J’s dad and stepmum were coming to visit and we knew we were going out to dinner with family friends. However, we thought the family friends’ daughter was organising dinner, until we got a phone call the night before. Nope, they thought we were organising it. Cue frantic conversation and internet research of what would be suitable (nothing fancy and BYO a must) near both houses, and available for 8 people on a Friday night at short notice.
After checking with the daughter that family friends eat Chinese, we booked Old Kingdom in Surrey Hills. I reserved two ducks and hoped everyone would be happy…
I had two choices when making the booking, 6pm or 8pm. I chose 6pm and we were one of the first groups to be seated.
Old Kingdom is the complete opposite of what the usual Chinese restaurant looks like. It is very sleek and modern.
There were menus on the table, but I only had a cursory look to confirm the duck options, but I presume they offer the standard Chinese fare.
It is $55 per duck for three courses of duck. The first being Peking duck, then bean sprout and duck meat stir-fry followed by soup. You can pay an extra $8 per duck and add either ramen noodles or crispy noodles to the bean sprout dish. As we had two ducks, we opted for one of each.
The first duck is carved at the table. The skill of this guy was pretty impressive. The slices were so thin. The duck is then removed to be carved up for the remaining dishes.
After the carving we all set about making our duck pancakes; duck, cucumber and spring onion, hoisin sauce and then wrap.
As stated previously I am not a fan of do-it-yourself food, and while it is easy to make a duck pancake I find everything goes cold quickly when it is all sitting out on the table.
However, the pancakes were thin and the duck good.
Next came two plates of bean sprouts, duck and noodles.
The waiter served us all a bowl of the ramen noodles.
We then helped ourselves to the same dish but with crispy noodles. There was division on the table about which was better. I voted for ramen.
The last duck course was the soup. Another winner, with much debate about the flavours and my father-in-law attempting to bite into a small chilli, which he quickly spat out.
I was stuffed and definitely didn’t need dessert, but the others all ordered something sweet.
Around the table, there was a banana fritter (no pic), lychees and ice-cream and deep fried ice-cream.
There was something on top of the deep fried ice-cream that was set alight. We didn’t determine what it was but found it a little odd.
I did try a bit of the lychees with ice-cream, which was very refreshing.
Everyone confirmed they were happy with the food, and for those that had never done a duck banquet before declaring it to be a bit different.
Service was very average, with us having to flag down someone to ask for anything we needed, or even go up to the bar and ask or grab it ourselves (water). There was a long wait between ordering dessert and the first few arriving and with another wait for the rest of the desserts to come out.
Old Kingdom does good duck at a good price, come here for that and ignore the bad service and you will be happy.