Another Signature Chinese Bites dinner...this time I'm really excited because we were promised Peking Duck. Despite it being a quintessential Chinese dish, in the 10+ dinners we've had, it has never been served to us! We started off with some seafood in the form of these Pan Fried Tiger Prawns - 頭抽老虎蝦, headless but shell-on, just the way I like them. They were butterflied slightly, making the extraction process quick and easy. But to honest, I sometimes eat the shells too, if they are crispy enough. These ones weren't but the fleshy prawn was sweet with a just a touch of savory from the sauce. At last! The shiny, crispy Peking Duck - 北京片皮鴨 arrives! Some people like very little meat on the skin, but I don't really mind a bit of meat. However, I find that I have to peel off the layer of meat first, and then scrape some of the fat underneath off. On the right are the Steamed Crepe, used to wrap up the Peking Duck. These are thin with a bit of a chew to them. There isn't much taste on their own. Nearer to the front are the condiments required for the duck wrap, some julienned scallions and lots of HoiSin sauce (a blend of soy bean, sugar, salt and vinegar, amongst other things). The sauce is very thick and when using this at home, I tend to mix it with a splash of water to make it easier to spread. And here you have it, a completed Peking Duck wrap! There was lots of duck skin left, so I ended up having another one with two pieces of skin inside. So delicious! Part Two of the Peking Duck entree is the Lettuce Wrap - 生菜包. The take all the meat off the carcass of the duck and stir fry it. Common additions include diced veggies such as carrots, celery and water chestnut. They added some diced Chinese sausage as well, which made the dish different that normal, it was much better, actually. The stir-frying process really enhanced the fragrance of the Chinese sausage. This was really good. (On a side note, I revisited a few weeks later and the Chinese sausage was missing from this dish) So with our duck craving satisfied, we moved on to some seafood. The first up was the Sauteed Ling Cod with Veggies - 龍躉球炒時菜. The fish was very flakey and cooked to just the right level of doneness. The veggies were okay, not bad, but also not amazing. I could have used a bit more ginger and seasoning overall. Another seafood offering was the Braised Egg White and Crab Meat with Broccoli - 賽螃蟹. This dish is actually quite healthy, containing mostly egg whites, water and some crab meat. The flavour is again very mild, with just a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness of the crab. I think the egg whites were just a touch over, though I enjoyed the additional tobiko on top, giving the dish a punch of colour and additional saltiness. Our final seafood course was the Winter Melon with Assorted Seafood - 瓜環海中寶. I love the idea of using food as part of the presentation and this was no exception. Some ham was placed along the side of the tender melon for added flavour. Inside the melon bowl were lots of seafood including scallops, prawns and some squid as well. There were also crunchy veggies such as the snow peas and carrots. So now, back to the poultry end of things, this is the Deep Fried Crispy Skin Chicken- 炸子雞 and it's unmistakably crispy. The chicken was moist on the inside and had a great burst of briny flavour, especially after the rather mild flavours of the seafood dishes. You can further enhance the flavour by dipping the chicken into some spiced coarse salt. One dish that was new to me is the Pork Chop in Plum Sauce - 話梅豬扒. The plum sauce isn't the garden variety that you get with your spring rolls at the mall, rather, this is a preserved plum sauce. The preserving process gives the plum a super salty and sour flavour, but when made into a sauce, it becomes much milder. There was lots of this sauce, and I felt that the aroma was more powerful than the taste. The pork chops were a touch soggy as a result of the sauce, though that could have been the intention. Discounting the crepe that we had with our Peking Duck, there wasn't any carbs present in this meal, yet. Here to the rescue is their House Special Chow Mein - 招牌炒麵. It's the best "no thought required" way to end the meal, since it has something for everyone. There are veggies, assorted seafood and meats as well as lots of crispy noodles. Add some hot sauce as I did and this is a great way to wrap up dinner. For dessert, we were all looking forward to the Baked Tapioca Pudding Pastry - 酥皮西米焗布甸. If you haven't had it before, you are in for a treat. The thick and gooey tapioca custard/pudding is kept piping hot under a blanket of flakey and patterned pie crust. Oh my goodness, as many of you know, I'm not a dessert fan but this one gets me everytime. Perhaps a key point is that the custard itself isn't overly sweet.
Overall, this was a good meal but I found the flavours a bit too mild on the seafood dishes. The duck and chicken were the standouts for me, as well as the dessert.
**Fortune City Seafood Restaurant hosted Chinese Bites for this tasting but my opinions are my own.**
More reviews available here for Signature Dishes Tour Dinners.