Okay, this is not a foodie blog. But this is not a detailed run-down of a meal either. If you’ve never tried Peking Duck, or you’re searching for Adelaide’s top serving of this glorious three-in-one Cantonese dish, read on.
Adelaide’s Chinatown is centred on Moonta Street running alongside the Central Market off Victoria Square. While there are plenty of Asian cuisine options on offer around here, one restaurant worth-considering is a short walk from the bustle, a few minutes further west along Gouger Street.
Here you will find Ming’s Palace, one of the longest-lived and most popular of Adelaide’s Chinese restaurants. It’s also reputed (and validated by this author) to serve the tastiest Peking Duck in town.
We visited early on a Friday night, and the place was already loud and bustling with several large groups of Asians tucking into their meals (always a good sign that you’re on the right track). Now Peking Duck is a tasty adventure, and an adventure best planned ahead to avoid disappointment. Make sure you reserve a suitable number of Peking Ducks a few days prior because once they run out, that’s it.
One duck should be suitable as one part of a meal for four, combined with a few of the other main dishes on offer (though we ordered two ducks, because we know how tasty they’d been in the past).
As is the tradition, you eat Ming’s Peking Duck over three courses – firstly the crispy scallops of brown-glazed skin added to shallots and cucumber strips in a folded pancake as an entrée, then the majority of the meat with noodles or fried rice as a main dish, and the bones in a clear broth finale.
The Peking Duck at Ming’s Palace comes in one size – large, and at $56.50 it’s not the cheapest duck in town. But we confirmed in this meal why Ming’s Palace is at the top of Adelaide’s Peking Duck pecking order.
Try the salt and pepper bean curd, Zing Du deep-fried spareribs in plum sauce and the Szechuan greens (all at $16) and you have a great meal. These extra dishes were all tasty, but the standout dish was definitely the duck and a trip to Ming’s Palace is worth it just for that.
For a future adventure, seafood can be chosen from the live tanks in the dining room. At one point during the evening we watched the chef bring out a magnificent, freshly boiled lobster for a table of patrons to view (cue squeals of horror and delight from the children at the table when the waiter made it jump towards them). Not long after, the lobster returned to the table as part of a sizzling dish.
Ming’s has an extensive selection of local wines, though I find that duck and other fatty Asian dishes go best with steaming hot pots of Jasmine tea.
Ming’s Palace – 157 Gouger Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000 – (08) 8231 9970. Park in the Central Market and walk down, or there’s handy but more expensive off-street parking right opposite Ming’s Palace if you can’t find a street park. Don’t forget to reserve your ducks.