Peking duck was a staple of China's imperial court for centuries, but it's hard to imagine a more modest place to eat it than Spring Deer, in business more than 45 years and unabashedly old school. Its simple dining hall is always packed, mostly because of its house specialty—honey-glazed Peking Duck, famous for its delectable skin and tender meat (HK$300, and good for two to four persons to share). There are plenty of other dishes on the menu, too, including handmade noodles and a variety of chicken dishes. Needless to say, reservations are a must, and it's best to avoid peak dinner hours from 7:30 to 9:30pm unless you're prepared to wait half an hour or more for your duck. My only complaint is that because most Chinese dine in groups (there are lots of extended families here), lone diners and couples are often relegated to a corner, where it can be difficult to flag down a waiter. My solution? To order a beer immediately upon being seated and then just sit back and enjoy the drama of this restaurant's noisy and timeless atmosphere.
- Beth Reiber