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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 11:00am–3:00pm
Daily 4:30pm–9:30pm

Features Kid-friendly, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Bellaire Chinatown
8332 Southwest Fwy.
Houston, TX
(713) 988-5838
Peking Cuisine
If you don’t call far enough in advance, no duck for you!

This is just about our top place for Peking duck in the city. But you must call several hours in advance for it (one feeds about 3 people comfortably). It’s worth the extra trouble: this duck deconstruction team is deeply in tune with the process—which, when executed properly, as it is here, includes air-drying and slow roasting that produces extra-crispy, fatty skin ready to be sandwiched between somewhat stiff pancakes, with umami-sweet hoisin sauce, Napa cabbage, scallions, and bok choy. Bringing along a Chinese acquaintance helps; while the staff means well, nobody in the dining room tends to be fluent in English. Pointing at a menu probably won’t work either, as many of the descriptions are either spelled wrong or are missing important verbs or adjectives.

The duck is the be-all of the rather plain, tidy restaurant, but it’s not the end-all. Discreet flavors are not a forte of northern Chinese cuisine, and the flavors in soft, spicy marinated beef aren’t either, but its gelatinous, rendered tendons get just the right amount of spice and oiliness. Stir-fried spicy eggplant’s flecks of red pepper make it look hot, but a surprising sweetness balances the dish. And la pi (broad glass noodles) are some of the best around. Get some to distract your friends while you eat their share of duck.

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