Jacksonville, FL 32257
Peony Asian Bistro, is my favorite Asian place in Jacksonville. There may be a better spot, but if so I have not found it. Still many American/Asian dishes on the menu, but a few not found in you run of the mill spots. My favorite dish here, hands down the Peking Duck served with wonderful fresh steamed buns. It is well worth the seventy mile round trip to savor this dish. I have been dreaming about duck so I called a friend and suggested a road trip.
The restaurant is quite large with a well maintained interior. Bright, light wood tables and chairs, several large round tables with a center lazy susans, enables large parties ordering multiple dishes, easy access with just a quick spin.
We gave the menu a quick look, having been here before we were both pretty familiar with the offerings, and I was having the Duck so it was a no mystery. Well that was until they told us the Duck was 86’d (sold out), I remember weeping. Well never mind, life happens and we move on. First up our appetizers, Crab Rangoon, and the Roast Pork with some Calamari. In the perfect world the Roast Pork is paired with the Duck , but since the duck “flew” off the menu I satisfied myself with a substitute. Good choice but the way.
Roast Pork w Calamari
I was so enjoying the Calamari experience, I chose the Salt and Pepper Calamari for my main, along with Eggplant in spicy brown sauce as a share dish, my friend went boring with Shrimp Fried rice and we also took a side of Water Spinach. Again all the dishes were perfect. Calamari not over cooked, Eggplant a beautiful colorful spicy dish that satisfied on every level.
Fried rice, a little on the sticky side for me, but very tasteful. It is always a plus when there are many goodies in the rice.
Now the Water Spinach (Ong Choy); veggies are always a plus and spinach gets high marks in my book, but this dish left me sad. I could have been named “stem spinach” Now this was me ordering something new and then not liking the results. There was nothing wrong with this dish, other than I personally did not like it. That’s why I order this stuff so I can learn. Our server ask me if I had ever ordered this dish before and that should have been my first clue.
At the end of the meal oranges are served, do not look for cookies! They oranges are always sweet, cold and juicy plus a nice palate cleanser.
I definitely recommend this spot for some great food, The Peking Duck is not to be missed.