Did you ever finish a meal, then found yourself running your fingers around the rim of the plate to pick up the last remaining “juices” of your meal? This was my experience after Scott and I dined on Peking Duck.
Liu Ye, our Hotel concierge suggested the best restaurant for Peking Duck, and it was a worth while 20 minute walk away in the cold. Located in a glitzy mall on the fifth floor, this hyper-stylized restaurant was much like those I frequent in NYC. The three or four women hostesses gave us the once over, then politely escorted us into the dining area to a table in view of the raised gazebos glass shaped kitchen. Inside, about 10 chefs were busily prepping the ducks, and more leathery Peking ducks were hanging from overhead hooks. I counted four wooden stoves. Other utensils included long carving knives, and sharpening stones, in addition to the hanging poles. At one point I got closer to the glass kitchen to take photos of the cooking technique used. I noticed that each chef wore a surgical mask as they worked. I later learned that this was a common practice throughout China of chefs who worked closely with food preparation. The setting looked like a stage for some ritualistic practice.
We could not stop looking. One chef took a duck out of the oven, then broke off its beak, then sanded the skin to remove any excess hair and ashes. Our curiosity prompted us to take turns grilling the waitress about the preparation.