No one hesitated to grab a slab of scallion pancake.
I’m trying to remember why my family and I ended up at Golden Duck (1840 Maple Rd., Amherst).
Chang’s Garden hadn’t burned down yet, so that wasn’t it. Maybe it was the memory I had of a waiter expertly cutting a Peking duck in the restaurant’s side room on an earlier visit.
We ordered scallion pancakes, which were crunchy but weirdly lacking in scallions, and a scallop dish whose name I can’t remember, which was loaded with tender seafood. That disappeared quickly, as did the vegetable lo mein.
The sauteed string beans had lots of added flavor, with oyster sauce, scallions and was it shallots? It was actually one of the better versions we’ve had.
The shrimp in garlic sauce was decent as well, with crispy vegetables and shrimp cooked to firmness but not rubbery.
Our last dish ended the meal on a sour note, though – squid cooked “Evil Style,” which was a cousin of “salt and pepper” style. That is, the squid was deep-fried in a coating, then wok-fried with chile peppers.
The squid arrived in a relatively scanty portion, and tasted faintly fishy, which raised my antennae. But I didn’t really feel queasy until I got the bill. It wasn’t food poisoning, it was the price – $14.95 for the squid. Evil indeed.