep fried, not roasted. And deep fried to a dry, chewy texture. There was no seasoning or flavoring on the skin, meaning it wasn’t basted in whatever sauce that normally shellacs the skin of a peking duck. The skin was also totally tough and fried to a point that it was not crispy and was actually soggy with oil. This poor over-fried dried out bird bore absolutely no resemblance to peking duck.

Deep fried and dried out peking duck

Deep fried and dried out peking duck

I had placed the delivery on seamlessweb and asked in the special instructions section for them to bring six pancakes for the peking duck, since the normal order contains five pancakes. I guess they didn’t take note of my special request, because only five pancakes arrived. At least they didn’t charge me extra for the missing pancake. They did bring a ton of shredded scallions and julienned cucumbers for the duck though, which was nice. After smearing a pancake with a ton of hoisin sauce and adding a large handful of scallions/cucumbers, I could almost pretend that the duck was moist and had some flavor.

The extra scallions and cucumbers also came in handy for our order of cold noodles with sesame sauce. The sesame sauce was really thick, much thicker than I’m used to, but the noodles were also a thicker variety so they pared well. Adding the fresh vegetables provided a crispy textural contrast to an otherwise soft dish. I enjoyed the noodles, but they weren’t spectacular. It’s hard to mess up this dish.

Cold sesame noodles

Cold sesame noodles

We also ordered two egg rolls, but they called us and told us they only had one left. Umm, ok? I guess they pre-make these and only have a certain number on hand. On the bill they brought with the delivery order, they only charged one egg roll, but since we paid through seamlessweb, and that order had two egg rolls, I don’t know if it was fixed before it was charged to our credit card. I’ll have to check our statement later and see. The egg roll itself was pretty good, as it had chunks of pork and shrimp in it, and it was still hot and crispy. I was disappointed they didn’t have two because I didn’t want to share with Josh!

Pretty decent egg roll

Pretty decent egg roll

We also got an order of sesame chicken, which was a bit dry. The chicken pieces seemed really bready and not very meaty. The sauce was pretty standard, more sweet than tangy, but they did sprinkle a lot of sesame seeds on top, which I liked. They also brought fried rice noodles on the side to put on top, and while in theory that was smart, so it wouldn’t get soggy if it were pre-mixed with the chicken, but the steam in the container made them soggy anyway. It was kind of like putting pieces of chewy styrofoam on top. Not very appetizing.

Sesame chicken

Sesame chicken

We don’t crave Chinese food often (Josh does more than I do, since I grew up eating Chinese food basically every day) but it would be nice to have a standby place to order in from. I miss our place downtown, Empire Szechuan Village (it doesn’t seem to be related to Empire Szechuan Kyoto), as their peking duck was fabulous and cooked right, not deep fried. We’ll have to keep looking for a new place to try out, or else Josh will have to start making is own peking duck whenever he craves it. His version is pretty spectacular but it’s very time consuming.

Unfortunately, we don’t have too many Chinese food options in our delivery area, and even less that serve peking duck. The food we got from Empire Szechuan Kyoto was pretty disappointing though. The only thing I really enjoyed was the egg roll, but I can get egg rolls anywhere. Our main dishes, the peking duck and the sesame chicken, both failed on many levels. I don’t think we’ll be ordering in from here again.

Empire Szechuan Kyoto
193 Columbus Ave. between 68th and 69th St.
New York, NY