Peking Duck @ EC Kitchen @ Wednesday, April 08, 2015

31st March - Tuesday Dinner

This week's food adventure was a trip out of the city to Caulfield, as in Monash Caufield, opposite the gymnasium where badminton happens, and beside Caulfield Station, at EC Kitchen. As a restaurant within the zone of 'student eateries' we weren't sure about EC Kitchen, though they had a peking duck offer and we couldn't resist! We both love duck, though not to a point of ordering a 7 course duck menu (yes that includes dessert) for our wedding. 

Sorry I can't hold still... Le beau commented that this picture, with the lighting, made the road look 3D and like the first line from the bottom was on the wall of the tracks. He didn't know that EC Kitchen is right in front of a platform. 

Being a creature of the night it was delightful to see that EC Kitchen was open till 10pm on a Tuesday Night. Arriving around 8pm-ish it was alive and buzzing with chatter. 

Inside there was minimal (no) deco, though it didn't lack anything, one wall was a window and the other had panels and smaller rectangular windows with views of the station, where you could watch the trains go by. You'd think it would be noisy, no? It wasn't, not above the noise of the not very noisy for an asian resturant chatter. One thing I didn't like was the unnecessary tv screen which were bright and advertising traveling to HK and foods in the restaurant. 

We bought the 'Four-Course Peking Duck Banquet for Two ($35)' from Groupon and easily made a booking, on the day we wanted to have dinner there. Unlike other places that put your booking on hold, and you only get it if they don't get a better offer. The Beach Hotel, I'm looking at you.

As soon as we were seated the menu was presented and orders for drinks were taken. Soft drinks, why are they called soft drinks? I do know that liquor is considered hard, especially vodka. Along with soft drinks there was an option for iced tea or milk tea, I picked the later which Jas had a Fanta. This was odd as usual he goes for the more foreign thing and I op for a chocolate milkshake or juice. 

Iced Milk Tea $3.50

It was very tea-y, because whenever I have Bubble Cup & Co. it has coconut or something else dominating the tea flavour. It was sweet, though not too sweet. Being addicted to sugar I would like to add, say, a tablespoon of condense milk? But it was good, though too tea-y for me, not being a tea person.

Sang Choi Bao (2 Pcs) $12

Our entree this evening was San choi bao, the first asian dish I learnt to make in home economics. It's mince chicken mixed with chives/spring onion, oil and some other flavours, served in a lettuce cup. I like the idea but for me (messy eater) I ended up eating out of my hand. So glad I carry around WetWipes. It was good though nothing amazing, a bit oily but you can't say it was dry. 

The Star of the Show! 

Next came the DIY duck pancakes. This was exciting! As it's not enough to get serve food up to the consumer, they often like to interact and be a part of the process, though not all types of consumers would like that, so you need to research your target audience. Which in this case is Monash students, mainly. We were provided with a steamer with 6 pancakes, a plate with sauce/spring onion/cucumber, a plate of around 14 pieces of duck, and two serving plates. As expected it was delicious! And because you're making it yourself you could choose more/less sauce.  

Our duck part would be the 'Peking Duck, Half Serve (2 Courses) $30' if you ordered it. It includes 6 pieces of pancakes, and duck noodles/rice. Jas choose the noodles, after I enquied if they were oily. Last time it was so oily you could get it through a garden hose. They weren't too oily this time though. It was yummy and contained capsicum and bean sprouts. The duck was good, you could see it and there was just the right amount. The noddles looked like Maggi, and a tasting confirmed it, though there was lots of flavour and so it was still very good. No extra salt/pepper required, though jas liked to serve it with chilli oil.

Size Comparison!

I love dessert! And often find asian resturants don't do dessert, other than ice cream and canned lychee. But EC Kitchen had a range of buns! Which I discovered while writing this... 

They have Durian Ice Cream! Which le beau responses to with "If you order that you're walking home" XD I didn't end up ording it as we got a sample and it smelt foul, like durian flavour. When you make it yourself at home with the fresh fruit it's amazing!

Egg Custard Buns $2.20 each

For dessert we had the egg custard steamed buns, our waitress warned us they were hot, and they were. Delicious! The custard was cooked, steamed and not runny. 

Being next/on the train station, in front of platform 1, they took advantage of the space and opened up quick service take-away windows. They also do coffee, both of which was popular. 

Service was very good, almost fluent English with a couple words that were iffy. We were served by a series of waiters, due to my questions. :P To memory this is the best service I've had in a while.  

For a student area restaurant the dishes were more than usual <$12, considering the student budget (Jas sets his at $10, and mine's at $15). The rice dishes were less than $15 though not much else, which sat between there and $20. But there were some good lunch/dinner deals that included drinks, that I might buy if I was at Monash.

There was a large range of drinks including milo, all the teas and coffees, spiders (coke float) and fun dessert drinks like red bean with sago on ice. 

Without the Groupon Deal the totally would come to around $50 for the two of us, which is pretty good, though I'd rate as equal-ish to our last duck adventures, at Lucky Tea House. There was twice as much duck, but crazy oily noodles and no entree/drink/dessert/service. But if we were looking for peking duck again I'd go here.

Will we be back? On a group buy deal, probably yes. Without, yes for dessert, I'll be back for the Dark Brown Sugar Bun ($1.50) and Red Bean Paste Bun ($2.20).

What about lunch/dinner? No sorry, I'm not really a fan of Chinese food other than steamed buns, dumplings and Peking Duck. Nothing personal, for many we'd imagine this is what the food where they come from is like, but Jas is Australian and I'm American. Fast and cheap food reminds me of home, especially burgers. 

Do you share our passion for Peking Duck? 
Where do you recommend we go for our next duck adventure? 
Oh, and steamed buns, which filling is your favourite?

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