Every now and then, I'll get a restaurant recommendation from a reader, family, friend or even from a friend of a friend, that I simply can't resist! Kensington Peking is one of them... The promise of superb Peking Duck is enough bait to lure me to any corner of Sydney!
Thankfully, Kensington Peking isn't far at all, so Zen and I make an impromptu visit on a lazy Sunday.
The restaurant is quite unassuming - it's like one of those ordinary run-down suburban Chinese restaurants you'd normally just dodge.
Step inside, and things are slightly better. There are English speaking staff wearing cute bow ties and smart vests, the tables are dressed in crisp white table cloths, and there's a general warm modern touch.
As you would expect, the menu is a short-novel-long, and includes all of the favourite Chinese classics. We're here on a mission though, so ordering is easy.
A 'whole' two course Peking Duck is $41 which is pretty good value for two people.
The Peking duck pancakes are first to appear. One large plate holds the just-steamed pancakes and a handful of spring onion and cucumber sticks. The other, holds our perfectly roasted pre-carved duck slices. There's also the must-have hoisin sauce of course.
The duck skin is crisp and glossy, and the attaching meat is succulent but a tad too lean. Chilli sauce is quick to arrive on request, and so with every ingredient in its place, we package each pancake parcel to our own liking.
Zen's with two or sometimes three slices of duck and no shallots, and mine with two slices of duck and the lot!
The pancake to duck ratio works out surprisingly well with just a few slices of duck remaining. The san choy bow were served mid-way. They're unfortunately rather mediocre with too much juice and no or little bamboo shoots.
To make this a balanced meal, we also have a side order of sauteed seasonal snow pea leaves ($16.80). Simple but delicious.
So this wasn't the best Peking Duck I've ever had but it's sure good to know that there's a decent nearby alternative to the Chinese restaurants in the city.
172 Anzac Parade, Kensington, NSW
Phone: (02) 9313 7100