VILLAGE ROAST DUCK,
Lot F8, 1st Floor,
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre,
1, Jalan Telawi Satu,
Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2287 4128
Business hours: 11.00am to 10.00pm, daily.
TEEMING with activity during lunch and dinner, Village Roast Duck seems perpetually busy and beckons out to the uninitiated to step inside for a taste of its sumptuous fare.
As its name suggests, the ubiquitous duck stars here with the Special Roast Duck Cantonese Style and Crispy Aromatic Duck as the top sellers.
The secret to all its buzz lies in the way the duck is prepared, which I am told is in the typical fashion of Chinese restaurants in Bayswater, London.
Manager Kenix Choo said unlike the thick local duck sauce which was sparingly dotted unto the meat, the Village Roast Duck’s version was lighter, not thick nor salty or sweet which diners could enjoy in liberal doses.
“A majority of our customers have dined at Chinese restaurants at Bayswater and are familiar with the London style of cooking duck as we do here,” she said adding that the duck sauce was derived from the roasted duck jus.
Local cooks, Choo said used plenteous spice to marinate the duck whereas Chinese cooks in London, toned down on the spices so as not to overpower the duck meat.
Choo added that restaurants in London sourced for ducks with a layer of skin, thick fat layer and meat from Ireland whereas local ducks, used at the restaurant paled in comparison because the fat content was minimal.
Nevertheless, the ingredients, method of marinating and cooking, gives the restaurant’s duck fare its distinct charm that appeals to many duck lovers.
For photographer Low and I, it was all about discovering the tender and juicy duck meat laden with fragrant sauce as we savoured the Special Roast Duck Cantonese Style and Crispy Aromatic Duck with pancakes.
The Special Roast Duck can be ordered per portion at RM18, half portion (RM34) and whole duck (RM68).
Part of the secret to the smooth textured meat and crispy skin is in the way the duck is prepared.
According to Choo, the duck is slapped on with Chinese herbs to marinade, then hung out to dry for at least 24-hours before being popped into the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
The Crispy Aromatic Duck on the other hand is boiled in a pot of aromatic herbs containing cinnamon, star anise, cloves, ginger, salt and pepper for about an hour, then fried to a crisp when an order is received.
This dish is similar to the popular Peking Duck dish with subtle differences as to what goes into the pancake roll.
In the Peking Duck offering, the caramelised skin is carefully sliced off the meat and placed unto a pancake with hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion stalks while the meat is fried with noodles or prepared into a savoury stir-fry dish.
But this is not the case with the Crispy Aromatic Duck, which I found wonderfully tasty on its own and good to snack on.
We watched as the waiter loosened the fleshy meat and crispy skin off the carcass and packed it tightly into the pancake rolls with plum sauce, cucumber and two inch lengths of spring onion.
Rich in spices and flavourful, this dish priced at RM18.80 per portion, half portion (RM34.80) and whole bird (RM68.80), was my personal favourite.
The restaurant is a family business owned by Choo, her sister Tienna and brothers Kok Wai and Kelvin with Choo’s husband Liew Sin Mun as the head chef.
The Choo siblings from Ipoh, all worked at Bayswater for eight years before deciding to pack it up, bringing home their knowledge and experience to start off a London conceptualised restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.
“Kok Wai and I worked at the Four Seasons restaurant while my sister Tienna and brother Kelvin worked at the Kam Tong and Goldmine restaurants.
“We decided to come back to be with our family here and use our experience to manage and run our own business,” she said.
Choo’s brother Kok Wai, the roast duck expert created the secret recipe for the duck dishes that could be spied on most tables at meal times. From the outside, it may look as if dining here might burn a hole in your pocket but do not be afraid to venture in because meals are rather affordably priced.
Ask for a plate of wantan noodles priced at RM6.80 or opt for the wantan noodles (soup or dry) with roast duck, bbq pork, crispy pork or soy chicken and the sum total is merely RM12.80.
The house specialty of Wasabi King Prawn (RM32.80) packed in a punch with the wasabi flavours tugging at the tastebuds but to tone it down a notch, avocado is added into the lime green coloured sauce.
A scrumptious find here is the Deep Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper (RM22.80), a crispy offering speckled with chilli flakes, unearthing crunchy flavours with soft squid underneath the light batter.
Those who delight in pork will enjoy the Peking Spare Ribs (RM22.80) and Pork Trotters with Vinegar in Hot Pot (RM18.80) or even the Three Combination BBQ Meat (RM38) which is a combi of roast pork, crispy pork and bbq pork relished with dark sauce.
As the restaurant’s dessert menu was not too extensive, we settled for the sweet and plump Toffee Banana (RM5.80) before calling it a night, happy to have discovered an appetising duck fare in the heart of Bangsar.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.