Qing Xiang Lou Northern Cuisine Restaurant－A Standard in Peking Duck
By Sunny Chang Translated by Ann Lee
Photos by Andy Lin
22, Lane 84, DaAn Rd, Sec 1
Hours: 11:30 am-4:30 pm
Credit cards accepted. No service charge.
ZhongXiao/FuXing Station #Exit 3
Even early in the evening you'll see tables at Qing Xiang Lou full of groups ordering endless plates of the restaurant's famous Peking Roast Duck. In the kitchen, chefs are familiar with the knife and skillfully slice the roasted duck into carefully calculated pieces. The duck's rich aroma fills the restaurant and wafts into the street, calling even more people to come inside and have a taste.
Qing Xiang Lou's manager, Mr. Sun, explained that coming here isn't about tasting fancy cuisine but simply enjoying specialty dishes from northern China. On our visit, we tried the Handmade Green Onion Pie (手工蔥油餅NT$80), which is made with crispy, juicy green onions; a rich and delightful Millet Congee (小米粥NT$15); a sumptuous Beef Roll (牛肉捲餅NT$110); and of course, their signature Peking Duck (北平烤鴨NT$880). The oven-roasted birds can be ordered by-the-slice, sauteed, or in soup.
To eat it correctly, take a couple slices of meat and a few green onions, roll it up in the warm tortillas that come with the dish, and then dip the whole thing in their specially prepared sauce; it's so good that you won't want to stop. The chefs will use your remaining duck to make soup and sauteed duck. The kitchen guru, Chef Zheng, is in charge of handling all the ducks. He started cooking more than fifty years ago, and worked as the head chef in various duck restaurants that were popular back in the day. It's no exaggeration that he's been preparing duck cuisine for more than half-a-century.
Besides the obvious, the restaurant recommends Cold Pork with Garlic Sauce (蒜泥白肉NT$180), which is made with top quality bacon rolled with cucumber and salted jelly fish slices, and Jin Sha Shrimp(金沙大蝦NT$280). These little guys are stir-fried with salted duck eggs that you should eat while sizzling hot. The Taro with Chicken Clay Pot (芋頭滑雞煲NT$260) is a creative dish made with marinated chicken drumsticks, that are braised with condensed milk and fresh cream and topped with fried taro chunks. Lao Pi Nun Rou (老皮嫩肉NT$180), a well-known fried tofu dish from Sichuan, is handmade by the chef. The dishes here not only taste good, but they are also pleasant to the eye; chefs use their expert knife techniques to turn fruits and vegetables into little fish and lobsters.