What makes a good roast duck?

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What makes a good roast duck?

One which has a golden crispy skin while the meat beneath is tender and juicy. The marination should not be too overwhelming as the natural sweet gamey flavour of the duck should shine through. The secret to the golden crispy skin lies in how well the duck is dried prior to roasting. Before air-drying it, the duck needs to be scalded with boiling water to tighten the skin. After given the boiling water bath treatment, the duck has to be patted dry before hanging it up to air-dry for at least 8 hours.

High heat is needed for the roasting process. The oven temperature has to be cranked up to at least 380-400 degrees Celcius in order to melt the fats beneath the skin quickly. This is called fats rendering and this process helps push the skin up for easier browning and crisping.

For that shiny glistening sheen on the skin, in the last 15 minutes of roasting, baste the duck with a mixture of honey, maltose and soy sauce.

Everyone has his or her favourite roast duck stall/restaurant and there are plenty to choose from around here. My 3 favourites are:

Chef Onn Guangzhou Roast Duck
121 Jalan SS21/37
Damansara Utama (Uptown)
Petaling Jaya
Tel No: 012 -238 3325
Opened from 4pm onwards
Closed on Tuesdays

This roast duck stall is located inside Damansara Hokkien Mee Restaurant and has been around for some time. Their roast duck is done “Guangzhou” style. There’s usually a long queue of customers at their take-away corner.

The ducks are very meaty and the marinade in the meat has strong nuances of Chinese herbs, in particular “tong kwei” (angelica) and rather heavy on the salt too. The platter of duck is served with gravy poured over it which rendered the duck skin a bit chewy, although it still maintained a lovely golden amber colour. Saucers of plum sauce and chilli sauce are served on the side.

A whole roast duck here is RM50 and Half Duck is RM25.

Restoran Loong Foong
1 Jalan 20/13, Paramount Garden
46300 Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.106085, 101.625595
Closed on Mondays

This is one of the more popular roast ducks in Petaling Jaya, judging by the early crowd waiting for their ducks. While the restaurant officially starts their dinner business at 5.30pm, queues can already be seen at the roast duck stall as early as 4.30pm!

The ducks are perfectly roasted. The skin boasts a shiny golden sheen and the meat is tender, oozing juices onto the plate. The ducks are a bit smaller here but the flavours are not compromised. The sauce served here is a bit thicker, with hints of bean paste (“taucheo”) in the concoction. I find the chilli sauce here slightly on the bland side though.

Open only in the evenings, the ducks finish off quite early, around 8pm!
A whole roast duck here is RM53 and Half Duck is RM27.

Restoran Sunrise
31 Jalan 21/1, Sea Park
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-78769689
GPS: 3.108549, 101.622773
Open from 11.30am till sold-out
Closed on Mondays

Restoran Sunrise has been dishing out its golden-skinned roast ducks for so long that it has almost become a duck institution in Petaling Jaya! It’s perpetually packed – a clear indication of its popularity. The fowls are roasted at the back of the shop and continuously brought to the front where they are immediately chopped up and served to the hungry hordes.

The crispy golden skin is the best – I have yet to taste better ones elsewhere. The meat underneath is tender and juicy, well-flavoured by 5-spice powder and a myriad Chinese herbs. The marinade is done just nice, without being overwhelming, allowing the natural flavour of the meat to seep through as well. Small bowls of soya sauce-based duck gravy are served along with the roast duck.

Their piquant chilli sauce is very good and I always have to ask for extra plates of those. Complimentary bowls of piping hot soup are served too. The appetizing sourish soup is essentially boiled using duck bones, pickled mustard leaves (“ham choy”) and sour plums. Besides duck, most patrons would also order a plate of oyster sauce vegetables to go with the meal.

A whole roast duck costs RM55 while Half Duck is RM28. Be there early or else be prepared to wait at least 20 minutes for a table.

This post is written by PureGlutton whose passion for food is tantamount to gluttony. Many would ask "is that passion or is that pure gluttony?" Find out on http://pureglutton.com

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