For the last few years, my oldest son Jake has asked to go out to a nice dinner for his birthday in lieu of a kids’ party. Since he saves us a ton of money in babysitting, my husband Tom and I feel like it’s a good deal. And we–and my mom–get to enjoy a nice dinner out, too.
So for this birthday (number 15!), Jake chose (at my suggestion) Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula Hotel for their Peking duck set menu. Because the weather was so nice yesterday, all of the diners chose to sit on the Terrace, the outdoor space the Pen uses for Shanghai Terrace in the summer and as a skating rink in the winter.
Here’s Jake seated at the Terrace.
For our first course, the amazing waitstaff brought out duck wonton soup. The broth was heavenly and the duck filling fresh and flavorful.
Next up the main attraction: Peking duck.
Besides duck, the other ingredients include cucumber, green onion, and sauce.
And pancakes. These were thin and light so that they didn’t get in the way of the crispy duck. There was almost no visible fat, which is the sign (at least in my opinion) of good Peking duck.
To start, I placed some sauce on a pancake.
Next up, a couple slices of duck.
And here I finished it off with green onion. Delicious!
But we weren’t finished yet! The third course was a melt-in-your-mouth duck fried rice, featuring dou miao, or sauteed pea leaves. We each received a bowl of fried rice.
Although we were full at this point, it seemed a shame to come all the way to the Pen without ordering dessert. So Jake chose this light coconut custard with mango sorbet.
And I ordered passionfruit creme brulee with jasmine. This photo doesn’t do it justice. Tom and my mom dug in, too.
The service at the Pen is world-class thanks to its high Hong Kong standards. I’d told the waitstaff that we were there for Jake’s birthday, so they also brought out this three-layer chocolate mousse cake (on the house). I love how they decorated it with the Chinese characters for happy birthday.
But it wasn’t over yet! With our bill, they brought out this Chinese jewelry box filled with almond cookies, orange jellies, and chocolate mint truffles. The perfect end to our magical dinner.
On the way out, Jake, Tom, and I posed outside next to the Peninsula lion dressed to cheer our hockey team in the Stanley Cup!