March 3, 2013

Dayali 大鸭梨

For Chinese New Year this year, my family went to Dayali, a restaurant chain from Beijing. 
We came during the biggest snow storm of the year, and as a result, didn't have to wait for a seat. I hear the wait is normally quite long, and they don't take reservations for less than 6 people. There are two sets of prices for the entire menu- one for VIPs, where everything is a little cheaper. VIP membership is $20 for a duration of 3 years, which is quite a steal if you plan to come here more than once. I saved $10 from this meal alone. 
Szechuan pickled cabbage ($3.99,VIP- $2.99) was a pleasant start to the meal. 
Sweet and sour pork ($5.99, VIP- $4.99) was another cold dish we ordered. I could use a little more sourness.
Marinated chicken with soy ($11.99, VIP- $9.99). The flavours were good, but chicken was a little tough.
The stuffed pancakes ($7.99, VIP- $6.99) contains chives and minced pork. I ordered this after seeing it arrive at the table next to us, but unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I imagined it to be.
Next up, baked pumpkin with salted egg yolk ($9.99, VIP- $7.99) was very good when it first came out but got soggy very quickly.
Gold medal roast duck ($38.88, VIP- $36.88)- this was what we came for and I enjoyed it in general. However, the duck was not as good as the ones I had in Beijing. Oddly enough, the accompaniments included grapes and I wasn't really sure what to do with it.
The bones of the duck were fried with cumin, and I wasn't a big fan of it.
Sticky rice pork belly ($12.99, $10.99 VIP). For me, this was lacking sweetness, and the pork belly was very very heavy. The name was somewhat misleading because there were very little sticky rice mixed into the meat. We packed most of it home.
For dessert, I had glutinous rice balls in Gui-Hua wine ($3.19, VIP- $2.99), which totally did not match the picture on the menu. For one, it was not supposed to be immersed in a murky brown, syrupy soup. On top of that, the wine flavour was nowhere to be found. On the whole, it wasn't bad, but it just wasn't what I was expected.
Jeremy's dessert- sesame filled glutinous rice balls ($3.19, VIP- $2.99) was almost identical to mine, except the rice balls were filled. In the end, we ordered way too much food for 4 people, and the leftovers fed my mom for a week. Overall, I wasn't super impressed with the food at Dayali. The duck was good, but everything else fell short from my expectations and I'd hesitate to come back if there is a long wait.
Dayali Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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