Tucked in the corner of Lodhi Colony main market (New Delhi) is the Ping’s Café Orient. Famous for serving authentic Pan Asian cuisine – I have been eyeing this cafe especially for the Peking duck; which I saw on there menu and was excited to get my hands on.
Along with a friend we decided to visit the cafe for lunch – the journey started with Google taking us quite far from Lodhi Colony (Since it was our first time visiting – we were using Google to guide us). We had to contact the establishment to get the correct direction and we finally reached there 45 minutes late than our original appointment.
Fortunately, we were able to get a table for us and the our food journey through Asian food started with the highlight of the meal been the Peking duck.
Starting with the soup – chicken soup with burnt garlic was our choice. The appetizers were spread across pan Asia – starting with spicy Korean chicken wings, wok-tossed dynamite shrimp, fiery Asian barbecue chicken and charcoal roast pork skewers were served with char siu sauce. The star was the Korean chicken wings – a little sweet and spicy at the same time; this was not your usual flavour profile we are use to in North India. Followed closely by the dynamite shrimp with was loaded with chilli garlic wasabi mayo.
With our appetite getting a taste of these delicacies – we moved our attention to the main highlight – that crispy skin and juice meat piece of meat we have came so far – The Peking Duck!!!
We had no idea how they Peking duck would be served – all the menu said was it’s done classic style – not willing to spoil the surprise, we just went ahead and ordered without inquiring much about it. We decided to drink some coffee (Vietnam style) while waiting for the duck. And finally that moment arrived – it was in front of us and we were speechless.
It was exactly that we have dreamed – all the elements of making it an epic first Peking duck experience was there. Freshly hand made pancakes, spring onions, carrot and cucumber slices along with three sauces –
Hoisin sauce, chilli sauce and sweet honey sauce along with the main attraction the Peking duck.
The aroma only was enough to make us salivate with anticipation. With the wait over – we made sure we eat it just like it meant to be; we added the duck (juicy and crispy on the outside), spring onion, cucumber and the hoisin and sweet honey sauce – made it in a shape of a taco and devoured it all. I must have eat 3-4 pancakes loaded with the Peking duck and the assortments – embracing every bite!!! It was truly an experience – which was as authentic as possible given that we are in New Delhi – miles away from where the dish originated.
The meal fit for a king – ended with the coconut jaggery ice cream; which is now my favorite flavour. You will have to taste it yourself to see why it’s by favorite.
Having tasted the Peking duck – one of the most famous culinary experience from the continent of Asia. Our search for more such experiences continues…
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Author: Abhay Thakur