In Section 19 PJ, the newly-opened Jing Cheng Beijing Roasted Duck scores a hit with Beijing-style roast duck

PETALING JAYA, July 7 — Earlier this year, I wrote about The Golden Time, one of the five restaurants located on the ground floor of the newly minted New Ocean World Fine Food City in Section 19, PJ.

Since then, a sixth outlet has opened on the ground level, along with the banquet-style restaurant on the fourth floor alluded to in the story.

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This new addition, Jing Cheng Beijing Roast Duck, occupies the entire fourth floor and specialises in the eponymous Beijing-style roast duck, also known as Peking duck.

Whatever thoughts you have on the rather garish and ostentatious light show put on by the building — which illuminates your face, and just about everything else in a five-kilometre radius in fluorescent multicolour — will probably be compounded by the similarly showy restaurant.

At the entrance, you’re greeted by a swirling vortex of blue hues, perhaps to lure one in like a moth to a flame?

This is just one side of the restaurant, which spans the entire fourth floor of New Ocean World Fine Food City.

Inside, shiny black tiles span the entire length of the restaurant, which flanks either side of the entrance. As one might expect in Chinese restaurants of this calibre, there are four private rooms, all located to the right of the entrance.

Obviously, we’re here for the duck. But there are a few interesting points in the menu that will be expanded in the future, including a starter of savoury mustard-glazed duck webs (RM30).

For a cold starter, these mustard-glazed duck webs mean serious business on the hot side of things.

Underestimate the pungency of this mustard glaze at your nostril’s peril. It almost feels wrong to call this a cold starter with how hot the mustard is on your tongue and nose, but it is a great way to liven up the palate for the rest of the meal.

The duck feet are nearly all cartilage and no bone, making for an optimal web-gnawing, claw-sucking experience. The measly four quarters of a single green grape should be rationed out for intermittent sweet relief.

Baked okra is a competently prepared dish, even if it is a little understated.

Baked okra (RM30) is too simple a description of what is actually sliced okra, chillies and onions cooked in a clay pot with shrimp paste. It’s savoury, and the okra retains a desirable amount of sliminess and crunch that makes a bowl of rice with this sound very appealing.

Onto the jewel in the crown: we ordered a whole roasted duck (RM200) which was brought out and carved tableside. Before that, servers brought an assortment of condiments to each diner, which consisted of sliced cucumber, sugar, sweet bean sauce, raw garlic paste and a large variety of spring onion that resembled a leek, almost like Japanese negi.

The full array for the roasted duck that awaits your assembly.

The carving is a mesmerising display of skill and technique, and it is rather impressive watching them separate skin from flesh like lifting paper off a table.

As the duck is being carved, two vessels arrive: the thin, translucent pancakes most will be accustomed to, and a puffier, sesame-coated bun of sorts.

The pancakes are excellent — light, paper-thin yet very durable, they don’t detract from the crispiness of the duck skin like so many are guilty of. Unfortunately, the bun is guilty of this very crime, due to its crisp, almost biscuit-like texture. That’s probably why there’s only one bun per person.

Of course, the choice of condiments is down to personal preference; my perfect bite consisted of a couple of slices of duck and skin, a generous amount of sweet bean sauce, cucumber, spring onions and just the slightest sprinkle of sugar — it really coaxes out more flavour from the duck itself.

In many ways, Jing Cheng could’ve been simply gaudy on the eyes and lacklustre on the palate — but it wasn’t.

I’m not sure what the blue vortex is meant to symbolise, but it grabs the eye for sure.

So yes, its opulence matches the building’s affectations, but it is worth visiting, even if only for the expertly executed Peking duck with a few dishes worth highlighting.

Jing Cheng Beijing Roasted Duck

L4, New Ocean World Fine Food City, 15, Jalan 19/1, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Open daily, 11am-2.30pm, 5.30-10pm

Tel: 03-8408 8031

https://newoceanworld.com/restaurant/jing-cheng

Instagram: @jingcheng_mynowffc

* This is an independent review where the writer paid for the meal.

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