My bar for roast duck is pretty high; after several visits to Hong Kong and amazing roast duck (and goose) introduction by a foodie friend who resides in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong will never be a city of my choice to relocate to, the next best thing I can do is to search high and low for a decent enough roast duck in Klang Valley.
And Soon Lok in Puchong came highly recommended by my followers in my quest to find more roast duck options that meet this “new standard”.
Located in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Soon Lok is known for its roast duck and come dinnertime, the restaurant is packed with diners waiting for their share of duck. So crowded was the restaurant that Jien and I had to settle for a table by the roadside – or risk waiting for another 30-45 minutes for a table to be vacant.
Some reviews claim Soon Lok serves “the best roast duck they have eaten in their entire life”. A part of me wonder if they have been to Hong Kong, London or even Beijing. But I digress.
I was there to see for myself if Soon Lok’s duck meets all the requirements of a good roast duck. Half a portion of duck, a platter of char siew and siew yuk and a claypot of hot and soup vegetable stew later, I’ve come to my conclusion.
Soon Lok is overrated at best.
In comparison to those roast duck options, I found Soon Lok’s offering just average. The skin isn’t as crisp as I was expecting it to be, and the fat didn’t quite render onto the flesh of the duck. So each element felt compartmentalised rather than a cohesive experience.
The char siew is mediocre – bordering dry because we were given rather lean cuts despite specifying our preference for “half lean, half fat”. The siew yuk was better but still nowhere near the crispy, melt-in-the-mouth experience I was hoping for.
Soon Lok’s version of vegetable stew is a far-cry from what the acceptable standard of “chai buey”. It’s neither hot nor spicy enough, and there wasn’t enough “body” from the stock and bones used. A pity really.
I can’t quite remember how much we paid for this meal, but based on what I can recall, it was between RM75-85 for all the above.
Food: 5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Very average roast duck in my opinion. Don’t even bother with the char siew.
Restoran Soon Lok
77, Jalan Kenari 20,
Bandar Puchong Jaya,
47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Tel: 013-390 8833
Business hours: 9am till 9pm