D' House

Special thanks to D' House for extending this food review invitation.

My previous visit to Restoran D' House (烧鸭轩餐饮连锁店) has been generally favorable. Located in Taman Kheng Tian Business Center (卿田花园商业中心), the Chinese name of this restaurant is parody of Taiwanese diva Elva Hsiao (萧亚轩).
D' House is operated by a couple whose respective parents are life-long hawkers. Mr. Soon's parents used to peddle meat rolls (肉卷), a tradition which Mr. Soon continued in D' House as well as several night markets. Meanwhile, the roast duck (烤鸭) recipe was inherited from his mother-in-law, who is still operating a popular stall at Lebuh Noordin (二条路).
The interior decor of D' House is noticeably upscale compared to other shops in the vicinity. There is also a dedicated section for photo opportunities, something which Mr. Soon encourages customers to take.
As for the food, the main specialty at D' House is obviously roast duck (烤鸭). Like most roast meat (烧腊) businesses, there are also alternatives like roast chicken (烤鸡), roast pork (烧肉) and char siew (叉烧).
To sample some of each type, we started our meal with a plate of Duck, Chicken & Char Siew Rice (烤鸭烤鸡叉烧饭, RM9.00).
The roast duck (烤鸭) does not fail to impress. Its tenderness and savoriness are commendable beyond measure. The chewy skin also gives an unparalleled sense of enjoyment.

Next up, I find that the char siew (叉烧) is reasonably flavored. However, I would prefer the savory flavor to be made stronger.
As for roasted chicken (烤鸡), it is not D' House's strongest suit. Nevertheless, the overall texture and taste is still acceptable.

A key point in the roast meat business is the sauce recipe. At D' House, the sauce is sourced from the Lebuh Noordin stall, ensuring that customers can enjoy the time-tested secret formula. This sauce is particularly important when consuming rice; otherwise the white rice feels too plain.
Other condiments to enjoy with the roast meat are garlic chili sauce and chili ketchup.
Next, we sampled a small serving of Fung Lobak Five Spices Fresh Meat Roll (芬卤肉之五香鲜肉卷, RM1.80). Unlike meat roll (卤肉) from other regions, the ones in Penang usually use sliced pork instead of minced pork. D' House's meat roll is no exception.
Compared to other meat roll recipes, the one served in D' House is more heavily-flavored. This is because the same meat roll also caters to housewives who want to complement a family meal but without getting too involved in sauces.

Next on the table is Steamed Manila Clams With Fermented Bean Sauce (酱蒸鲜花甲, RM9.90). In this dish, fresh Manila clams are stir-fried with doubanjiang (豆瓣酱), giving a pleasantly salty, savory and sweet kind of flavor. This dish is highly recommended if you fancy shellfish.
Previously, this dish have used the common clam (蛤蜊), but its freshness was inconsistent and difficult to monitor. Therefore, D' House decided to use the Manila clam (花甲) instead, even though the cost is nearly twice as much.

Another newly introduced dish is the Steamed Chicken With Mushroom And Edible Fungus (香菇木耳蒸滑鸡, RM9.90). Here, we have heavily-marinated chicken chunks served with shiitake mushrooms (香菇) and black fungus (木耳).
Not to forget the broth which the chicken and mushrooms are served in! It is rich in savory flavors especially from rice wine and goji (枸杞). I think this can easily be D' House's mainstream signature dish.

For something lighter, there is also a bowl of Soup Of The Day (每日咧汤, RM3.00), which contains cabbage and carrots. I think the overall taste is too plain. I recommend that D' House prepares the soup using unused duck bones, in order to impart some meaty goodness into the soup.
As for drinks, we originally had Herbal Tea (草药凉茶, RM2.00) and Chinese Tea (唐茶, RM1.50).
Afterwards, Mr. Soon insisted that we try the new drink called Ugly Duckling (丑小鸭, RM4.50). Despite its name, the drink is quite appealing. Made from coffee and chocolate powder, this is D' House own interpretation of iced mocha.
In conclusion, D' House is far more than just roast duck. Don't get me wrong: the roast duck is still good. But D' House also has other "side dishes" which may strike a chord with your palate.
Name: Restoran D' House (烧鸭轩餐饮连锁店)
Address: 9-1-30, Jalan Tapah, Taman Kheng Tian, 11600 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-281-3568
Business hours: 11:00am-10:00pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/shaoyaxuan
Coordinates: 5.39614 N, 100.31399 E
Directions: From Jalan Perak (Perak Road), turn into Jalan Tapah. The intersection is near OldTown White Coffee. D' House is one of the shops on the right, at the ground floor of an apartment complex. Street parking may be limited during certain hours. Customers to D' House (with minimum spending of RM10.00) are allowed to park at a car wash center just across the road. The parking fee will be reimbursed by D' House during bill payment.

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