Peking duck and dumpling restaurant spices up Rice Village with newest locale [Culturemap]

Lobster with Truffle

Peking duck and xiao long bao are coming to Rice Village this spring. Duck N Bao will open its third location in the popular shopping and dining district.

The restaurant has claimed a former Zoës Kitchen in the Hanover Rice Village apartment building. It joins Duck N Bao’s existing locations in Cypress and near Memorial Park as well as its sister concept Hongdae 33, an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant that opened in Chinatown last year. It chose the neighborhood for its proximity to Rice University and the Texas Medical Center, according to press materials.

“We’ve been looking for a great location in Rice Village for a long time,” co-owner Grace Xia said in a statement. “Being near the university brings a youthful vibe and a constant influx of new students arriving every year. We love the neighborhood and look forward to sharing our authentic Chinese food with Rice Village residents and visitors.”

First opened in 2020, Duck N Bao has earned wide acclaim for its Sichuan dishes, soup dumplings, and Peking Duck, which Texas Monthly included on its 2022 list of favorite dishes from restaurants around the state. They’re paired with cocktails that showcase baijiu and other Chinese spirits. Rice Village has been without this style of Chinese food since dim sum favorite Yum Yum Cha closed in 2015.

For the Rice Village location, the restaurant will expand its current menu by adding some more luxurious dishes to its offerings. Look for triple-cooked short ribs, duck fried rice, and lobster tails three ways — stir-fried salt and pepper, XO sauce, or truffle sauce with shaved truffle. Lobster will also be available in mapo tofu. Other additions include truffle soup dumplings and a caviar upgrade for the Peking duck.

With a 2,600-square-foot dining room and a 1,000-square-foot patio, the restaurant is expected to seat 100 people. Chinese artifacts and serveware will be featured in display cases. A kitchen window will provide diners with a view of dumplings being made.

Husband-and-wife owners Grace and Leo Xia teamed up to develop the restaurant, which serves Sichuan specialities and classic Cantonese fare. Leo Xia immigrated to America with his family. Prior to opening Duck N Bao, Xia’s family operated Cajun Café & Grill at Baybrook Mall and Green Garden in Cypress. Grace Xia earned a M.S. in Accounting from the University of Houston before committing to the restaurant world with a Kung Fu Tea franchise.

“We have a passion for restaurants,” Leo Xia said. “I want people happy walking in and happy leaving.”


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