Spring in Winter

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I finally got to eat the quintessential Pekingese food that is the Peking duck at Hong Kong's popular restaurant, Spring Deer.  Open since 1969, the restaurant is still in its original location along Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.  Low ceiling, florescent lighting, unpretentious decor, I doubt that the restaurant has changed at all throughout the years.  The wait staff - men with graying hair, speaking only basic English - are probably the same staff from over 40 years ago.  Every time we'd ask something about the food they would answer, "oh-kay".  Hand gestures barely worked.
It was the usual busy weekend and since we had no reservation, we went at 6.  Pretty early, yes, but the place was already starting to fill with diners, both local and foreign.   As soon as we sat down, we ordered duck since we knew it would take a while to cook.  In the meantime, we ordered other dishes that were served quickly: Pekingese noodles, steamed dumplings, fried noodles with chicken, sweet and sour pork, quick-fried vegetables.  I like that their servings aren't that big so we could have a go at other dishes.  The fried noodles with chicken had a nice smoked flavor and the noodles were firm in every bite, just the way I like it.  The sweet and sour was so good - tender pork coated in a light, crisp batter with a great balance of sweetness and tang.
We were almost finished with everything and by this time the restaurant was already full.  The duck was still nowhere in sight.  We started to worry that they might have missed our order until I saw someone pushing a cart with ducks on it.  We stared and watched with anxiety as the chef started carving expertly.  Could one of them be ours?  
Succulent, crisp skin with just the right amount of fat in between skin and meat.  The flavor was amazing.  The warm flour tortilla was dense and soft.  Now I know why this place is always packed.  At Spring Deer they serve good food and of course, amazing Peking duck.  Best of all, it won't break your wallet.

Spring Deer
2/F, 42 Mody Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong


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