Peking Duck

Where:
Mott 32
4-4a Des Voeux Rd
Basement of the Standard Chartered Bldg,
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2885 8688

Price:
Almost HKD500 a person.

The deal:
I finally got my ass in gear and went down to Mott 32.  I’ve heard the hype for goddamn months. “OHHHH, it’s just stunning! ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN! O M G the Peking duck is just to die for!  Of course, you MUST try the char siu!  They’ve used MOUNTAIN HONEY with IBERICO PORK!  That’s where you get Spanish pigs and only allow them to sup on fucking acorns.  I mean, how oh-so-oh-so-oh-so-oh-so sumptuously luxurious!”

The crowds are right that Mott 32’s interiors are all fucking class.  Artificial skylights (cause you’re in a fucking basement), wrought metal, rope, chains, painted facades, mirrors upon mirrors and large globular lights, all contribute to that modern, cool as fuck feel with a healthy dose of “Yeah, check my references to OLD ASIA, mate” such as Chinese medicine cabinets, mahjong rooms, Hong Kong fishing villages and street art renditions of old Hong Kong film stars.  Fuck yeahhhh, historical architectural design references taken from the authentic Orient of yesteryear – MOTT HAZ DEM.

So it’s well known that Mott 32 is charging fuck tonnes for Chinese (predominantly Cantonese influenced) food.  I fucking get it though – those acorn eating pigs from Spain can’t be fucking cheap.  After waiting almost a bit too long, our sixteen cubes of siu yuk / roast pork arrives.  It’s a fuck yeah, but I wouldn’t say it was the best siu yuk of my life.  It’s also a large HKD210 a serve. The assortment of dim sum that we got were also a fuck yeah.  I didn’t push the boat out to obnoxious luxury yum cha town when dim sum are amped up by adding ridiculously unnecessary ingredients like caviar, quails eggs, truffles or bird’s nest.   But if each individual piece of dim sum costs approximately HKD15-20ish EACH, it’s not a fucking unreasonable expectation that of course the quality of the ingredients should be better and therefore of a higher quality than the local joint down the road charging one-third of Mott 32’s prices.

It was after the dim sum order that the wheels started to rapidly come off the Mott 32 service.  While the initial greetings were slick and friendly, the interest level from the waiters was dropping off exponentially.  If you want to bill yourself as this fucking exxy top notch Cantonese dining experience, your waiters should be all over their service shiz.  Why did getting the attention of any staff seem to be such a fucking ordeal?  Why was no one all over making sure my teapot was full of boiling water?  How come no one ever offered to change my plates periodically?  I was reminded bitterly of this callous error when I was snacking down on some decidedly average fried rice which caught a bit of mustard left over from the siu yuk / roast pork that I’d had earlier. If lunch costs over HKD400+ a person, shouldn’t it be part of the service that a waiter will check every now and again whether you want anything or if shit’s going ok?!

While I’m talking fried rice – memo to Mott 32, just cause you top your fried rice with some fish roe caviar this is not a free pass to fuck yeah, next level fried rice cause your shit was bland as fuckkk.  But in a FYN Exclusive, I did manage to secure a copy of Mott 32’s staff briefing for lunch service:

not-give-a-fuck-list

I didn’t get the much raved about char siu cause my homie, Mr Judgmental, had already ranted against how average he’d found it. To be fair, he’d also ranted about the Peking Duck too but I wanted to try shit out for myself.  Just so you homies know, you have to pre-order the Peking Duck because Mott 32 only has limited numbers of ducks per day.  There’s a fuck tonne of culinary wank off regarding Mott 32’s Peking Duck.  Blah blah apple wood roasted blah blah custom oven blah blah custom drying fridge blah fucking blah dry the goddamn duck for 48 hours.  But I fucking love Peking Duck and I love judging the results of an over the top culinary wank session, so shit hot damn my body and judgment glands were more than fucking ready for dem roasted anatidae times.

So after the whole ceremony of wheeling the roasted duck in and slicing it at the table, our chef splits it into three plates – one of just skin, one of meat and one of a combination of meat and skin.  Mott 32’s duck skin was crispy but it was just so fucking greasy. The skin felt like it had been deep fried, taking on this weird-ass puffy, scratching like texture. Let’s be real, I really don’t give a fuck if you’ve air dried your duck for 48 hours by employing a harem of long haired snowy skinned virgins to fan it with a bunch of iridescent peacock feathers and then smoked it with apple wood sourced from the pristine Tien Shan mountain ranges of Kazakhstan if your duck skin is a fuck no greasy mess.

