In my opinion, Smithdown Road knocks spots off its nearest rival, Allerton Rd, when it comes to food. Whereas Allerton Road's eateries all look the same and tend to offer small, bland portions, Smithdown provides the cheap and cheerful vibe with a lively selection of restaurants from all round the world. After my last meal out in the Royal Tandoori, a recent meal deal in Christakis and a gallon of potent coffee in Santino, it was time for me to sample the delights of their neighbour, Peking Duck. Like the Royal, this restaurant has been there for years but for some reason, I never tried it, it was either local ones in the Childwall vicinity or the city centre. After having so many bad Chinese meals in Liverpool compared to my previous home towns of Manchester and Dubai, my expectations weren't high for this one. How wrong could I have been?
Peking Duck offers a 3 course early evening deal- a soup, a dim sum and a main, with coffee or tea to finish for just £10.50. Inside, it is a typical old school Chinese- dark with the proverbial fishtank but with ever so friendly staff. To start, I went for that old favourite of mine, Veggie Hot and Sour.
Amazing. A perfect potent blend of hot and sour spices with meaty chunks of tofu, this was what Hot and Sour is all about. One of the best quality H&S's I have ever had.
Starter number two was a much loved favourite of mine, Spring Onion Pancakes:
Served with an orange flavoured dip, the pancake was fluffy and packed to the gills with spring onions, again top notch and far better than the freezing cold offering I had at Canton Palace a few months ago.
After those delights were digested, time for the main event, tofu in black bean sauce, served with boiled rice:
Fabulous again. Huge portion size, a rich black bean sauce, not watered down like some establishments, thick slabs of delicious fresh spongy tofu soaking up the flavours of the sauce. There was no scrimping on portion size here!
After digesting that feast, there was a complimentary coffee (albeit instant) with the cherry on the cake- an After Eight. A perfect, classic old school good old fashioned British Chinese with all the ingredients of good food, good company and pleasant surroundings. Peking Duck, you have surpassed my expectations and saved me the journey to Manchester for decent Chinese grub.
The good- excellent portion size, bargain price and a great atmosphere. Good veggie selection.
The bad- instant coffee