Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eat. @ Old Kingdom

197 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065 ph : (03) 9417 2438
Tue-Thu 12-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm; Fri 12pm-2pm, 5pm-10:30pm; Weekends 5pm-11:30pm
(dinner seatings at 6pm and 8pm)

The Old Kingdom Chinese Restaurant is not a fancy restaurant.  You walk in and it could be the 70's, the 80's, or the 90's (yes, it's 2011); and the decor, the menu, the waiters are all exactly what you would expect in an old style traditional chinese eatery.  Yet this has not stopped this place from being packed out all the time. 

My brother and lovely sis-in-law invited us out to try this little place famous for its 3 course peking duck dinner, and scanning the other tables in the restaurant, that's what everyone has come to eat!  I came with my 5 year old only as my poor Hubby stayed home with our 2 littler ones who were not well.  My sis-in-law had wisely pre-booked the ducks, as recommended, and we shared 3 ducks between 7 adults and a 5 year old, which fed us all quite comfortably.

Within 10 minutes of arrival the ducks were brought to the table and sliced by the waiter dude, who despite his age, looked like he'd done this a million times and is somewhat bored by the whole experience.  Nonetheless it was quite entertaining for my 5 year old.  The duck skin was perfectly crispy and the meat was not too dry even though the duck was not overly fatty.  Their pancakes are obviously handmade and some of the best I've had - very thin with a pleasant complimentary flavour to the duck and condiments. 

The ritual of wrapping the duck with the sauce +/- cucumber and shallots is part of the fun for the kids.  Certainly I've never grown out of loving the whole Peking duck pancakes experience over the years!

Each duck provided around 12 serves of duck pancakes as a guide to how many ducks you should order.

The second course is a less spectacular stir-fry of bean shoots and duck meat.  It still contained a good amount of meat and flavour.  By the time the 3rd course of duck soup arrived I was feeling surprisingly full.  The soup was very flavoursome, although in my opinion it had a tad too much pepper, and my 5 year old wouldn't have any for that reason.

The tables at the Old Kingdom was packed full of patrons, and there were certainly quite a few families there.  There is certainly no room for prams, especially if you're seated upstairs, as you also have to navigate up a steep set of steps to get there.  The waiters are your standard chinese restaurant "in a hurry" types but they did get us the extra bowls and cutlery needed for the little one.  There is also a menu for other cantonese dishes but we didn't sample those as really, we came for the duck!!!!!

Eat. Play. Shop. Recommends : Duck Duck Duck if you feel like duck this is it.
Give it a Miss : if you HAVE to take your pram, or if you want modern decor, ambience, and top class type service. (ie/ it's yummy dining not fine dining!)

Old Kingdom on Urbanspoon

Highchair : Yes
Toilets : Did not get a chance to use as we were there only for an hour, however, I would expect toilet facilities in keeping with the fact this is an old chinese restaurant.......

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