The Mott 32 Duck Atrocities continued with the actual duck meat being so fucking bland and completely unremarkable in every aspect.  Mott 32 weren’t content to just fuck up their duck and the pancakes were fucking abysmal – cracked in parts (despite not having left the steamer) and when wrapped with the duck, the texture was too tough meaning there was no ‘bite through’ sensation. To ensure more fuck no times, there was even disappointment with how they sliced their goddamn cucumbers.  Sure, it might seem small but when I’m paying big bank for a meal, I expect shit to be super tight – so when we get a plate of cucumber sticks and the bottom layer is still ONE FUCKING HUNK of cuke, I’m giving Mott 32 the major side eye.  Not that any waiters saw me because they were too fucking busy not being busy in the business of noticing their customers.  In the final in$ult, Mott 32 gives you barely any fucking pancakes to eat with your super greasy duck skin so you’ll have to order more pancakes for HKD60.  This is when you’ve already shelled out HKD580 for the duck itself!! Beyond fucking outrageous.

I also feel that shouldn’t a HKD580 Peking Duck come with a second course!?  Just boil that carcass up and give me some soup if you’re being that much of a fucking tight ass.  Or throw it in some fried rice or noodles  Just fucking do something you money grabbing assholes to take away the memory of the heinously disappointing duck pancake course you just served me.

So if you’re into fuck yeah interiors, overpriced fuck yeah yum cha, disinterested staff providing super sub-par nonchalant service, generally bland food which have been razzed up with caviar and really fucking disappointing Peking Duck, you should definitely be recommending Mott 32 as an awesome, fine dining Chinese experience to all your homies.  Like srs guise, I cannot fathom how so many people have told me that this shit was impressive (except for the bloggers who dined there ‘by invitation’, yeah I know why you fuckers loved it).  Let’s just chalk this super exxy hypebeast down to:

whiteopinions

Verdict:
FUCK NOOOOO, especially to that super disappointing greasy fucker of a Peking Duck.  Shit might look cool as fuck but just remember homies, you can’t fucking eat a Joyce Wang architectural design or street art renditions of Oriental chanteuses. 

Where:
Old Beijing (老北京)
Address 5/F, Jardine’s Bazaar, 50 Jardine Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2203 4321 (English booking is ok)

The deal:
Fuck, another review about Peking Duck. After the massive fail of Le Duck Petit (aka Peking Garden, Pacific Place) fail, the aforementioned equally judgmental friend recommend that I try out Old Beijing, where he promised me that I would be able to eat my fill of Peking Duck, instead of staring down a solitary pancake with a side of desperate longing for more. Is Peking Duck the Hong Kong food blog equivalent of pork belly wank? Writing about the delicate crunch as you bite through crispy skin, sinking into pancakes filled with scallions, hoisin sauce and slivers of cucumber? Don’t worry, I’m not going to pepper this post with unnecessary superlatives – just trust me, it’s good shit. It was about HKD200 a head for a couple of entrees, dumplings,’fried lettuce’ (it’s not really like lettuce at all but more like a type of asparagus vegetable which is very delicate and highly recommended, but no one is able to tell me what it is in English or Chinese), some deep fried mutton (A++ would order again – unless I was with people who don’t like food being too ‘sheepy’) and a whole Peking Duck. If I start writing posts which just look like big jumbles of letters, it’s because I’ve gained too much weight in Hong to the Kong and have just resorted to smashing my pudgy digits against a keyboard in a desperate cry for help before I wash myself with a rag on a stick. Old Beijing, putting the KING in Peking Duck. All hail.

Verdict:
FUCK YEAHHHHH.

Where:
Peking Garden – Pacific Place, Admiralty (but don’t believe their website, lunch was HKD400+)
Shop 005, LG, Pacific Place
88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Phone number:
+852 2845 8452

The deal:
So, whenever I go to a restaurant and they give me tiny pieces of food, I do this thing, when I suck in a short breath of air, turn outraged to my husband and exclaim “Is this food…for ants??”.  And this is what the lunch set for Peking Garden (Admiralty branch) felt like.  I’m a massive fan of the Peking Garden in Central – the duck and the golden prawns (battered in salty egg) being the star of the masterpiece.  Due to our host booking the wrong Peking Garden, we ended up at the Admiralty branch today.  Nice plastic lavender hedge outside – wow, is this France or Ancient China? Le Duck Petit?  Well, they definitely got the petit part right.  More expensive, less quality and less quantity – that’s pretty much a fail trifecta.  Maybe I’m a greedy devil (one of our guests declared she was full – my lunch barely touched my sides) but I spent the rest of my afternoon feeling poor, disappointed and empty.  HKD400+ per person, endless bitching with my equally judgmental friend in the afternoon (he  has implored me to make sure to mention the bony anorexic steamed fish with its bulgy eyes) and my end conclusion was that I’d rather have been at the gym.  Usually you only get such basic, average fare in Soho Italian restaurants – but Peking Garden can replicate that mid-levels feeling for you in shiny Pacific Place for another HKD100+.  You don’t need to be psychic to figure out what the verdict is going to be.

The verdict:
FUCK NO.

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