London is synonymous with good food, and where the Chinese community is concerned, roast ducks are a must when in the British city.
Sure, there are many upmarket Chinese restaurants serving exquisite Chinese cuisine and dimsum, but most would agree that when in London, nothing beats the comfort of a plate of roast duck and a bowl of egg fried rice in a relatively old-school Chinese-looking eatery complete with (gaudy) red and gold decor.
So London has three very famous names when it comes to roast duck – Four Seasons Roast Duck, New Fortune Cookie and Gold Mine. These three are the most talked about restaurants, but which exactly is the crème de la crème?
We’ve been to all three many times on numerous occasions, and this is our humble take on the best roast ducks in London.
FOUR SEASONS CHINESE RESTAURANT
WHY YOU SHOULD COME HERE: This is the legendary Four Seasons Roast Duck that everyone talks about, and is dubbed as the most branded place in London for roast duck.
HOW MUCH: It is £13.80 for half a duck – which is rather pricey considering how it does not taste fantastic and the skin ain’t crispy.
VERDICT: There are two outlets in London – one in Chinatown (that everyone goes to) and one in Bayswater. Surprisingly, the standards differ vastly. Let’s just say no one should waste their time at the Chinatown outlet.
The Bayswater outlet has (just very) slightly better service, and strange enough, better roast ducks. While it was not life-changing, it was a been-there-done-that experience for us. That said, we won’t head back to Four Seasons Roast Duck when in London because the next two options that we are about to share are much better.
EXTRA NOTE: You have been warned that service is atrocious and the staff are infinitely rude.
NEW FORTUNE COOKIE
WHY YOU SHOULD COME HERE: Because it is the best. We had meals here on several occasions and none of them disappointed us. New Fortune Cookie is the most affordable option among all three places, and has a good consistency to boast. The duck is prized for its fats (in a wonderful way), and every bite of the fatty duck comes with a gratifying aroma that lingers.
HOW MUCH: For £10.50 per half duck, New Fortune Cookie wins in terms of price. It is the best roast duck in London, and the cheapest among all three.
EXTRA NOTE: The service is commendable and the staff are ever approachable. They do pretty mean Egg Fried Rice (£3) too!
GOLD MINE RESTAURANT
WHY YOU SHOULD COME HERE: Gold Mine Restaurant sits on the same stretch as Four Seasons Roast Duck in Bayswater and it is a cosy outlet with friendly staff. The roast duck is always good, with beautiful crisp skin and very fragrant sauce.
HOW MUCH: At £13.50 per half duck, Gold Mine Restaurant is a great option when you need your Chinese food fix.
EXTRA NOTE: The chunks of duck sits atop a bed of white cabbage that we always polish off too, because it being soaked in the sauce is too good to pass!