Old Kingdom (Collingwood)
Do you like devouring the succulent flesh of Peking Duck? How about crispy skin, roasted to deep orange perfection? Have you ever said to yourself, “You know what, Marjorie? I’m fuckin’ going to just eat, like, five ducks tonight and I don’t care who knows it.”
Read on, dear friend.
Old Kingdom has a mean reputation for doing great Peking Duck. At $55 per bird and with four hungry mouths to feed, it seemed like a pretty rad way to spend an evening.
Let me set the scene. A quiet, unassuming man strides over to you, hold a sizzling duck aloft as if he’s about to go all Lion King on us.
Setting it down on the table, his practiced hands go to work on the bird. Deft knifework ensues. Slivers of perfectly-roasted flesh form are laid out in concentric patters on the plate. Wing and leg-joints are separated with a satisfying crack and within moments the man is gone again, leaving you to the task at hand – it’s time to get down.
Here’s the skinny: take one crepe. Arrange your cucumber and spring onion. Eye off your friends so they don’t take the piece of duck you want. Chopstick-ninja that piece onto your plate. “Accidentally” spoon over a little too much sauce. Wrap up into a cheeky little package and place it into your mouth.
Look, some pleasures don’t need to be complicated. The combination of crepe and duck and assorted accompaniments has been done for a million years for a reason – it’s just so damn good. The softness of the crepe is the perfect cushion as you crack through that crisp skin into the juicy, succulent meat beneath.
Next up is a deeply flavoursome stir fry of duck meat with bean shoots. Who doesn’t love bean shoots? Again, it’s a simple set of highly-savoury flavours that works really well as a follow-up dish to the first onslaught.
Rounding out the three-course duck experience is a cleansing soup made from the last of the duck meat and bones, tofu and some greens. It’s a nice way to wash out the salt of the first two dishes while still capturing something unique and hearty.
We figured that maybe a little something something from the main menu should probably sneak its way into our bellies as well, so we threw in a plate of sticky fried pork ribs.
These were a nice little decadent treat, with zingy chunks of pineapple breaking through the rich sauce to bring a really interesting element to a dish that could easily have been a greasy nightmare. Actually, I’m really craving some more of these right now.
Old Kingdom does great duck and deserves it’s formidable reputation in the inner city. It’s a brilliant excuse to get a few friends together, pour some wine and enjoy great Peking Duck at a really affordable price. What more do you need?