Phyllis C. Richman’s 1980 review of Peking Gourmet Inn

May 10, 2011

For two reasons alone, you should head for Falls Church when you are hungry for Chinese food. Those two reasons are Peking Gourmet chicken and Peking duck at the Peking Gourmet Inn. The duck is a hot contender for the best in town. It is plump, juicy, tender and golden, with crisp skin that is elegantly pared off the bird tableside. Next, the fat is scored and scraped off, then the meat is thinly sliced and all is served with the usual pancakes, hoisin sauce and scallions. Peking Gourmet chicken consists of plump cubes of boneless chicken in the lightest, crispest, grease-free batter, highly spiced with garlic, scallions and ginger, with enough hot pepper to tantalize but not sear. The rest of the menu is competent, the cooking carefully timed and the seasonings mild but pleasant. Fried dumplings outshine the other appetizers, which can be stolid, and hot-and-sour duck soup is heartwarming. But I have not found anything else to match those two wonderful dishes except the service, which is attentive, though not always comprehending. When the owner is keeping his eye on your table, you are treated like a guest in his home. It can be a memorable visit, and the price for it is reasonable.

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