Having been to my orthodontist for over a decade, I have never ate at Peking Man Restaurant, which is located the same plaza as my orthodontist, and oddly, the only restaurant in plaza of medical offices.
We had the intention of having a late lunch last year at Peking Man, only to find the restaurant was closed due to a kitchen fire. They’ve since reopened and I kind of wished that while they were closed, that they would have renovated the restaurant as well.
I felt I walked into a cruise ship, circa 1980. Pink walls, mishmash of kitschy knick knacks, faux plants and flowers and just really dated furniture. There was a motorcycle arcade machine at the entrance, Super Hang-On. An indication that they really did hang on to the decor.
Nonetheless, Peking Man is known for Peking Duck, a famous dish from Beijing best known for its thin, crispy skin and traditionally served by having the whole cooked duck sliced in front of you. Many of the awards the restaurant won are for the Peking Duck (although most of the awards are from 10 years ago).
We knew we were going to get the Peking Duck ($36), which is served in two courses: the first is served the traditional way and the second is served with bean sprouts. There are other options for the second course, but they come with additional charge. Our server told us that it would take about 40 minutes to prepare the Peking Duck, so in the meantime, we ordered fried noodles with seafood ($11.50).
The noodles were such a disappointment — really oily and only three pieces of shrimp and scallops. There was even pork in it. The restaurant does have some sort of ongoing theme of randomness.
When the Peking Duck came, our server sliced as we watched and brought the plate of beautifully arranged slivers. They provided slices of cucumbers and scallions and thin pancakes. Peking Duck is traditionally eaten with a few pieces of the meat, scallions, cucumber and a dollop of hoisin sauce, rolled in the pancake.
The second course is basically shredded duck meat from your duck and stir fried with bean sprouts. Doesn’t look appetizing, but at least you know you’re getting the excess meat. Whenever I have Peking Duck, I never see it again after the carving.
The Peking Duck is one of the best I’ve had, it has the crispy skin and tender meat. Peking Man Restaurant is one of those places where the food (just the Peking Duck!) speaks for itself, if you can overlook the atrocious decor.
Peking Man Restaurant
1110 Sheppard Ave., E
North York, ON