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911: Peking duck in Ottawa


maggiethecat
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My mother has defied expectations and, after six weeks is home from palliative care at Elisabeth Bruyere. She has a hankering for Peking Duck, and it's my job to handle her hankerings.

Problem is, she can't quite remember where she last bought said duck. Are there still places on Somerset who hang them in their windows? Is there another source here in Ottawa? Many thanks in advance.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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There are plenty of places that have roasted duck hanging in the windows on Somerset. Wah Kiu grocery store, Yang Shing is also another place to look out for. In the east end you can try Uni Mart next door to DuBarry.

Peking duck however is something different. It's normally a 2-3 course meal. 1st course normally is the roasted skin sliced thinly and served with flour wraps, hoisin sauce, green onions and sometimes cucumber. Second course is normally the diced duck meat with diced vegetables served with lettuce wraps. Third course is a soup made with the duck bones watercress and tofu. If that's what you are looking for, then Brother Wu is probably your best bet.

Hope this helps and that your mom continues to get better.

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There are plenty of places that have roasted duck hanging in the windows on Somerset.  Wah Kiu grocery store, Yang Shing is also another place to look out for.  In the east end you can try Uni Mart next door to DuBarry. 

Peking duck however is something different.  It's normally a 2-3 course meal.  1st course normally is the roasted skin sliced thinly and served with flour wraps, hoisin sauce, green onions and sometimes cucumber.  Second course is normally the diced duck meat with diced vegetables served with lettuce wraps. Third course is a soup made with the duck bones watercress and tofu.  If that's what you are looking for, then Brother Wu is probably your best bet. 

Hope this helps and that your mom continues to get better.

I was about to answer prety much the same thing... one question remains: where is brother wu? I don't think I've ever been there... and I pretty much tried all chinese restaurants in Ottawa.

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There are plenty of places that have roasted duck hanging in the windows on Somerset.  Wah Kiu grocery store, Yang Shing is also another place to look out for.  In the east end you can try Uni Mart next door to DuBarry. 

Peking duck however is something different.  It's normally a 2-3 course meal.  1st course normally is the roasted skin sliced thinly and served with flour wraps, hoisin sauce, green onions and sometimes cucumber.  Second course is normally the diced duck meat with diced vegetables served with lettuce wraps. Third course is a soup made with the duck bones watercress and tofu.  If that's what you are looking for, then Brother Wu is probably your best bet. 

Hope this helps and that your mom continues to get better.

I was about to answer prety much the same thing... one question remains: where is brother wu? I don't think I've ever been there... and I pretty much tried all chinese restaurants in Ottawa.

It's at 1060 St. Laurent. The peking duck is pretty good as is their weekend northern dim sum menu. Parking there is a little difficult, but there is a mall across the road that you could park at.

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It's at 1060 St. Laurent.  The peking duck is pretty good as is their weekend northern dim sum menu.  Parking there is a little difficult, but there is a mall across the road that you could park at.

I'll have to give this place a try... we have been quite disapointed with the quality of Chinese food in Ottawa since we moved in... this might just be what we were looking for.

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My mother has defied expectations and, after six weeks is home from palliative care at Elisabeth Bruyere. She has a hankering for Peking Duck, and it's my job to handle her hankerings.

Problem is, she can't quite remember where she last bought said duck. Are there still places on Somerset who hang them in their windows?  Is there another source here in Ottawa? Many thanks in advance.

My warmest regards to your mother. May she continue to defy all odds. Let's get this woman some duck!

Yangtze restaurant on Somerset serves a delicious peking duck. From what I've heard it must be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Here are the coordinates:

700 Somerset Street West - (613) 236-0555

And here is a page from flickr showing the dish:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59401990@N00

Hope this helps.

XXOX

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You guys are great. Thanks for your suggestions.

We found a parking place near St. Vincent's, strolled down Somerset, and found lovely ducks hanging in the window of a grocery store (the first of two who do duck.) A rediculously cheap 13.50 apiece (CDN) glossy, crispy, redolent of lovely Chinese scent. Got the pancakes, hoisin and honey for the suace, and the scallions which we cut into little brooms with which to spread the sauce. The skin was amazing.

That was Thursday. We had leftovers today, and I heated the skin in a 350 oven and it was, if possible, even better than it was on Thursday. Crazy great.

I've said that Ottawa may be a little dreary restaurant-wise, but it's an amazing place to buy ingredients if you're a home cook.

Please tell me the name of the great Asian market a little further west on Somerset, over the bridge -- I've forgotten the name. I'll be back soon -- their fish and meat looks great -- gorgeous porkbelly @ 2.49 a pound.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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The market you are talking about is called 168 Market. It's a great place to get ingredients and also prepared foods. My family likes to get the frozen soups from there when we don't have time to make it ourselves. If you want to try more traditional "low-boil" chinese soups then check out the selection at this market.

For fish though, while 168 Market is better than most, the best place is Ha Long. It's a small fish market at 789 Somerset. It's next door to Phuoc Loi Market which is a good place to pick up tropical fruit and SE asian ingredients. Ha Long sells only fish and seafood and supplies a number of the Chinese restaurants on Somerset.

The Ottawa chinese food is not the greatest, although many restaurants have a few dishes that are good. For dim sum I really like Tianrun Beijing Restaurant at 1947 Bank St. in the south end of Ottawa.

