Thursday, March 24, 2011

Da Dong Beijing Roast Duck at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong's Man Wah Restaurant

Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Thanks to Mandarin Oriental for inviting me to this blogger's lunch, tasting the famous Da Dong Beijing Roast Duck. This has got to be the most elegant roast duck meal I've ever had. I am by no means a Chinese food or roast duck expert. Thus, I'll just share what we had that day, which are my favorites, and just enjoy the visuals. Each dish is gawkalicious.

The Chinese yam with preserved plum marmalade opens the meal with a sweet note.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
I am not used to have something so sweet to open a meal, so I was a bit taken aback.

I love the second treat, the goose liver aspic with mango and caviar.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The creaminess and richness of the goose liver were balanced by the other tangy components.

The spiciness of the Sichuan style shredded duck wings was a pleasant surprise.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
It gives my palate a bit of a kick, getting it ready for the next courses.

I was excited to try the soup, I remember my last fond memory of delicious soup from Man Wah.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

And I wasn't disappointed. The duck tongue and morel mushroom soup was downright delicious.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
I don't normally get excited by duck tongue, but these were bouncy yet still tender. Yummy!

I had to leave my soup mid-slurp as I wanted to catch some duck carving action from the chef...
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Can't wait to taste the duckie.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Da Dong's roast duck is famous for being super lean, so I didn't hold back. Crispy skin, less fat, moist meat? Come to mama.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
I think I took the last remaining few pieces ^_^'

I especially love the pancakes that were served with the duck.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

They were wonderfully thin and chewy.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Normally, we get cucumber, chives and hoisin sauce to go with our roast duck, but we were served with  much more.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
There were pieces of gorgeous pink radish (which I initially thought were pieces of watermelon - duh!- silly me), pickled vegetables, sugar and garlic puree. Interesting.  Couldn't wait to try.

I started with the normal combo of duck, hoisin sauce, cucumber and chives.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

And then I just went crazy. I added everything onto my duck and pancake. Well, I held back on the garlic puree. I had a date that night, you see.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Obviously, avant garde food presentation isn't my thing. I should just leave it to the pros.

The next item isn't an alien. It's a super mega delicious braised sea cucumber.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
While it's a delicacy for most people, I am not a big fan of sea cucumber. I think I've just tasted too many bad sea cucumber dishes, I kinda forgot how could they could be when done right. This one was a more than good one. I cured my sea cucumber phobia instantly. Tender with a bit of a bite, and deeply flavorful. Hmm, those leaves look familiar. It's the trendy thing to do in food presentation, isn't it? While they do make plates look gorgeous, I don't think they necessarily improved the flavors.

The duck gizzards and duck parts in the sauteed four delicacies were a bit too chewy, but I was blown away by the champagne and sour plum jelly. They added the bit of sweetness and tang that brightened up the whole dish.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
I am not a big fan of garnishes that are not supposed to add value into the dish, apart from making it look pretty, so, I was a bit disappointed by the mint leaves and the wedge of lemon.

The braised cabbage and chestnut might look a tad humble, but don't be fooled.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The braised cabbage was rich, thick, almost creamy and satisfying. The chestnut was sweet and tender. Both are really good, I'm not sure about the pairing though. It was rich on rich. This dish filled me up instantly, but I couldn't help it and finished the whole thing. It was that good.

We were served more than 20 year old superior pu-erh tea!
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
It's nothing like the average pu-erh. Love it. I am not good at tea leaves reading. Did it say anything good?

The starch of the meal was this goose liver fried rice.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The bits of goose liver were inside this pile of deliciousness. Love the idea.

We were oohing and ahhhing when the next dish entered the room in a dramatic manner.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

The dry ice gave the illusion that we were going to enjoy a cold dessert, so I was really surprised when I tasted something warm.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The coconut cream has glutinous rice dumplings filled with red bean in it. The flavors were subtle, not sickeningly sweet or creamy.

The petit four were sweet yellow bean cake, sweet rice dumpling, glutinous sesame roll and fresh milk rolls.
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The fresh milk rolls look adorable, but my favorite was the sweet rice dumplings (top left), it has a mix of sweet and savory.

As expected, I had a major food coma after this decadent meal. It was great to meet fellow bloggers, some have posted their detailed reviews, click through to check out their posts: Edena of Ed Eats, Jason of Life as a Bon Vivant, Patricia of Su Yan Tian Shi, Amy from Yummy Mummy Asia and Wilson from WOM Guide
Dadong Duck @Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Man Wah
25/F Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
5 Connaught Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2825 4003


jaimie said...

Wow. All I can say is wow. This is beautiful, amazing, wonderful, and I am jealous and want to go to that tasty looking place! :)

shellie said...

well most of that looked very appetizing however the duck tongue soup was too scary for me....i know i know thats lame....tongues just frighten me....i remember being at the market with my mother as a very small child and being very distraught over the beef tongues and the lobster tank....both of which i still dont eat...

HK Epicurus said...

That Da Dong meal seems very well planned and better than my meal up there : ) Damn I missed it!

Apparently, Da Dong is very famous for their Sea Cucumbers, as he names part of the restaurant as Da Dong Sea Cucumber! weird hey :D I should have tried that when I was up there, but it was not cheap at all as they use good quality stuff..

Gastronomous Anonymous said...

OMG it all looks SOOOOO Good! jealoussssss

Joanne said...

This is some serious food porn. What a great meal!

Su-Lin said...

Oh wow! We totally enjoyed our meal at Da Dong in Beijing and yours looks amazing! We too had the Chinese yam to start with and were also like ?!!?!?!??!

Ta-chan said...

Gorge photos!!! I don't eat duck that often but seeing your post makes me crave duck sooo bad!!

pigpigscorner said...

Never had Chinese fine food before, everything looks amazing!