A BEST-SELLING dish in our old French restaurant Au Bon Vivant was Duck à l’Orange. Just a teenager then, I immediately fell in love with it. It was my very first exposure to this not-so-common bird.
Then in our Pinoy restaurant in Paris, Aux Iles Philippines, we also had a dish called Pato Binondo. It was an oven-baked, deboned Barbary duck which was placed in a homemade wrapper, and served with fresh onions and a sauce made with hoisin and adobo sauce.
I would always save the duck butt for last. Loaded with fat, it was the best-tasting part for me. It is only now that I realize our ducks had been overcooked. But the positive side was that they acquired the crunch.
Foie gras, roasts, duck confit, Peking duck or whatever way duck is prepared, I will forever be a cooked-duck lover. Anything duck or goose, I adore.
When in Hong Kong, I would have either duck or goose. Yung Kee is a must whenever I visit this culinary paradise. It serves the best and tastiest roast goose.
A lot of the restaurants with roast displays are an attraction to me. I love their sausages, lechon Macau, soy and white chicken and, of course, roast duck.
But these good-tasting ducks are no longer easy to come by unless you look for them in fine-dining Chinese restaurants of hotels. So, finding one in an area like either Binondo or Banawe is such a pleasant surprise.
A friend, chef Rox, visited from Guam. We were to meet up for lunch, and my culinary tipster JP Paz asked if I had ever been to his latest find. It was a tiny restaurant that served roasts in the Banawe area. I said, “Never!”
The instructions: “Turn right on Ramos Street from Quezon Boulevard just before Philippine Orthopedic Center. You will see a car wash on your left, and the place will be right after it.”
I almost bumped my car when I saw the display of roasts. I was so excited. I got there on time, but my friends were late.
The name of the shop is Tuen Mun. I couldn’t wait. I ordered a century egg and jelly fish platter for appetizer, plus one-fourth roast duck. Although the duck lacked the usual crunch, puwede na! The roast was juicy, very tasty with dipping sauce that went well with it. What a find!
When my friend from Guam arrived, JP ordered a soy chicken with a fantastic ginger and spring onion sauce. Yummy.
I had orders of white chicken and lechon Macau; both have to be tried. I also asked for beef tendon with braised noodles. Super delicious!
After finishing a one-fourth-size duck all by myself, we ordered another.
I was so full, I promised to skip dinner. Of course, I didn’t. But at least the intention was there.
Tip: Best time to plan a diet is when you’re full, because you would have the resolve to fulfill it.
Whenever I get a craving to get a pretty good roast duck, I just drive over to the Banawe, Quezon City, area.
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