Peeking in on Peking Duck
I recently had friends in town from the mainland who were surprised to see duck on the menu at so many of the local spots I took them to, seeing as they don’t have many eateries that feature the hearty poultry in their California neighborhood.
It got me thinking about how lucky we are to be surrounded by a wealth of diversity in our dining scene here in the Islands, and I also shuddered to think how very dull my taste buds would be had I not grown up with Peking duck!
Needless to say, my friends loved trying the Chinese specialty — but the whole experience has only left me wanting more. So lo and behold, Ono, You Know is lifting the curtain on some fabulous Peking duck, as well as other gourmet takes on the wild game. I guess you could say I’m getting my ducks in a row so that you can go out and have a grandiose meal!
HAWAII’S VERY OWN DUCK DYNASTY
Speaking of Peking Duck, one of my all time favorite places to get the traditional favorite is Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant.
It’s the perfect thing to order when dining with a large party, as the whole duck, priced at $48, comes with 12 puffy buns and feeds at least 10 people. The platter is an especially great deal because you basically get two dishes in one: Patrons may enjoy the crispy skin with sauce inside the fluffy white buns, and then choose to have the rest of the meat either chopped up and served on the side (a quicker option for big groups) or made into delectable lettuce wraps.
According to general manager Gary Chan, the roasted ducks used in the eatery’s menu items are large and juicy, and cooked just long enough to get the desirable crispy skin without drying out. The other secret to the ir goodness is some good old-fashioned freshness.
Jade Dynasty is excited to unveil a brand new special: Duck Fried Rice in Stone Pot ($17.95). Good for five to six people, the dish doesn’t skimp on the poultry factor, as duck meat is featured both inside the fried rice — along with egg, mushroom and green onion — as well as on top with slices of tender duck breast. Duck drippings are used to make the sauce served on the side, which takes the whole menu item to a new level of deliciousness.
Duck Fried Rice in Stone Pot will be available Tuesday, May 31, right around noon after the first batch of ducks have been roasted to perfection. Because Jade Dynasty usually sells out of its duck, the kitchen roasts a second batch of birds in the early evening as well, ensuring your meals always are nice and fresh.
Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Ala Moana Center, Hookipa Terrace
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
QUACK YOUR WAY OVER TO STAGE
In many parts of the world, duck is considered a delicacy reserved for special occasions and the finest of meals. At Stage Restaurant in Honolulu Design Center, executive chef Ron de Guzman puts duck on his own pedestal, having created numerous dishes with the fowl in his time working at the eatery.
He’s currently introducing Pan Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast ($35; dinner only) with Ho Farms’ Swiss chard, roasted butternut squash and red wine demi-glace — a dish that started on the specials list but is now transitioning to the revamped regular menu.
Muscovy duck is a particular breed native to Central and South America. Rather than inundating the high-quality meat with too many seasonings, the chef prefers to let the natural richness of the duck to do the talking — or should I say quacking — in this dish.
“I like the flavor of duck, it’s unique, so we don’t do too much to it,” says de Guzman. “It’s pan roasted, so we render out the skin and cook it low and slow to try to get it crispy.”
Perfectly pairing with each succulent bite are locally sourced vegetables, which de Guzman calls the perfect accompaniments to the meat, as well as a duck demi-glace enhanced with red wine.
Dishes that match this one in quality and flavor are ready to be explored at Stage, where de Guzman and his team present their own interpretation of contemporary Asian-American cuisine. It’s all served up in a swanky dining atmosphere booming with fun decor and furniture pieces. A sister restaurant to Amuse Wine Bar, Stage offers lunch service ideal for business meetings or otherwise, divine dinners, a fabulous bar and unique themed events.
Honolulu Design Center, second floor
1250 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu