Value for money: 7/10
As we were in MaoKong over the long weekend of 2/28 and getting cold, we decided to go and get some ginger duck to warm us up.
This chain ginger duck restaurant has branches everywhere, so we were just hoping it would be as good as what I hear the original store in SanChong is.
The pot you can see to the side of the massive pan with ginger in it, is one of the pots they serve up at your table.
What we ordered:
As we had ordered the Duck in ginger broth – 薑母鴨 jiāng mǔ yā (small pot $280), the coals were served and put on our table before the pot arrived.
Before the broth arrived, we were served up with our rice noodles 麵線 miàn xiàn. They were alright. They weren’t about to change the way I think about Taiwanese food, but they provided the necessary carbohydrates for my meal.
The Duck intestines 鴨腸 yā cháng arrived cold, ready to be plunged into the molten ginger soup when it arrived.
As the soup arrived, we prepared ourselves with two sauces provided for the table: The lighter coloured one is this salty sauce with no particular over-riding flavour. At first, I didn’t particularly like it, but it grew on me as the meal progressed. It was fine, but I don’t think necessary.The other was just a spicy soy sauce, which I actually enjoyed more.
Packed full of duck, duck blood 鴨血, tofu skin 豆皮, frozen bean curd凍豆腐, hand made fish dumplings 手工魚餃 and duck meatballs 鴨肉丸, this soup was bursting with ingredients and aroma.
It seemed like every time the spoon came up, you could fish out something different.
The duck intestines went down to almost nothing if left too long. Not known for their flavour, particularly, but more for the slightly chewy texture.
We counted no more than 6 pieces of meat inside the pot, so it’s a good job we had plenty of other things from the menu to eat. The meat itself was quite chewy, and not particularly flavourful. It had clearly been bubbling away for a while, otherwise it should have just fallen off the bone…
This is something I just cannot get used to in Taiwan. I know some people love chicken feet, so I presume duck feet are the same? However, the scales on the skin and the webbed feet on this duck foot was enough to make me shudder to look at it. And, really, it has no meat on it. If you are a regular foot eater, I’d love to know your thoughts on why you eat these things.
After we had only a little broth left and no more edible morsels to choose from, the pot was removed and the burning embers remained.I have heard that the original store in SanChong is very good, so maybe I will try that next time. I feel that the chain stores can sometimes let standards slip and I don’t want to decide that the SanChong one will be different, but I hope it will.
Really, I expect the broth to have a deeper ginger flavour, I expect the meat to be cooked slower and for longer, and I expect there to be more meat. Afterall, it is called ginger DUCK.
Monday – Sunday
16:30 – 02:00
02 8661 3491
No. 233, MuXin Road, Section 2, WenShan District, Taipei City