Every so often, you find a little happy place that you don’t really want to blog about. It’s small, nondescript and in an unknown suburb. No one else really needs to know about it, right? And when you wander in, it feels a bit like you’ve wandered into someone’s dining room – in a comforting sort of way. You worry that if you post about it, other people will flock to it and you’ll never be able to get a table there again.
But, there’s a part of me that wants to reward great little neighbourhood places like this. It’s good food, reasonably priced. In fact, maybe you even feel like you haven’t given them enough money.
And even better, it’s not just good for Canberra – it’s just good. It’s the perfect local Chinese takeaway that’s there when you need it and good enough to go out to dinner when you want to hang out with friends. And best of all, it does a kickass Peking duck.
Ok, so you have to order the Peking duck 24 hours in advance, but that’s fair I think.
At $43 for two courses, the duck is the cheapest I’ve had. It’s pretty close to the famous Simon’s Peking Duck in Box Hill. The duck is expertly carved into 16 pieces – with a good bit of crispy skin on each piece. The pancakes are a bit thicker than usual, but still very good. And when you’re done with duck pancakes (as if anyone can ever really be done with duck pancakes… there’s the san choi bao of duck – or duck noodles) which is also pretty darn good. There’s also the option of soup as a third course, for an extra $5.
Just to be sure, we had to try a couple of other things on the menu. Shanghai fried noodles (to compare to the infamous Camy’s Shanghai Noodle House) and something intriguingly titled Dry Chilli Beef in Shanghai style.
The noodles, I’m happy to report are better than Camy’s, though I should note that that’s not a particularly high bar to beat.
The beef is good too – crispy, slightly spicy, slightly sweet strips of beef and sweet potato. None of us have ever tried anything like it before.
So, despite my slight misgivings about sharing my new happy place, I can’t help but think that little neighbourhood restaurants such as this should prosper. And I suppose, after all, that’s the job of a good blogger right? To discover lesser known places and share them. And so I pass this on to you, the select/not-very-many readers of this blog.
King Fook is one of Canberra’s hidden gems. It’s good food at not-Canberra prices. Go. Take a friend. Take many friends. And make sure you decide to go at least 24 hours in advance so you can order a duck (or several).
43 Kesteven Street,
02 6258 1877
Lunch: Mon-Sat 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner: Mon – Sun 5.00pm to 10.00pm
BYO $2 per bottle corkage, $1.50 per beer
$1.50 surcharge on public holidays