When you’re out and about late night in Northbridge and you get that growly hunger pain that usually leads you to sourcing out a kebab or dodgy slice of pizza, please change your focus and head to Chinatown instead.
In a square you find yourself faced with shining beacon lights beckoning you forth to try tasty dish after tasty dish. I tend to find myself choosing the destination based on what dish I feel like eating since they all subscribe to a late night offering into the wee hours of dawn.
On this occasion after a fundraising movie event then a going away at the Garden, Jeremy and I were starving and craving some delicious and satisfying Chinese food. Though the idea of some kway teow was definitely tempting, the peking duck at Billy Lees was calling me. After all, it’s one of the few places that you don’t actually need to pre-order this dish.
We sat outside in the laneway amongst other diners, revelling in the semi-warmth of the evening. It’s a nice atmosphere that seems to take you overseas like dining in markets in Malaysia or Singapore. It even comes equipped with the overly drunk bogan guys who are being completely inappropriate. But if you can look past them, you can find yourself having a really great time.
We order the peking duck which is two courses for $59 and before we know it it’s in front of us. It looks and smells great and we’re quick to dive in.
If you haven’t eaten peking duck before it can come in a couple different ways, but here it first comes as slices of meat with the skin attached on. You take the duck, place it in the pancake skin with a slice of cucumber, spring onion and chilli (the chillis here are hot!). After you put on a liberal serving of hoisin sauce, you wrap the pancake up and eat away to your heart’s content.
Besides it tasting really delicious, I have to admit I have a love for this dish because of the hands on involvement element. And the fact that the sauce is the most amazingly rich and thick concoction that works so in-sync with duck it’s like they were made for each other.
The second course arrives as we make it halfway through the pancakes, and here it’s san choi bao which is diced duck meat with spring onions, mushrooms and other yummy ingredients which you spoon into iceberg lettuce cups and roll up to eat.
I like to add some hoisin sauce to the mix to enhance the smokey pan flavour even more. Each bite is both crunchy but soft; the taste exploding in my mouth.
It might be just your standard Chinese restaurant, but this place gets it so right and you can’t get past the juicy and oh so enjoyable food here. It’s where to go when you’re out and about late at night.