Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter in China: The Duck Hunt


One of the must eats in Beijing is the world famous Beijing Roast Duck. There have and always will be  debate and arguments on which restaurant serves the best roast duck in Beijing - just do a google online and you'll end up with many recommendations. We ended up having Beijing roast duck at three different restaurants while we were in Beijing.

The highlight of Beijing Roast Duck is the crispy skin that's skillfully carved out live in front of you. This is often eaten with pancakes filled with green onions and some sweet sauce.

Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant
This restaurant comes highly recommended from many websites and word of mouth. It has 3 branches in Beijing and we visited the branch near Wangfujing since it was closet to our hotel. We made reservations through Visa concierge so we didn't have to wait when we arrived. Our first impression on arriving at restaurant was WOW. The deco and ambiance was really nice and they roasted the duck live where the customers can see it. There's also a bar for those who might have to wait to get a table.

Table side prep

The Duck


The menu was extensively and it took us a long time to decide what to order. The food appeared to be more modern, fusion and "fine dining-ish" than your typical Chinese restaurant.

Quan Ju De Roast Duck Restaurant
This is one of the oldest duck roast duck restaurant in Beijing. It was established in 1864! The restaurant only takes reservations for private rooms which require a minimum charge of a couple hundred reminbi per person. There was little wait when we arrived at the Wangfujing branch since we were relatively early for dinner.

Shredded Duck Meat

Duck Hearts

Chef in Action

The ambiance was definitely not as cozy as Dadong. The menu again was pretty extensive but it was a more traditional selection.

Bianyifang Roast Duck
I would argue that Bianyifang is somewhat less famous than either Dadong and Quan Ju De since most folks would try this two restaurant first. The family decided that they still wanted to have more duck so we tried this restaurant on our last day in Beijing. It's also one of the older roast duck restaurants in Beijing establishing itself in 1855 and having multiple branches today.

Shredded Duck Meat

Duck Liver

Duck Hearts


Plenty of Duck!
The duck served is slightly different than the other restaurants in that they use a slow roasting method. They also have flower or vegetable roasted duck. We couldn't decide which ones to order so we ended up ordering on of the traditional slow roast and a flower roasted duck. The waitresses thought we were crazy! This restaurant will also cook the leftover duck meat in a variety ways such as stir fry or soup.

Even the whole family couldn't agree on which restaurant was the best. We did however agree that the duck at Quan Ju De was simply horrible - it was oily and tasted somewhat stale. Skip this place! The duck at Dadong stood out as my favorite as it was crispy and wasn't fatty at all. The family however liked the duck at Bianyifang since the flower roasted duck was unique in that it had a slight flower fragrance to it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip on Bianfiyang, will check that out next time... Quanjude won't be seeing me again, that's for sure, esp the Wangfujing one. Overrated.