...Tai Pan (Calgary)

Overall - 8.5/10
Food - 9/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10

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Growing up, Peking duck was always a special occasion dish. It would be reserved for birthdays and visiting out of town relatives. With such large gatherings the duck never lasted long, and it was a long wait until the next birthday or special occasion. Recently we decided to head over to Tai Pan to try out their special four course Peking duck set dinner for 29.99 instead of waiting for my next birthday to roll around.

The first course consisted of soy braised duck wings and necks served with marinated jelly fish. To the uninitiated this dish might sound odd, but after slowly braising away for hours in soy sauce and star anise these normally tough cuts of the duck become tender and more flavourful than any other cut.

Next was an aromatic duck broth made from the bones and watercress, which really cut through the richness of the duck wings. It was the perfect dish to whet our appetites for the main course that was to come.

Although the previous two courses certainly were tasty, the true star of the show was the Peking duck. When it comes to your table, it really is quite an impressive sight. Arranged around the plate are the thinly sliced pieces of duck breast while the crispy skin is piled high in the centre. Wrapped up in a thin crepe with hoisin sauce and garnished with the slight spiciness of green onion and coolness of the cucumber this really is one of the best bites of food I've ever had.

Since no chinese meal is complete without rice, the final course was a duck sticky rice. 

For only 29.99 this four course Peking duck dinner was more then enough for the two of us that night. In retrospect this would have been enough to feed 3-4 people comfortably. With speedy service and decent prices our next Peking duck meal at Tai Pan will definitely be in the near future.


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