Unit 1/ 1 Lawry Pl
Macquarie ACT 2614
Ph : (02) 6253 2268
Ok, so it was Friday, 6pm after a long hectic week, and I was in no mood to go out to exercise. For the whole day, I had this craving for peking duck and thanks to a tip-off, I was given two potential places to try out in Canberra. I had no tendency towards either so it was rather random that I jumped into the car and in 20mins, I was in Macquarie at Dumpling Inn Restaurant. Thanks Google Map for the direction. :)
According to aptronym, her family used to visit Dumpling Inn Restaurant quite regularly when she was growing up here. Back then, the restaurant was in Aranda but, it moved to Macquarie in the last three years.
The drive to Macquarie from Woden
It's very easy to find amongst the local shops in Macquarie
What was I going to eat? Peking duck (cooked two ways) was on the menu but I was by myself. I asked the very friendly and eager waiter if there was Peking duck. I was told that I had to either pre-order it or wait one hour.
I didn't care. I had the craving so I ordered the Peking duck!
Whilst I waited for the duck to be prepared, I looked through the menu. I was happy that, while much of the dishes have been modified for Caucasian taste buds (eg honey chicken, sweet & sour pork, BBQ pork in plum sauce etc) there was a section on the back page dedicated to Peking/ Beijing cuisines :)
First up was the hot and sour soup. Many may disagree but for me, this is one of the benchmarks I use to differentiate between a good and not so good Peking-style restaurants. For me, the version here was nearly right. Nearly right? Yes, nearly right. The sourness was just right but the hotness was mild but I was able to augment it with white pepper. There was a good quantity of tofu and shredded pork so overall, a nice hot and our soup.
Hot and sour soup ($4.50)
Next up was the Shallot Cakes. These are deep-fried pastries with shallot inside the pastries. The cakes were not very oily and had good shallot taste.
Shallot Cake ($4.40)
Next up, the xiao long bao. This is another dish I use as benchmark. The version presented here is about average. The skin is very fragile and as consequence, rather soft and breaks easily when picked up with chop-sticks. In my mouth, the skin just fell apart.
I think the skin for xiao long bao at New Shanghai in Ashfield (Sydney) is nicer albeit on a slightly thicker side in terms of texture. The best xiao long bao skin I have had is at Ding Tai Fung, where the skin is delicate yet able to hold all the filling and soup inside, and giving a nice texture when eating the xiao long bao. As a consequence of the easily friable skin, there isn't much soup in these xiao long bao. The meat filling is nice, although on the slightly salty side.
Xiao Long Bao ($12)
After one hour wait, my duck was presented to me for inspection. However, before I could take a picture, the duck disappeared back into the kitchen to be carved up!
The Peking duck was worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed the crispiness of the skin and it was not overly salty. Yum! The wrapping was ok, although on the slightly dry side.
Peking Duck - 2 courses ($45)
By this time, I was just too full! I couldn't even finish the second course of the peking duck.
Overall, quite a reasonably priced Peking-style restaurant in Canberra suburbia. While I rate New Shanghai in Ashfield better than Dumpling Inn, I still had a great time.
Oh and the timepiece of the night?
Stainless steel Jaeger Le-Coultre Master Geographic, ref 142.8.92. This model has been replaced by a larger version (40mm) ref 150.84.20. The 142.8.92 features JLC calibre 929, which is based on JLC Cal889/1. It beats at 28800vph, 42 hours reserve. There is power reserve, date and world time indicator.
For tonight, the time is set to Sydney as Canberra is not on the dial. The case work is beautifully polished, the dial is light silver with white subdials. The dauphine hour and minute hands contrast well to the blue constant second hand. The 3'clock crown allows adjustment of the world time at single click or the main time display with a 2 click pull of the crown. There is a date adjuster at 2'oclock side of the case and the crown at 10 o'clock changes the world time dial according to the city displayed on the inner rotating bezel.