Help! I am desperate for suggestions on decent Chinese food take-out. After craving the mashed beef soup, I discovered that my favorite place, Shiao Lan Kung, is closed on Mondays. Opting instead for Sang Kee Peking Duck House, I was disappointed. Aside from the Peking Duck Rolls, it was not good. Clearly, stick with the specialty here.
The House Special Soup offered nothing special, steamed dumplings, chicken, pork, shrimp and spaghetti-like noodles, which were all then covered with fairly flavorless broth. The Peking Duck rolls, consisting essentially of duck, hoisin sauce and a wrapper (so exactly how you might prepare your Peking Duck entree order), were very good. In fact, you might want to order these instead of Peking Duck, which scared us off price-wise at $20/half and $40/whole. The watercress dumplings, which I mistakenly thought would be wrapped in watercress, were instead stuffed with watercress, along with shrimp and pork. I thought the taste was off, tasting a bit frozen to me, although this seems unlikely given that I witnessed fresh dumplings being moved from the back of the kitchen.
For an entree, we ordered Salt Baked Shrimp, Scallop and Squid (pictured above), in an attempt to satisfy the craving we had for Shiao Lan Kung's salt baked shrimp. Unfortunately, the dish merely provided battered and fried seafood. The scallops were unpleasantly mushy, although it was honestly hard to tell the scallop apart from the squid. Here's the interesting part -- I couldn't taste any salt. The sauteed snow pea leaves with garlic were an equally pale comparison, featuring what was distinctively not fresh leaves with a very mild garlic taste.
The duck was good and a decent beer made everything a bit better, but I'm still left looking for good take-out. Is this a failing of Philly or my own ability to find something? Suggestions, anyone?
Sang Kee Peking Duck House is located at 9th and Vine Streets.