Restaurant: Duck House [1, 2]
Location: 501 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 284-3227
Date: June 11, 2017
Rating: Interesting stuff
Big surprise that for my birthday dinner I chose — you guessed it — Chinese food! And because it was my birthday I managed to drag the rest of my family all the way out to the SGV. I went for a return to Duck House (previous recent visit here), as they have Peking Duck (no duh), it’s on the west side of Alhambra, and because it isn’t spicy or too weird. But I did pre-order a bunch of interesting dishes.
From my cellar: NV Demière-Ansiot Champagne Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs. VM 91. Vivid yellow. Bright, mineral-accented aromas of orange, pear, anise and white flowers are lifted by a gingery topnote. Lively and precise, offering intense orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a hint of buttered toast. Shows impressive clarity and mineral cut on the finish, with the pear and floral notes echoing. This elegant Champagne should age well on its balance.
Slightly sweet soy marinated chicken wings. Always on the table here to start. Boney and cold, but nice taste.
My 8 year-old tried these fried buns. Basically the soft bao dough fried with sweetened condensed milk on the side.
2005 Seigneurie de Posanges Savigny-lès-Beaune. Not a bad young village.
Peking Duck. Served here with the meat and skin. We had it only 1 way, but two ducks. This is solid, but Tasty Duck and a few others have slightly better duck. Mostly I think they just need better Hoisin.
Egg with tofu. My wife liked this. Steamed egg with tofu and a vegetarian brown sauce.
Eggplant with garlic. A little mushy, and not as spicy/garlicky as the best Szechuan versions, but certainly nice.
Sweet and Pungent shrimp. Basically fried shrimp in sweet and sour sauce. Love it!
Vegetable crispy lo mein. With the sauce on the side.
Here is the sauce. Lots of ginger.
From my cellar: 2008 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Cote de Bouguerots. BH 96. An exceptionally elegant high-toned and strikingly layered nose of oyster shell, mineral reduction and perfumed cool green fruit is extremely seductive and serves as a fascinating introduction to the concentrated, serious and powerful yet refined flavors that ooze a fine minerality on the mouth coating and hugely long finish. This is blessed with buckets of sap that completely buffer the firm acid spine. This is a flat out great effort that is indisputably a “wow” wine.
Treasure Island, which somehow I keep mis-remembering as “buried treasure.” This was a special pre-order dish and I’ve never had its like before. Napa cabbage smothered (it’s huge) in egg yolk and crab meat sauce. Topped with goji berries. Unusual. Very mild and pleasant, but certainly a LOT of cabbage.
Steamed black cod. For the healthy folk.
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes. VM 95. Opaque ruby. Incredibly powerful bouquet encompasses cherry, blackberry, cassis, candied plum, dark chocolate, licorice and garrigue Positively mouthfilling, with potent, liqueur-like dark fruit, licorice and mocha flavors, but also with surprising freshness and cut. As weighty as this is, there’s a sense of elegance, too. Finishes juicy, sweet and impressively long, with persistent cassis and blackberry flavors. Wow!
Buddah’s chicken. Another special order dish. Whole roast chicken stuffed with seafood, taro, and I don’t know what and smothered in brown sauce.
Inside it’s like Chinese Thanksgiving! Cool texture.
2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon. Can we say vanilla?
Sticky rice with BBQ eel. I don’t know why they always have this dish at duck houses, but they do.
Truffle Lobster. Can’t go wrong with a giant fried lobster in truffle sauce!
I was far too stuffed for cake, so had to have my candle in some eel rice!
Overall, a fun night and great to share it with the family and friends. Not sure I need to order the Treasure Island again, but it was very interesting. The sauce was actually great over rice, but there was so much of it!