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San Diego Restaurant Reviews

  Peking Palace

By Gretchen Kurt

Peking Palace fulfills a special niche in the San Diego dining scene as the precise all-in-one Chinese restaurant to meet your takeout, dine-in, banquet, and catering needs.

It accomplishes this with attentive dining service, a peaceful interior, and delicious food that will satisfy your midday and late night cravings! Obscurely located in University Town Center across from Robinson May and next door to Cozy Mel’s, Peking Palace is worth discovering (though it could benefit from signs off Genesee Avenue).

The restaurant seems spacious, thanks to its simple elegance and wide walkways between tables. Aligning the left side of the restaurant are two rows of comfortable booths, regular or L-shaped.

The mood is casual and down-tempo with lime colored tablecloths and the sound of Spanish guitar courting you in the background. Its décor is subtle, blending mahogany, pastels, and glass medians. Peking Palace has changed locations and chefs its past 21 years but maintained a loyal following. The menu is reasonably priced.

 


Its best deal is the $7 luncheon combination that comes with soup, an appetizer, and rice.

Peking’s menu includes vegetarian options like the Sauteed Baby Bok Choy, Vegetable with Beancurd Soup, Mu Shu Vegetable, and Spicy Eggplant.

Peking has revitalized its menu with the help of Kin Yee Shek, the distinguished executive chef from Santa Monica’s celebrated Madame Wu’s. Shek is masterful at discreetly saturating each dish with memorable sauces. He revs up your tastebuds with Pan Fried Dumplings with sweet teriyaki dipping sauce and just crisp enough Shanghai Egg Rolls. The Crab Raggon is addictive.

This appetizer comes in a deep fried wonton skin delicately filled with crab meat and cream cheese.

The pairing is harmonious and delightful with each bite. For a dramatic entrance order the Three Flavor Sizzling Rice Soup. The sizzling begins when your server tosses squares of fried golden rice crust in the hot broth.

The chicken, pork, shrimp, carrot, and snow pea-laden soup is hearty with a light flavor.
You have to be willing to order off the beaten path to discover standouts like Honey Walnut Shrimp.

Shek creatively covers tender lightly battered shrimp with honeyed walnuts and citrus mayonnaise. It’s a compelling junction of sweet and tangy. Make sure you savor the walnut and shrimp together in one exhilarating bite. If you like spicy, General Tso’s Chicken commands your taste buds. Chunks of lightly battered chicken are deep-fried and sautéed in a spicy hoisin sauce with a hint of orange. The chicken is the real find here. It’s moist and not heavy from the deep frying. It’s a wonderful dish to share.

 

When it comes to dressing your noodles, Shek wisely opts for self-control. This philosophy makes the Peking Palace Special Dinner another fabulous choice. Still crunchy noodles are covered with sauteed jumbo shrimp, chicken, roasted pork, snow peas, shiitake and button mushrooms, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. The noodles absorb the deep broth-like flavor. Hot or cold these noodles are enticing! I suggest adding this item to your takeout order. It’s the perfect comfort food. Peking is open for lunch and dinner daily. It hosts banquets for up to 60 people. If you’re like me, you’ll find several reasons to return.

Monday-Friday: 11:30-2:30, 4:30-9:00
Saturday: 11:30-10
Sunday: 12-3:30, 4:30-9:30


Photos by John Leonffu

 

 

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