Duck for Two at Sang Kee
Recently Zinc advertised their 2 course duck preparation for 2 and it sounds insane; seared duck breast carved table side followed by grilled legs and wings. This will set you back $85. Not exactly Midtown Lunch friendly. So I wanted to find an affordable version. At Sang Kee in Chinatown, 1/2 a duck, also served 2 ways (take that Zinc) is a mere $20. Leave it to Sang Kee, to allow us to feel a little fancy and filled with duck for $10 a person.
We were starving when we arrived, and while I really wanted the juicy buns, my even hungrier dining companion didn’t want to wait the 15 minutes it would take for them to be ready. Our waitress was really pushing the steamed watercress dumplings, “They were in the Inquirer”, she said. Well, they ended up being some of the better dumplings I have had, so tightly packed with shrimp, pork, and watercress, I could easily make some kind of Coco in leggings reference…
Don’t get the Peking duck roll, not because its bad, but because it will only make you realize you need the bigger order of duck. The roll is filled with Sang Kee’s delicious duck, but at over $3, it is just an overpriced tease.
That’s more like it. The first course of crisped skin duck pieces came out with hoisin, scallions, and pancakes for us to make our own Peking duck rolls. If I have to be critical, the duck meat by itself lacked a little flavor, but the accoutrements and all that skin cured that issue.
I totally forgot about the 2nd course until it was placed in front of me. I was actually getting full at this point. I bet there is an Asian mom back there, saying-”They want all that duck? They better eat some vegetables tonight too!” Snow peas are mixed with pieces of duck and other veggies. Of course its not as good as eating wrapped up duck meat and skin, but it provides some balance and cuts the grease in your stomach.
The party didn’t stop when the meal was over. I brought home an order of wonton noodle soup. The noodles make this $5 portion of food extremely filling. It appears the superlatives for Sang Kees dough wrapped shrimp don’t stop at the dumplings, the wontons are probably the best I have had in Philly at this point. Like the watercress dumplings, these are filled with fresh shrimp. The broth in the to go orders are separated out to prevent sogginess. In everything I ate, it was obvious Sang Kee knows what they are doing.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Some of the best dumplings and wontons around
- Duck for 2, $10 each
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I want a little more flavor in my duck meat
Sand Kee Peking Duck House, 238 N 9th St, 215 925-7532