Simon’s Peiking Duck Restaurant
197B Middlesborough Road
I frequented Old Kingdom in Fitzroy in the past as it was the closest to me while I was living in the city or along St Kilda Road. And then we realised the Old Kingdom in Surrey Hills offered a better dining experience and the duck was just as good if not pips the Fitzroy one slightly. Only one eluded me, but not anymore. Brighter than the other two, and filling up just as quickly as the night wore on. We opt for the duck course at $55.
The restaurant’s namesake Simon Lay painstakingly hauls out duck after duck, his years of experience evident in the deft slicing and plating.
The skin is golden crispy and light, complete with a layer of juicy fat and tender duck flesh. A matter of preference, but I do believe the duck is better than the other two - the duck flesh attached to the skin at Old Kingdom Collingwood was quite sparse. And this one was gleaming with oil, sinful but added to the delightfulness of each mouthful.
Simon is responsible for the existence of Old Kingdom, but has since moved on to his own Peking Duck restaurant. One thing the others are sorely lacking is the personal touch. Decked out in his bow tie, he was jovial and engaging.
Despite the fact that he was solely responsible for the neat plates of duck on every table, he took the time to demonstrate to each person at each table how the peking duck should be wrapped, down to the cucumber, scallion and sauce.
Stir fry beanshoots with duck meat. Fragrant but the one in Surrey Hills is just as good.
And we finish off with a light broth.