Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Lu Din Gee

After purchasing Carl Chu's book I was sorely disappointed to learn that Quanjude and J.Z.Y. Cafe - his suggested purveyors of Beijing/Peking duck - had both closed. Thankfully a new contender serving the real thing has opened in San Gabriel and chowhounds can rejoice again.
Lu Din Gee (1039 E. Valley Blvd, B102 San Gabriel, CA 91776 Tel: (626) 288-0588.) is kind of fancy, with Stan Getz on the stereo, exposed brick and at least some waitrons with cool spiky hair. It's in the same mall as a broken rice shop, a Taiwanese snack restaurant (both of which I'm keen to try) and the best place to buy Hong Kong movies in L.A., Five Star Laser. House specialty is Beijing duck in the "one duck, three ways" style:

1) Duck skin - the most treasured bit, try it and you'll instantly know why - and meat carved separately. Assemble with pancakes, spring onion and cucumber sprigs and sweet/salty bean paste. This is the backbone of the meal, the crispy skin and tender moist meat are a perfect textural contrast (shades of Limster in these notes).
2) Duck meat stir fried with bean sprouts.
3) Duck soup in the Shandong style, milky white through long cooking over high heat and flavoured with some secret and wonderful herbs, some of which lurk at the bottom of your bowl.

This is a spectacular dish, one can easily discern the difference between the multi-step Beijing extravaganza and conventional roast duck from the Cantonese bbq shop. Check out Professor Salt's duck odyssey for mouth-watering pictures and his thoughts. Two ducks served six people easily for lunch - order at least 1 hour ahead - unfortunately we didn't try the crazy konyaku desserts but there must be a next time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ate at Lu Din Gee several times and hired their catering services for my company's board meeting. So far, I am very pleased with their friendly service and quality food. Their chef, Catherine Fang is very creative. She could customize menu for banquets and off-site catering. I plan to hire them for my wedding, too.

7:59 PM  

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