Peking duck is a dish for emperors, a delicacy that Miamiens can always eat piping hot in a Chinese restaurant in Doral. Qianlong was founded by Yony Moy, a Venezuelan who learned the trade from his father and grandfather, who came to Maracaibo from Canton in 1958 in search of success in what was then the richest country in ‘South America.
“The skin should be crisp and the meat tender,” explains Moy, explaining that the process of preparing the duck is long and complex. It begins the day before when the duck is washed and hanged; the next day, it is cooked and smothered in a plum, cucumber and chive sauce.
At El Palmar, Moy’s father’s restaurant in Caracas, 100 Peking ducks were made per day and customers had to put on a list to secure their duck.
With white feathers and an orange beak, the five-pound ducks that were eaten at El Palmar were brought from a farm on Long Island and were tasted by Venezuelan presidents and dignitaries visiting the country. Hugo Chávez was the last they served, in his early years before he became dictator.
“Do you see all the celebrities we have here,” Moy says, pointing to photos of Venezuelan and Miami artists and Hispanic American television personalities who have visited Qianlong. “My father had the walls of El Palmar full of ministers, ambassadors and presidents.”
As another big luxury, his father could also bring in chefs from China, Moy says, indicating that then Venezuela had one of the best cuisines in the world because the strength of the bolivar allowed restaurateurs to bring in chefs from China. other countries.
Prosperity in Miami
El Palmar burned down four years ago, and Venezuela’s prosperity only lives in the memory of those who miss its mountains and beaches and repeat this very Venezuelan saying: “We were kings and we did not know it”, what Moy understands now.
Like the philosopher who left Greece empty-handed and explained, “Whatever is mine, I take it with me,” Moy brought to Miami the experience, work ethic and a family that have supported his dream of opening a restaurant. It arrived in 2006, and a year later it opened Qianlong in the blue-roofed mall on 25th Street and Northwest 87th Avenue.
They didn’t name him El Palmar, despite the prestige he gained in Caracas, because the name evokes meat or something tropical, Moy said. After all, it was the name of a steakhouse his father inherited when he bought it, and which never changed because it was already established.
Moy had the opportunity to start from scratch and chose for his Chinese restaurant the name of Qianlong, one of the most beloved Chinese emperors, the one who dared to leave the Forbidden City in disguise to see how people lived.
“If the food is fresh and the price is affordable, you can’t go wrong,” Moy says of his restaurant’s secret, which pays homage to his Chinese roots with a dragon hanging from the ceiling, a symbol of prosperity. he wishes for himself and his clients.
Like his father, Moy also works with Chinese cooks, who keep the flavors authentic. For him, “fusion is confusion”, and although he loves arepas, which are his daily breakfast, and other dishes of his country like pabellón (rice, beans and grated beef stew) , in its restaurant, only Chinese cuisine is served.
Every now and then, a Cuban asks for ripe plantains to combine with fried rice, and Moy explains that he doesn’t have them, and for now he has no plans to add them to the menu, which includes also first class Mongolian beef, prepared with high quality meat.
“I want everything out of the wok,” Moy says of the importance of making food to order, which is why he never bought a table to keep food warm.
If someone orders fried rice from Qianlong, expect it to come fresh from the kitchen. On weekends, for example, up to 300 rice dishes are prepared in a day.
The ingredients are also brought in fresh by local Chinese vendors, who have their warehouses on Okeechobee Road.
“I buy the Ecuadorian shrimps. They can’t come from China, because it takes a long time, and to keep them you have to put chemicals in them, ”says Moy, a seasoned businessman who speaks three languages, including Cantonese, whom he says. learned Spanish before because his mother, also Chinese, said if he didn’t speak Spanish he just wouldn’t eat.
Moy had five restaurants in Venezuela, in addition to El Palmar, which was owned by his father, and he knew well that an important strategy when creating the one in Miami was to keep the ceilings open and the kitchen in sight, so that the customer can observe the cleanliness and functioning of the kitchen, he noted.
“You have to treat the public the way you want them to treat you, because one day they will be your boss,” Moy concludes with one of the lessons he learned from his family.
Qianlong Chinese Food Restaurant
Or: 8726 NW 25th St. # 15, Doral
Info: 305-477-8188 or http://www.qianlongrestaurant.com