Restaurant: Beijing Duck House
Location: 6420 Rosemead Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91775. (626) 286-5508
Date: June 14, 2014
Cuisine: Beijing Chinese
Rating: Tasty stuff
This is my third time this week out to the SGV for scrumptious Chinese. My mother apparently ate a lot of Chinese when she was pregnant with me (true) and I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid.
Tonight’s entry is Beijing Duck House which is funny enough, a Beijing style restaurant specializing in… you guessed it… Peking Duck!
2002 Delamotte Champagne Blanc de Blancs Millésimé. IWC 92. Pale yellow-gold. Fresh citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of gingerbread, white flowers and sweet butter. Toasty lees and mineral qualities gain power with air, adding depth to the wine’s gently sweet pear, honey and tangerine flavors. At once rich and lively, finishing with excellent clarity and alluring mineral and floral character. This Champagne, which I’ve tasted from three different disgorgements now, is proving that it’s built for the long haul.
Marinated cucumbers, mushrooms, and boiled peanuts. This dish had an almost Vietnamese flavor too it with the slightly sweet sauce and the strong cilantro notes. Yummy.
Beef tendon. A cold dish, the tendon was chewy and the meat parts some kind of cured beef. The beef was delicious and there was a good bit of heat to the dish, plus the cilantro.
1999 Forey Père et Fils Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Gaudichots. Burghound 88. Less expressive and open than the ’99 Les St. Georges without the forbidding firmness of the Petits Monts. This still has plenty of the pinot baby fat and the substantial tannins are completely wrapped though there is sufficient structure to permit this to improve for a decade. Pure, long and pretty.
agavin: needs a little more time to open.
The duck comes up early. Our professional carver gets to work.
Beijing Duck. The meat itself served with the pancakes in the background.
And the condiments: spring onion, cucumber, jicama/radish, and the plum sauce.
All elements are combined into the pancake. Delicious and greasy as always!
2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles Vignes. BH 86-89. Here the nose is bursting with Savigny-style earth on the ripe and pretty red pinot fruit nose that introduces nicely rich, round and fleshy middle weight flavors that are also admirably delicious and while there is a touch of rusticity to the supporting tannins, the overall impression is a straightforward wine that should drink well relatively early.
agavin: surprisingly drinkable for being so young.
Duck second way. Bits of duck meat and vegetables in lettuce wrap.
Add a little plum sauce and one is good to go. PF Changs eat your heart out.
2005 Longoria Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard. Burghound 92. A really lovely nose of beautifully complex and deeply pitched red berry fruit complements the rich and ripe medium full flavors that display a fine sense of restraint and underlying reserve as well as a gamy hint, all wrapped in a moderately structured finish and fine balance. This will clearly be capable of mid-term aging and as I say, this is indeed ripe but it’s the restraint and focus that really sets it apart from the typical pinot. Recommended.
Duck Soup. This is the third way. Boney bits of duck (with meat) are cooked up in a duck version of chicken soup.
It looks normal enough in the bowl. And it basically tastes like slightly rich chicken soup.
A neighboring table featured all sorts of unusual goodies so I took a few shots.
1999 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee. Parker 92. A powerful, concentrated 1999 Chateauneuf du Papes was produced at Chateau Pegau. The dense ruby/purple-colored 1999 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee boasts a powerful bouquet of pepper, garrigue, black fruits, and earth. Full-bodied and expansive, with sweet tannin giving it a more open-knit, accessible style than most young vintages of Pegau, this is a wine to drink while waiting for the 1998 and 1995 to become fully mature. Like all of this estate’s red wines, it was bottled with neither fining nor filtration.
agavin: This had a barnyard quality. It went well with the lamb below, but got to me after a bit.
Cumin lamb. Skewers of tasty lamb loaded with cumin.
2004 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling Clos Hauserer. Parker 87. The many insufficiently attentive wine aficionados who can be heard lamenting a supposed absence chez Zind-Humbrecht of dry wine should have their mouths rinsed out repeatedly with the 2004 Riesling Clos Hauserer! (And, by the say, it is the Humbrechts, not I, who have re-introduced the Umlaut.) Mint, boxwood and lime zest on the nose suggest a Sauvignon. Firm acidity, peach pit bitterness, adamantly chalky minerality, and almost explosive acidity in the mouth make for a brash and relatively spare impression, despite palpable thickness of extract and sense of amplitude. Humbrecht imagines that if he planted Riesling in the Goldert, this is the sort of wine it would become. These grapes were very ripe – “turning blue- in fact, he says – but the deeper the roots go into the mother chalk (and these vines now average thirty years of age) the longer, he claims, the wine requires to unclench, even in a less acid-retentive vintage than this. Plan not to even revisit this wine for two or three years.
agavin: disappointingly austere
Dumplings. Standard Beijing dumplings with vinegar. Shanghai XLB are better, but these are certainly tasty too.
1994 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Heimbourg Vendange Tardive. RJ Wine 95. I love extremely young ZH wines for their youthful vigor. As they age, some gets a bit to heavy and cloying showing a hint of alcohol. Also the beauty of a great desert wine is the airy/cotton candy like palate. This was an exceptional showing. Nicely focused nose displaying yellow peach, dry mango, apricot and sweeten ice tea. Lovely airy palate. The wine remains quite fresh and precise despite the dense fruit a la D’Yquem. Lovely showing.
I highly recommend.
Corn. The sauce here had some added sugar and I found it too sweet. Otherwise, it was basically succotash.
BBQ Pork. Can anyone say bacon? I picked off most of the fat/skin later but the meat was sweet and super tasty.
2007 Nikolaihof Riesling Reserve Steiner Hund. RJ Wine 93. So serene, delicate and understated; this is a wine that really needs time and air to show its best. It’s utterly compelling though with an amazing purity to the fresh fruit flavours, greener herbal and leafy accents and a base of pure stone beneath the fruit.
Sweet and sour fried fish. Super awesome version of this typical dish.
1994 Grgich Hills Zinfandel Sonoma County. 92 points. Dark fruit, prunes. Very lively.
Spicy eggplant. In a delicious garlic sauce.
1995 L’Ecole No. 41 Merlot Seven Hills Vineyard. 91 points. Immediately greeted by the rich unbelievably ripe cassis perfume which sets you up for a fruit bomb, but instead the wine was very poised and restrained on the palate. Tannins are fully integrated at this stage which rewards with a velvet mouthfeel. High quality fruit here which showcases the brilliance of Seven Hills. These should be drank now. For me I’m beginning to understand L’Ecole now because they are shy, backwards and sometimes austere in youth as they reward so much with age.
Mixed fried rice. Simple and delicious.
Cabbage and glass noodles. This Chinese hot coleslaw is rather delicious.
Frog hot pot. Probably close to the Wuman dry hot pot, this had a bit of heat. It was fine, but not the best dish of the night.
Overall, another highly enjoyable Chinese meal. The duck was on par with Tasty Duck and the other dishes were arguably better. I like the Beijing style and some of these dishes were fabulous. Perhaps Beijing Restaurant is a little better within this style, but then again, there is the duck!
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