Old Kingdom - Surrey Hills

In the world of Peking Duck in Melbourne, Old Kingdom is a famous name. Don't come here expecting anything fancy, this place is far from a kingdom. The tables are covered in butcher paper (we were told it's easier to clean off the duck oil splatter that way) and lot of tables with not enough waiters.

With the Peking duck you can have it with 3 styles of eating (ie, Peking duck pancake, noodles/bean shoots and soup) for $55. Each duck comes with about 14-16 wraps, and the duck is normally carved on your table. For those of you who don't know this, the duck used in Peking duck should not be the same duck as you would normally get as a roast duck in the Chinese BBQ variety. A Peking duck is normally more dried out to allow the skin to crisp up. Anyway, it as good too see that Old Kingdom followed the traditional route and served a duck with nice crispy skin on thin warm pancakes. 




For the second style, instead of just bean shoots we opted for noodles for an extra $8. We got both their crispy noodle and ramen (it's not really ramen, I think the guy who wrote the menu didn't understand the definition of ramen). This was a massive serving but if I had to pick, I prefer the crispy noodle as that crunch was a nice pairing with the thick sauce, duck meat and bean shoots. The softer noodle just felt a bit cluggy and heavy.
The last style of eat was the duck soup with Chinese mustard. Maybe my mum cooks really good soup at house, but I just didn't rate it. It tasted just like MSG broth with chunks of tofu.



For our mains, we went a bit overboard and ordered a few too many dishes. There was the Mandarin pork, which was quite disappointing, it tasted a bit like food court Chinese take away. The pork was too soft and the sauce was too sweet.
There was the Pi Pa tofu, not a bad execution but also not excellent. You might start noticing the trend of me not liking heavy sauce finishes here.
Balachan Kangkong (water spinach), I don't know why they would call themselves Chinese/Malaysian on Urbanspoon, they clearly didn't know what this dish was suppose to taste like. Just bits of prawn paste and not enough chili or garlic.
Garlic pawn, again a very very thick and heavy garlic sauce served with a variety of vegetables. The sauce was too thick and it started to set on the table when we were half way through dinner.

Salt and pepper flounder, it was a good take on this family classic but just needed a bit more pepper to it.

Lastly my little cousin and I got the fried ice cream for dessert, purely for the novelty factor as she has never had fried ice cream before. Fried ice cream was gold brown on the outside which was good to see, but the shell that they made had a very high coconut factor. The dessert would have had a slightly nicer texture if there was a higher cake content in the shell.

Overall I think this place is purely a Peking duck place, all other dishes were very average (some I would call below average). Their Peking duck is one of the better ducks, I've ever eaten... but all their other dishes is not something I would go back for. If I was to revisit, it would just be me and the boy, a Peking duck, noodle and soup (that would equate to a very happy Ness). I would give them a 18/20 for their Peking duck but if it was an overall score it would be 13.5/20

Old Kingdom on Urbanspoon

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