Empire City Roasted Duck
Shop 221, Level 2, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2628 0662
Cuisine: mostly Beijing, with some Sichuan and Cantonese dishes
Price: about HK$200 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: comfortable, with a low noise level. Most of the seating is at booths, which can easily accommodate four. Service is efficient.
Pros: price is reasonable for the quality.
Cons: fried chicken with chilli (HK$88) had a good level of spice, but the small pieces of meat were dry. The Shanghainese dish of noodles with green onion (HK$38) had too much sauce, and the spring onions were tough and chewy. Roasted pork with butterfly pastry (HK$88) had soft, light steamed buns, but the meat could have been cooked longer. The baked turnip pastry (HK$30 for three) was oily.
Recommended dishes: we were intrigued by the menu category of duck 'parts', which included intestines, brains and tongues. We ended up ordering only the marinated duck liver - a delicious cold dish that, delicately flavoured with rice wine, was as good as many foie gras dishes we've had at French restaurants. Marinated pork kidneys (HK$55) had the crunchy, bouncy texture you expect of this organ. The Peking duck (HK$148 for half or HK$268 for whole) had nice, crisp skin, which we enjoyed with the steamed pancakes and some unusual accompaniments including honey melon and preserved turnip. But the meat was flavourless. Stir-fried minced duck meat with pine nuts and dried scallops, served with lettuce cups or sesame pastry (HK$58), was well-seasoned and had a good mix of textures. One of our favourite dishes was the stir-fried Chinese asparagus with shrimp roe (HK$88), an unusual vegetable with a texture similar to bamboo shoots.
What else? Empire City Roasted Duck is part of the Super Star restaurant group.