Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore based personal blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Best in Taipei. Pei Cheng Roast Duck 北城烤鴨

Restaurant name: Pei Cheng Roast Duck 北城烤鴨
Address: No. 248, Zhongzheng Road, Zhonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 235
GPS24°59'38.7"N 121°29'44.6"E | 24.994073, 121.495707
Nearest MRT: Jingan Station 景安站
Tel+886 2 2246 0456
Hours: 10:30am - 8:00pm

Pei Cheng Roast Duck 北城烤鴨 is a popular roast duck shop in New Taipei's Zhonghe District. There is always a queue outside, even before the 40 plus year old shop opens for the day. Many in the queue come from out of town.

Fans are here for Pei Cheng roast duck's crispy skin and juicy tender meat. Fans especially like Pei Cheng Roast Duck's unique herbal flavour which sets it apart from its competitors. The secret lies in Pei Cheng Roast Duck's boss herbal expertise.

北城烤鴨 boss 柯鴻林 (in his 50s now) was an apprentice in a traditional Chinese herbalist shop when he was 14 years old. He then started a successful fried chicken chop stall. He next invested in a marble company. But, that venture failed badly and he fell into heavy debt.

柯鴻林 then turned to his mentor 曾金義 who worked in Taiwan's first roast duck restaurant. With 曾金義's help, 柯鴻林 slowly rebuild his fortunes with his own roast duck stall.

With his own early experience at a herbalist, 柯鴻林 created his own unique blend of herbal marination for his ducks. He uses a blend of 13 types of herbs. 柯鴻林 fries his blend of herbs in a wok like he did at a traditional Chinese herbalist. The fried herbs are then grounded into powder which he used to season his ducks.

北城烤鴨 uses fresh ducks that have never been chilled before (so all the duck's natural juices and flavours are preserved). The powdered herbs are stuffed into the duck cavity. The seasoned ducks are then inflated with compressed air to separate the meat and skin. The blown up ducks are given a hot maltose bath. The sugar coated ducks are then fan dried for 5 hours. This process allows the herbs and maltose to deeply infuse the duck. They are then roasted in the "Apollo" oven for 40 minutes. The roasted ducks have an alluring herbal aroma and a gleaming glaze over the golden brown skin.

柯鴻林 slices his ducks very thinly, a skill he learnt when he was slicing Chinese root herbs when he was a boy.

At 北城烤鴨 roast duck, the slices are eaten folded into a crispy unleavened flat bread (instead of the usual spring roll skin). The crispy browned bread are made in house. The dough is brushed with duck grease infused with fried shallot flavour. The greased dough is fried to a browned crisp on a sizzling flat griddle (like a small pancake).

柯鴻林's teenaged son is already working at the shop so customers will be able to enjoy Pei Cheng Roast Duck in the years to come.

More posts by Johor Kaki on Taipei 👈 click

More posts by Johor Kaki on Taiwan 👈 click

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