Peking Ente opened in central Berlin in 1999, a casual Chinese restaurant near Potsdamer Plaza, on a street which happens to have been the location of Hitler’s bunker. The restaurant is on the site of what was the Reich Chancellery during World War II, but which was demolished in 1953. The restaurant is quite large, with extensive outside seating, but had no air conditioning, which would have been useful on this August day, which hit a sweltering 37C. Tables were well spaced and there was an extensive a la carte menu.
We started with some cold dishes, the best of which was a cold chicken salad with chilli and Sichuan pepper. The good texture and the numbing Sichuan pepper was well controlled (14/20). Beef salad was prepared with chill oil, crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. The slices of beef were not of any great quality but were fine, and the chilli oil livened them up, resulting in a pleasant starter (13/20). We also tried an identical preparation of aubergine. We also sampled cold vermicelli noodles with beansprouts, which was another pleasant dish (12/20).
Next, we had a few dim sum dishes. Xiao long bao is the classic soup dumpling with pork and vinegar with a liquid centre as you bit into the dumpling. I have tried many versions of this over years, including in Shanghai and at the original branch of Din Tai Fung in Taipei. The version here won’t be troubling Din Tai Fung as the dumpling was a little thicker than the best of breed, but this was certainly pleasant enough (12/20). A meat dumpling was quite nicely seasoned and had reasonable texture, though again the dumpling was rather thick (12/20). Shanghai cabbage with mushrooms had a similar slightly over thick dumpling with a somewhat bland filling; this would have benefitted from a kick of spice (11/20).
Peking duck was cooked in the traditional way, and is notionally a specialty of the restaurant. The version here didn’t have the attractive glaze or ultra-thin crisp skin of the best Peking Duck, such as that at Made in China in Beijing. The duck meat was cooked a little longer than ideal but was pleasant enough, served with the traditional pancakes, hoisin sauce, cucumber and shredded spring onions (12/20).
Service was very friendly and the bill came to €75 per person for lots of food. They will happily pack anything that you cannot finish. This is not a destination restaurant but it was a perfectly enjoyable meal in a city that is not particularly noted for its Chinese restaurants.