Just another suggestion if you don't feel like cooking one night. There's a great little Vietnamese sub shop that also has dishes you can take out. I don't know it's name, but it's on Somerset across from Ha Long and Phuoc Loi, and next to the Pho Bo Ga LA restaurant. Depending on the day, you can get things like braised tofu, lemongrass chicken, vietnamese omelets, cabbage salad, etc. They also have desserts. Not expensive, I think we used to pay about 3-4 dollars for a small take out dish. Their subs are also quite good as well and you get a choice of soft bread or baguette. They are family owned and operated, I used to see the baby there in the playpen.

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Another good place for traditional Peking duck with all of the fixings is May's Garden at the corner of Preston and Somerset. It is about a few blocks away from the Chinatown Somerset drag. It's a good place to sample your way through northern Chinese cuisine. 24 hour notice required to order the duck.

Edited by cwyc (log)
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I would recommend Double Happiness BBQ at 777 Somerset Street West.

This is the only specialized place for BBQ duck and Char Siu (BBQ Pork) in Ottawa.

See http://www.ottawafoodies.com/vendor/1169 for review on Double Happines.

Other places to buy BBQ duck is Kowloon Market at 720 Somerset Street West. New 168 Market is bigger.

I heard that most of the Chinese restaurants get their BBQ duck either from Kowloon Market or Double Happiness?

I also tried the Peking duck at Eastern City.

Check my review at: http://www.ottawafoodies.com/food/223

You need to get a feel of how clean the place is. Some of the grocery stores in Chinatown are very dirty. Think about how they will process the food!!! This is the reason I seldom buy cooked meat from grocery stores in Chinatown. I heard all the inside stories that drive me away from purchasing.

Note: You can forget about Brother Wu. I tried their food once and my friends all tried once. We all concluded the same comment "You won't see us there for 10 years".

Edited by AshleyW (log)
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... 

The Ottawa chinese food is not the greatest, although many restaurants have a few dishes that are good.  For dim sum I really like Tianrun Beijing Restaurant at 1947 Bank St. in the south end of Ottawa. 

...

Yes. Tianrun used to offer very good Dim-Sum. But not any more after the management has been changed (I heard that one of the owners has sold his shares)

http://www.ottawafoodies.com/vendor/64

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I finally tried Brother Wu's duck. It is the best we had in Ottawa, just after Yang Tse. The worst we tried was at May's Garden (May Garden has a lot of other nice dish though and the staff/owners are great).

Concerning the comment from Ashley, i would simply say that, as with all Chinese restaurants in Ottawa, it is good to speak a bit of Chinese and ask about the best dishes. Most Chinese restaurant assume that people want to eat kung pao chicken and spring rolls but add a few nicer dishes here and these (often in Chinese on the walls).

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I'm glad you liked Brother Wu's peking duck. I actually was at Yang Tze last night for a family dinner and they decided to have peking duck. I thought they did a pretty good job with the skin which was crisp and thin without much meat or fat on it. I also loved how they julienned their green onions. The one disappointing part of the dish however were the "pancakes". Unlike Brother Wu who do the traditional flour pancakes, these ones were just steamed spring roll wrappers. For me, peking duck just isn't the same without the thin, chewy, tortilla-like pancakes.

I'm also a little more partial to eating the stirfried duck meat dish at Brother Wu. I like how they've added some type of fried dough into the dish to add a crispy texture element.

If you are looking to buy meat in grocery stores, I'll normally venture to Kowloon Market, 168 Market, or Unimart (beside Dubarry in the east end).

I finally tried Brother Wu's duck. It is the best we had in Ottawa, just after Yang Tse. The worst we tried was at May's Garden (May Garden has a lot of other nice dish though and the staff/owners are great).

Concerning the comment from Ashley, i would simply say that, as with all Chinese restaurants in Ottawa, it is good to speak a bit of Chinese and ask about the best dishes. Most Chinese restaurant assume that people want to eat kung pao chicken and spring rolls but add a few nicer dishes here and these (often in Chinese on the walls).

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Interestingly enough, it is the soup made with the duck bones that won us over. The crispy bits in the stir fry part were also very nice but the almost opaque duck soup was just perfect.

I also think Yang Tse does a good job with the skin but if you look carefully, you will notice that they use many ducks for the dish. It is perhaps easier to find out when looking at the bones in the soup but it seems to be the case for all other dishes. My guess is that they prep everything in advance for the whole evening (1 box with the skins, one with meat bits and another one with the bones) and start from there to assemble the dishes. It makes senses for such a large restaurant but it looks a bit weird at the table.

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We tried the new Chinese restaurant which is specialized in BBQ dishes/noodles/congee dishes. This is called Jo Moon Ting at 832 Somerset Street West (Rochester & Somerset).

This restaurant has equipment to do BBQ duck, BBQ spare ribs, BBQ pork. They have BBQ duck hanging in the glass box. But I didn't try their BBQ duck yet. Since this is a Cantonese style restaurant, the way they serve BBQ duck won't be like how they serve PeiKing duck. They cut up the duck and you eat with the skin and meat together. But you can buy it for takeout and serve yourself with Peiking duck way at home.

I try their wonton noodle soup. It was pretty good. I normally like to order the restaurant's specialty.

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