Saturday, September 24, 2011

Grape Garden Peking Restaurant, Willoughby

Never judge a restaurant by its look because you never know what might surprise you. Grape Garden Peking Restaurant might look like a quite restaurant right opposite Willoughby Girl's High School however I was quite blown away at the authenticity of their food. The owner/chef/waiter runs the restaurant with his wife assisting him on the side and if my memory serves me correct he is also the owner of a restaurant in the Lemon Grove food court. 

Peking duck and that was only the start of the ducks
There was so much duck served that night, I felt like I ate half a farm's worth! The food in general came out relatively fast (especially taking into consideration that there was mainly one man multi-tasking at almost everything. As busy as he was, he was really friendly as he spoke and treated us like a friend rather than an ordinary customer.

Braised Pig Ears Shred - $11.80
Braised pork if I recall correctly - $11.80
Chinese Fungi Mushrooms with cucumber
Chinese Pork Dumplings - $12.00
I will admit this was the first time I have tried pig ears as I have been hesitant in the past but after trying them, they tasted like any other piece of meat, probably a bit more chewy than expected. The crunchiness of the cucumber and the spiciness helped give the pig ears more flavour.  Also, the dumplings were crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside which is how I like them.

Duck soup
Peking duck (2 set) - $68.00
Stir fried hand made noodles with duck
Shallot pancake with shredded pork - $14.80
This was also the first time I had duck three ways as most restaurants normally have serve it as two ways. The duck was juicy and the skin was crispy, the pancake for the peking duck was a bit different because it was more doughy but that made it so much more traditional. 

The duck soup and the noodles were both well made, but the soup was so packed full of flavour, though this was partially because of the pepper. I didn't want to share the duck soup, I wanted the entire bowl to myself because I loved it that much.

The shallot pancake was also an interesting dish because the owner actually taught us how to eat it. To me, it looked more like an Asian pizza where the pancake was the base and the shredded pork became the topping.

Fighting to quickly dip in our sweet potatoes!!
Hot Toffee Sweet Potato - $14.00
Last but not least came out the dessert. It took us a while to realise that we actually had to dip in the sweet potato into the bowl of cold water to harden the toffee or else we wouldn't of been able to eat it because it was way too hot! It was one of the more fun desserts I have had in a while as everyone was trying to separate the potatoes as fast as they could before it set.

Grape Garden Peking Restaurant, Willoughby

- 52 Penshurst Street, Willoughby 

Gotta go eat!!

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