How many times have you heard someone declaring that a particular restaurant is the best in the city? Or even “best in the world”? We seem to hear this all the time, and frankly we just can’t bring ourselves to believe it.
The issue with such statements, we believe, is that in order for them to have any veracity, the person making them needs to have experienced all the other places he is making a comparison to. So, if someone says a particular restaurant is the best in London, we are tempted to ask: “Does that mean you’ve been to each and every restaurant in London and then reached that conclusion?”
So, when we read an article stating that Four Seasons, in London’s Chinatown, has the best roast duck in the world, we were skeptical. It might be an extremely delicious roast duck, but has the author really tried roast duck at every restaurant in the world that serves it before reaching that conclusion?
Despite our reservations that Four Seasons’ roast duck is really the best in the entire world, we had read enough about the restaurant to have no doubts that it’s quite good. Last Saturday, after a long walk, we decided to try our luck at getting a table. It was around 6pm, and there was already a small crowd outside the Gerrard Street restaurant. We walked in and asked to be put on the waiting list for a table. The wait would be 10 minutes, we were told.
So we went back outside to wait when we remembered that there’s a cocktail bar hidden close by. Once we found it, we were faced with a dilemma–wait for our table to be ready or go for a drink? We chose the latter.
A couple of drinks later, we were even more famished than before–we had after all walked just over three miles from Notting Hill Gate. There were even more people outside Four Seasons, so waiting for a table was not really an option. Instead, we opted for takeout. We ordered the following:
Aromatic crispy duck with pancakes
Pan fried Peking dumplings
Baked spare ribs
Deep fried crispy spring rolls
Egg fried rice
Our meal was ready in 15 minutes and we were lucky to get a cab pretty quickly. Opening the takeout boxes felt almost like unwrapping presents on Christmas morning. Everything was delicious, but the duck was certainly the meal’s piece de resistance. It was perfectly golden, with a crispy skin but succulent meat and we were both so engrossed in eating that neither of us took the time to take photos.
So in conclusion, is the duck the best in world? We certainly cannot make that statement. What we do know is that it’s pretty darn good!