Nestled in the old town center of Miri, lies the very classically Chinese Park hotel, and a throwback to a bygone era. After enquiring someone where Kok Chee restaurant was, she helpfully directed me to the first floor of this rather ancient establishment. Upon entering the windowless, austere restaurant, I eventually found my friends and joined them. This was one of the rather infrequent, but nonetheless pleasant get togethers with friends and colleagues who were also previously on assignment in the Netherlands. We were bonded by our shared experiences of pickled herring and numerous cheeses, and of course, our love of good food.
I’ve heard many good things about the food here, and many friends echoed the same mesasage, which was to order the legendary Mango Duck. And order it we did! But of course, we had to order a few accompaniments, which were also quite tasty in their own right.
Let’s start from the top, shall we?
First and foremost, was the Dragon Chicken. This dish was essentially roast chicken stuffed with a layer of shrimp, and the surface generously covered with sesame seeds. This was one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, and was quite tasty. That being said, I do prefer the version at Piasau Boat Club, which was fried and stuffed with salted egg.
Next, we had the honey pork ribs. It had a nice crispy outer layer, and juicy on the inside. Nicely done indeed, and always a fan favourite.
Still waiting for the darn mango duck! But first, we had steamed fish. The fish was pretty fresh, and admittedly the restaurant did a pretty good job with it. This is a very classic comfort food for Chinese folk in Malaysia, which requires the freshest of fish, steamed with a very simple preparation of garlic, ginger, chillies, and some soy sauce.
And finally, the dish of the hour, the Mango Duck!
The preparation of the dish looked pretty labour intensive, which was from top to bottom, layered with roasted crispy duck skin, duck meat mixed with some sort of mayo, a sizeable piece of ripe mango, and finally a piece of lettuce. The contrast of the crispy skin with the soft meat and mango, salty and sweet, was quite successful, and might I add, bloody decadent. Glad I had a good workout prior to dinner! Only small criticism, was that I wished the duck skin was just a tad crispier.
End result? A bunch of satisfied customers, and an introduction to an unusual, but delicious combination of mango and duck. Definitely worth a revisit in the future, and whenever we’re hankering for some decent Chinese food.
Location: 1st floor, Park Hotel, Jalan Raja, Miri, Sarawak (Beside the Visitors information center, and the Miri Centre Bus Terminal). +60 85 433 814. Website.