Excitement, as well as lightning and thunder, rained upon as we trekked east to Babylon, NY to try the newest authentic Chinese Restuarant to open on Long Island, “Pekin”. We arrived a few weeks after they opened, and they are still getting their duck legs under them. Long Island Pekin is located at 96 E Main Street, Babylon, NY 11702.
From Long Island Pekin –
Hey everyone! Welcome to Long Island Pekin. No no we didn’t forget the “g” at the end of “Pekin”. A little-known fact among duck connoisseurs, the Long Island Duckling is one of the best breeds in the world for making Peking Duck. So…in our research, we discovered a coincidence that the breed of duck is actually called Pekin and therefore, Long Island Pekin was born, celebrating the breed we so proudly serve at our restaurant and the pride we have living on Long Island!
Peking Duck and Dumplings are something that we have professionally worked with for over 2 decades. One of our partners is the founder of a famed restaurant in NYC rated as one of the best Peking Ducks in NYC (ask, and we’ll tell you). Each item has been meticulously picked from our different establishments to create a fully specialized menu while staying true to both contemporary and Chinese traditions.
Seeing an opportunity to bring the food we love to a town that has such beloved restaurants is not only an honor but also a way for us to impart a different yet very specific culture.
Long Island Pekin is very modern and tastefully decorated (including a Gift “Shop” where you can buy tee-shirt, hats, and more, with their logo). Everything was so brand spanking new, as was to be expected.
From a humble start / soft opening where for a month they only offered take out as they ironed out the menu. The menu is still far from complete, but they promise more dishes to be added in the near future. Like many new Chinese restaurants, they have Soup Dumpling on their menu. Their take on the Soup Dumplings is a little different than others as you will read below. And, of course, they do have Peking Duck.
From Wikipedia –
The Pekin or White Pekin is an American breed of domestic duck, raised primarily for meat. It derives from birds brought to the United States from China in the nineteenth century. Many of these ducks were reared on Long Island, New York, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, from which the breed derived its name Long Island Duck.
Let’s stop ducking the discussion about the food. We started with a few appetizers while sipping some nice wine at the bar.
Dim Sum (3 pieces), served with Chinese Mustard and Chili Sauce:
- Shrimp Dumpling – The shrimp in the dumpling was excellent and the wrapper nice and thin. Three dumplings for $4 is not a bad deal as these were rather large dumplings. For some reason when I was eating them I thought they were more expensive and that was tainting my opinion of them.
- Shu Mai – They were a little dry for my taste. Perhaps a bit overdone? The filling wasn’t memorable either.
Peking Duck Scallion Pancake – A homemade scallion pancake, shredded Peking Duck, cheddar, and sweet plum sauce. The pancake was overdone and the duck lacked presence. We have had a similar dish at other Chinese restaurants that were served with beef rather than duck and still used hoisin sauce, that really stood out. The duck and/or hoisin sauce was very muted.
Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) – Very cool looking spoons not seen before on The Chinese Quest. Cool, but I found them harder to handle than the traditional Chinese soup spoons. So many Chinese restaurants are now serving Soup Dumplings that it’s starting to get a little overdone. That should not be held against Long Island Pekin though. The fact that I found them very salty though, should be.
On to the main dishes:
String Beans – Sauteed with black bean sauce and crispy garlic. Excellent string beans. The pork was a little salty. This was a nice dish.
Fried Rice with Pork – Served with red onions, carrots, scallions, crispy shallots, and fried eggs. Something (the rice) was overdone in this dish. At least in my opinion. I found the rice dry and extra sticky. This dish was too gelatenous, in this writers opinion, for a fried rice dish.
And for the main reason, that we drove out east for…
Peking Duck! What a duck! Beautifully glazed we salvated as the sacrificial duck was brought to our table.
The Preparation – I’m surprised I didn’t leave a puddle in front of me as I drooled over the perfect Duck that was offered for our approval. We approved!
The glaze. Sparkling!
The aroma. Scintillating!
The knifework, the slicing. Breathtaking!!
Check it out in our video (click to play):
The Art of the Duck
Our consensus? This was one mighty good Pekin, or Peking Duck!
It should be noted that modern, new, downtown Babylon rents, etc., does come with a cost. We felt that the dishes were a little overpriced. And while they welcomed lots of intrigued diners, to sustain the business they need to grow their menu and, in our humble opinion, adjust the prices.
Have you tried Long Island Pekin yet? Do you agree with our review and rating? If not, please post your comments below. If so, please let us know!
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)