Featured in Herald Sun’s as one of the 10 best places to eat duck in Melbourne, Simon’s Peking Duck offers three-course duck degustation experience in Boxhill.
Before my sister, Nia went back to Indonesia, she brought me to one of her favourite restaurants in Melbourne, Simon’s Peking Duck Restaurant. It was my first time – both at the restaurant and trying a peking duck.
Frankly, I wasn’t excited since I’m not a fan of any duck dishes because they tend to smell. In fact, most of the time I would avoid it. But, there are a few duck dishes I’ve tried and liked in Melbourne, and Simon’s included.
Must Try Family Restaurant In Melbourne
Simon’s Peking Duck might seem like your typical Chinese restaurant from the outside. A restaurant most of us are familiar with. A cosy gathering place with family on the weekends. It is clean and crowded even on a Wednesday night. But it isn’t any other Chinese restaurant. ]
Combined with the Simon’s warm and personalized service, the familiarity creates a homey feeling – something wanderers like my sister and I long for from time to time.
Offering 2 menu options to choose from, the food at Simon’s Peking Duck has the strange power to remind us of and make us feel home. Both menu include Sliced Duck served with crispy skin attached, a thin layer of pancake, spring onion and cucumber as the first course; and a third course of Duck and Preserved Vegetable Soup.
The differentiating point of the 2 options is that the second course in the menu – choosing between a Diced Stir Fried Duck with Bean Shoots or a choice of Fried Rice or a variety of Stir Fried Noodles with Shredded Duck Meat. In our case, we love the Stir Fried Handmade Noodle with Shredded Duck Meat.
Extraordinary & Personalized Dining Experience
Simon Lay, the owner of the restaurant had quite a reputation while working for Collingwood’s Old Kingdom a decade ago. Now, he personally carves each duck and gives step-by-step instructions on how to best enjoy the pancakes with the extra juicy meat wrapped in.
Though we missed the chance being served by Simon, it was still apparent that Simon micro-manages every customer’s dining experience. He went around cracking jokes, chatting with everybody and personally ensuring his customers are enjoying themselves. The man came by to our table for a chat and a good laugh a few times, and we had such a good time. Not to mention, Simon ensured that food came at a timely manner with quality services attend to your needs.
I really love how the simple taste of the homemade food and personalized dining experience threw me back to many family dinners in the past. You know, the ones you usually can’t remember but are oddly close to your heart. As the entire experience including the long and quiet car ride home makes me miss home, I promised to bring my family when they visit. And I did.
Three Course Duck Degustation
The three course duck degustation starts with Sliced Duck served with its crispy and glossy skin attached, a thin layer of pancake, spring onion and cucumber. The combination magically works in perfect harmony. By the time our second chosen course, the Stir Fried Handmade Noodle with shredded duck meat came, I was too occupied stuffing myself that I forgot to snap pictures of it.
The handmade noodle, shaped like udon is chewy while the sliced and stir-fried duck is surprisingly quite tender despite its tough appearance. As I noticed a hint of star anise, I told Nia that the dish tastes really familiar only to be warned that the next course will taste even more so – like I’ve had it many times before probably because it is a simple tasty homemade dish very much like mum’s cooking.
Of course she was right about the Duck and Preserved Vegetable Soup. It is another simple dish featuring very tender duck meat with a hint of sour preserved vegetable, plain tofu taste and a rich flavour of duck meat. It reminds me of pork ribs soup we used to have for breakfast on Sundays back home in Indonesia, so as an act of habit I asked the waitress for fresh cut chili and soy sauce to dip the meat with.
To Know About Simon’s Peking Duck Restaurant
The restaurant is about 40 minutes drive from Melbourne CBD, and I suggest you call in for a reservation if you do not want to risk going home empty handed. The time slots available for dinner are 6pm and 8pm. Don’t forget to call in if you are running late because they are pretty strict, and bring cash because it’s the only payment they accept.
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Food: 4.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Value: 4 out of 5
Ambience: 3.5 out of 5
Overall score: 4 out of 5
Simon’s Peking Duck Restaurant
Address: 197B Middleborough Road, Box Hill South
Contact: +61 3 9898 5944
Opening Hours: Tue – Fri (12PM to 3PM), Tue – Thu (5PM to 10.30PM), Fri – Sun (5PM to 11.30PM)
Eat like a local, city walkers!