Peking Duck at Fung's Kitchen

Peking Duck at Fung's Kitchen

Several drinks have a way of making me want to venture outside the Loop for some really good food, which is possible with a comparatively sober companion diner/driver. Still salivating over the memory of a terrific meal at Fung's Kitchen, we decided to return in the hopes of replicating our experience.

Fung's was surprisingly quiet for 7 p.m. on a Friday night, though I'm guessing the multiple spacious dining areas probably fill to capacity during peak dim sum hours. We were among the few couples in the room; seasoned Chinese food fans know that large groups have the advantage at restaurants like Fung's, whose novel-length menus make it impossible not to want to order an excessive variety of dishes.

After several orders of cream cheese crab puffs, pan-fried pork dumplings, broccoli in garlic sauce, Peking duck, and squid with black bean sauce, we definitely had leftovers.

Missing from our doggie bags, however, was the duck. It was just too damn good. This generous platter easily contained 20-odd thick chunks of fowl, but we easily finished it all before our other food arrived.

I should note that my companion and I did not go full monty with the Peking duck ($30) -- that is to say, we skipped the first (skin with garlic sauce) and third stages (soup from the bones) of the traditional consumption ritual, skipping right to the second (pancakes stuffed with meat, sauce, and vegetables). A great Peking duck wrap requires quality in all components, and at Fung's, I found fresh cabbage, subtly sweet hoisin sauce (perhaps from the bottle, but it tasted homemade), and paper-thin yet sturdy pancakes. The duck itself had that wonderful tri-layer of different textures and tastes: crisp, salty skin; soft, buttery fat; and tender dark meat.

There are few things in this world that make me think badly of Thanksgiving turkey, but as I finished my fourth duck wrap, I thought, rather sadly, that my holiday bird would never quite compare in terms of fatty juiciness to Fung's Peking Duck.

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