Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'll Have the Duck (Congee Village Part 1)

Chinese isn’t just General Tso’s and Beef & Broccoli anymore. Congee Village is a staple in the LES and this week, I ordered Duck Tongue & Sugar Peas with XO Sauce as well as Duck’s Blood with Chives. The Duck Tongue was slightly chewy but the XO Sauce made it tasty. Also, the name is a misnomer since the dish actually consists of many duck tongues, around 30 of them.

The Duck’s Blood was gelatinous and had an unpleasant smell to it. That and the aftertaste made the blood less appetizing and ultimately the “loser” of the night.

Rating (1-10)

I have to give the duck blood a (1). It was absolutely terrible. It has a smell and taste that ensured my consumption of only a few pieces. It wasn't the worst thing I had ever eaten, which was kani miso, but it definitely wasn't appetizing in the slightest. It was a big let down. I had drank turtle blood fortified with sake in Tokyo and the experience was amazing for two reasons: 1) Drinking blood sounds hardcore and 2) the sake-turtle blood cocktail tasted good. Okay, it tasted okay, but it was tolerable. Congealed duck blood didn't blow me away like I was hoping it would.

The duck tongue gets a (6) but that's probably generously attributed to how refreshing the greasy XO sauce-covered fatty tongue meat was in comparison to the blood. Think raw clams/oysters texture meets marinated chicken flavor.

Recommendations: Share an order of duck tongue between 4-6 people with plenty of beer, skip the blood.

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