Last week my family suggested grabbing dinner in Chinatown. Unsure of where to go, my mom suggested Gee Gong which for some reason my brothers objected, but I didn’t mind it. I haven’t been there for years – the last time I was there was with my late grandpa and I remember it was one of his more visited Chinese restaurants. It’s cheap, quick and consistent in terms of quality. I know C and I have been meaning to come here for lunch but it never happened… Anyways, my mom comes here quite often to buy their BBQ meats – so much that the staff knows her!
Here’s what we ordered tonight:
BBQ Pork – Complimentary
Minutes after we sat down this was brought to our table. The owner was very gracious to provide this as a sample on the house. Good, lean pieces of pork (I like mine with a bit of fat on it) but I found the sauce a tad on the salty side. This will go better with steamed rice.
Peking Duck Three Courses – $23.95
First Course: Sliced Duck with Crepes
You know, I often chuckle when I read on menus about their “authentic Peking duck (正宗北京填鸭)” or some form like that, yet really, all you’re served is the roasted duck from the bbq stand! I didn’t try any “authentic” Peking style duck when I was in Asia last year – I was too busy eating roasted goose instead so I don’t even know what it should taste like. I do know of the process where if you want paper thin yet crispy duck skin, you can very tediously blow air into the duck somehow. The roasted duck here is not bad – the meat is lean and there’s not a lot of fat under the skin. I like how the crepes are dry and fluffy as opposed to greasy like some places. Though the portion seems small, it wasn’t, and for the price I’m not complaining.
Second Course: Duck Bone and Tofu Soup
The flavor of the duck bones provides the main flavor in this soup – the tofu and vegetables really soaks up the essence of the duck! My toddler decided to drink all of my soup so I didn’t have any. My family commented that it didn’t taste like it was laden with MSG.
Third Course: Duck and Pineapple Fried Rice
Whoever thought of pairing pineapple and duck together in fried rice is a genius! The sweet and semi-citrusy taste of pineapple (canned, most likely) helps cut the grease of the duck. Although it doesn’t look like it, there was a good amount of duck throughout the plate of rice so you know the restaurant doesn’t cheap out on ingredients. Taste wise, this was a good, standard tasting plate of fried rice. I always like more “wok hey” to my fried rice and this one lacked that.
Group Dinner Special – 3 items for $28.95
Stir Fried Fish Filet with Vegetables
My grandma had wanted steamed fresh fish this evening, but the restaurant didn’t have any. She also didn’t want anything too fried, so the staff suggested this for her. Big, meaty pieces of fish filet stir fried with an assortment of broccoli, celery, carrots and onions. I don’t know what the sauce is – I’m not good at naming Chinese sauces but wouldn’t be surprised if it was just good ol’ oyster sauce. The vegetables were still crisp and cooked just right.
Stir Fried Beef Slices and Long Green Beans in Black Bean Sauce
This was another solid meat and vegetable dish. The beef slices were very tender (tenderized perhaps…?) and the green beans still had their natural crispness to it. The black bean sauce had just enough flavor without being too overpowering – I find that it can get really salty sometimes.
Salt Baked Chicken (half)
Despite the name of this dish, the chicken wasn’t just salty. Actually, I found that the salt flavor was a bit mild – either they didn’t use enough salt or it wasn’t cooked long enough, so the meat wasn’t able to retain all of the flavors from the salt/sauce. Regardless, the chicken was very tender and the meat was slippery smooth. I think next time I will try their chicken with another type of sauce.
Marinated Pork Stomach – Complimentary
My mom went to settle the bill at the front and brought this back to the table. She said that she saw the lady chopping this up and casually mentioned how she likes it so the lady gave her this plate to try! How generous of them. These were nice and crunchy and had great flavors from the soya-sauce like marinade. I know it’s not for everyone to eat innards but I do not object at all.
Red Bean Dessert Soup
This was pretty standard… and one of my most hated Chinese desserts (just b/c it’s served everywhere). I only had a couple of spoonfuls and left it.
I can’t believe we don’t come here more often – I feel like I’ve been missing out. Gee Gong is truly one of the places where you can call a gem! Great food, very reasonable prices and great service – it’s always busy and definitely popular in Chinatown! I can’t wait to try their lobster dish – I think it’s only $25.95 and you get to pick the cooking method. I saw the server carrying a plate out and it’s a HUGE portion!