Old Kingdom

197 Smith St Fitzroy
FitzroyVIC 3065
+61 3 9417 2438

That’s what the previous chef of Old Kingdom, a Chinese restaurant on Smith St, used to say to the diners during their meals. He was one helluva eccentric dude and used to freak me out. But now he’s gone and Old Kingdom has a new chef. And the duck tastes better too. I mean, the first time I went there, I didn’t really like the duck. It smelt funny and when my sister took a bite of her Peking duck, all this oil and fat came oozing out and spilt all over her. Ew. But the second time we went there, there was a big improvement. I think it was our third time here – it wasn’t as good as our second visit but definitely far from the sub-average score that I gave them on my first visit. I don’t think I’ve done a proper review of this place so here goes…

So, my parents are friends with this couple who come down from Indonesia every now and then because their only son goes to school here. They’re obsessed with the duck banquet at Old Kingdom and while I think it’s good, it isn’t THE best duck in Melbourne (I stand firmly with Flower Drum‘s peking duck). Nevertheless, I can see why this place is always packed during dinner as it serves decent duck for the price you pay. In my opinion, Melbourne’s 2nd best duck.

So these friends-of-my-parents, they invited my family and my cousin Jess’ family to have dinner at Old Kingdom. They also invited Adam along but given that he’s been having early starts all week and given that he’s got another long day tomorrow, I think it was wise of him to give it a miss. Dinner was at 6pm and we had until 8pm to stuff ourselves before the next set of diners arrived. Fine with us. Except that in true Indonesian style, the friends-of-my-parents rocked up 45 minutes late citing “traffic” as an excuse. Poor form guys . It’s Friday night and it’s Melbourne. You can do better. If everyone else got here on time then I don’t see why you can’t. Anyway, even though our allocated eating time had dramatically decreased, we still managed to be out of there by 8:01pm. Let me tell you what we had. Firstly, the duck banquet. Most people come here just for the duck as everything else on the menu is just average. Because the duck banquet is so popular, you need to pre-order in advance (give 1-2 days). For $25 (I can’t remember if it’s $25 per head or $25 per duck), you get a banquet out of one whole duck.

1) Peking Duck. Our table ordered 4 ducks which was more than enough to feed the 11 of us. They give you a plate of pancakes and another plate with spring onions and cucumber. But they ration it so if you run out of pancakes or whatever, you need to pay for another plate which is a bit tight arsey of them but I suppose a cucumber does cost an arm and a leg these days .

This was an attempt at a macro shot. FAIL, Libby, FAIL. You probably can’t tell what it is but it’s two pieces of crispy duck and a cucumber on a pancake.

2) Duck Stir Fry. The bits of meat that are too stringy or too small to be used in peking duck are tossed up in a wok with bean shoots and other vegies to make a duck stir fry. It’s quite yummy without being too heavy.

3) Duck broth. And the duck bones are used to make duck broth which has tofu and spring onion in it. Sounds boring but this soup is actually rather pleasant. Similar to that herby soup that my mum makes using pork marrow.

Of course, too much duck can be a bit boring. So we ordered some other stuff too. Lemon chicken. Sweet and Sour Fish. Peppered beef. JUST BECAUSE WE CAN, OKAY? (And also because my brother is so effing gui lao. “We’re going all the way to Fitzroy for duck?!”)

Given that we had a huge party of 11 people, the total of $349 was pretty cheap (no drinks apart from tea and water because we are tight arses). I mean, that amount can buy you dinner at Flower Drum for two so if you’re feeling like some decent duck, then Old Kingdom is worth visiting. Just don’t forget to book a duck in advance or you’d be spewing in your lemon chicken or sweet and sour pork while everyone else around you (WHO REMEMBERED TO PRE-ORDER) munch on their ducks!
I eat too much.


  1. jowee86
    May 9, 2008

    “Expect to see a lot of food on this xanga in the next few days”- isn’t that a given? lol
    we’ve been there as well. my parents love it for the value and its pretty good peking duck.

  2. icesabre
    May 9, 2008

    Mmmmmm duck yum yum. Duck in Cantonese also means Gigolo or Man-whore. Chicken in Cantonese means Female Prostie ahaha. Oh man.

    But seriously yummy… and San Churro’s @ QV was lovely! Spanish donuts yay! Pics up soonies.

  3. s_l_v
    May 9, 2008

    Oh yum! Haven’t had it in so long =(

    There was this place in Brissy who rip you off if you’re one of their regular, high paying customers. We ordered the duck and got like 4 slices of thinass meat which was pretty much ONLY skin with fat on it, and supposedly the rest of the duck meat was supposed to go into some stir fried noodles with the bones being cooked into soup. But there was like ZERO slices of meat in the noodles and the bones were so stripped of meat they looked like someone had picked them clean with their teeth. Then we look to the table next to us where the boss is sitting have a gay ol’ time with some regulars and their table has got mountains of duck complete with heaps of meat on the skins and shitloads of meat in their noodles too. So my mum chucked a shit and the boss was all like “no you’re wrong this is the whole duck” and all this shit. Mum still paid even though if it was me I would’ve just walked out (since we basically ate nothing).

    My friend ended up working there and yeah, she said the boss is a real asshole and doesn’t care bout new customers and only cares bout the old ones who shell out $400 per meal or something. C*nt.

    Looking forwards to your future food posts! =D

  4. s_l_v
    May 10, 2008

    High-end skincare generally get that price cos the materials they use are more expensive and harder to source, it’s not always just the marketing jazz (at least I’d hope so!). But I think with La Prairie etc, they’re famous and known for their eyecream/facecreams (ie their Skin Caviar collection) and not so much their cleansers (as I proved), whereas maybe some other brands are more known for other stuff. Which Clinique products did you use? I had the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion too but that was shit, it didn’t really make my skin better and it was so oily it wouldn’t absorb into my skin for ages and just sat on my face and I looked so shiny for hourrrrrrrrrrrs after using it. It was designed as a day cream so that makes it even more stupid cos it doesn’t absorb! Needless to say, once I finished that bottle I never considered buying it again. If you have any qs bout skincare feel free to yell them at me, that’s probably the only thing I’m good at besides sitting on my ass and whining about stupid sht


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