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Best Beijing Duck in Beijing

e
eltongore Jul 16, 2006 11:10 AM

Coming to Beijing this summer? Skip the touristy Wall (esp Badaling) and head right over to these establishments for the tastiest Beijing Duck in Beijing (any additional suggestions welcome).

1) Made in China - perhaps the most expensive duck but by far the best in my opinion. Not expertly carved (lots of wasted meat), but the nearby open kitchen ensures your duck is hot on your platter (seconds from oven to table). Make reservations or forget about coming. And order the BJ duck in advance as they do run out. As you can see from this blog, the place is sleek, but expect to pay NYC prices for it
http://bubbler.net/5A-notes/557608/574387/

2) Duck King (Ya Wang) - preferably the Scitech branch. Crowded, but favored by the expense account crowd. They do a good job with the duck soup at the end which is why I come here.

3) Da Dong - favored by locals in the know, this location at GontiBei Lu and 3rd ring road has lines forming at 630PM. Go early or wait 30 minutes. Also known for great side dishes. Photos are shown here: http://www1.foobai.com/post.php?action=detail&review_id=5027

4) Quanjude - Mr. Taster does a great review of this place already so I will just link to it and say this is not the best duck, but it is the most famous. Its where dignitaries are taken when they visit Beijing (and the photos are on the walls to prove it). Go to the historical Qianmen location south of Tiannamen. The other branches in Wangfujing and near Hilton Hotel serve mediocre duck in a drab modern setting. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/308138

Whatever you do, avoid Liqun Duck Restaurant like the avian flu. Foobai Beijing restaurant reviews it in more detail than I care to waste my breath on:
http://www1.foobai.com/post_en_china_...

Happy eating and let me know if you find other good sources of Beijing duck in Beijing.

  1. Gary Soup Jul 16, 2006 02:01 PM

    I can't comment on Liqun Duck, having never been there, but I definitely take Foobai reviews with a grain of salt (and a bit of liao jiu, soy sauce and MSG too). On the Shanghai section, at least, the reviews seem dominated by by expats with plenty of almost neocolonial "attitude." The review you cited, for example, had about two sentences addressing the food itself in the midst of a long rant about everything in Beijing except the weather (while unmasking the naivete of the reviewer).

    Even though I have almost no reading knowledge of Chinese, I find http://www.dianping.com a lot more reliable for assessing restaurants; it's quite easy to get the gist of the comments through machine translation. Even Google's translator works pretty well for this.

    1. s
      shannonmay Jul 18, 2006 08:30 AM

      Liqun is a wonderful place for roast duck, which I go back to at least every visit in Beijing, which is 3-6 times per year. The reviewer on Foobai is a novice traveler, and who takes out his agression due to his own lack of preparation on the restaurant.

      Notes for the wise:
      1) Always book well ahead with Liqun, specifically stating how many ducks you will eat. It is a small, and can run out.
      2) It is a dive. Know that. You are paying for the home-roasteed ducks, not high rent or fancy tables.
      3) Beijing--the whole city--is a "tourist trap" of sorts. You will be bombarded with touts everywhere, scams from drivers of taxis and pedicabs, ripp-offs of every kind. Prepare yourself and don't blame your destination for the pain in getting there. And I know the pain--taxis in China are my own private hell--a place to get cheated with no safe exit.
      4) Locals eat at Liqun early, when it is easy to get a table and before all the touts come out. Early means 5-6pm.
      5) Later hours tend to be dominated by expats more than tourists. Always book ahead.

      Now to the duck specifically:
      1) It is more rustic than Dadong, but in my book far better--it is more complex, darker and less sweet.
      2) The wrappers are thicker than some, but I think that the flour adds the right complement to the oil of the duck skin.
      3) The other food available is also excellent: try the songhua fish, and for huajiao (sichuan flower pepper) lovers, ask for it, and a great gongbaojiding (kungpao chicken) will come. Also a great simple yiqingerbai (Silken toufu with scallion) to sate your hunger before the duck arrives, but without hampering your ability to scarf down all the duck that comes.

      On duck accoutrement:
      1) It will come with the requisite sauce, cucumbers and scallions. Do not be put off by the small dishes--you can ask for as many replacements as you like.
      2) Watch the carving, and ask for anything not automatically given to you. For example, at all duck places you are served the skin and meat, but not the meat that clings to the carcass. Don't let them take the carcass away without asking for the legs. Others love the neck.
      3) If you like foie gras, order the duck livers.
      4) Instead of trying to wipe the sauce on the wrapper using your chopsticks, pickup the duck with your chopsticks and dredge it in the sauce before placing it in the wrapper.

      In my book, Liqun is far superior to Dadong, which puts flash over food, and pushes diners to order absurd amounts of food. Liqun has better flavor, and is happy to let you enjoy your duck in peace, and doesn't care if you don't order any other item. I started going to Liqun in 1998, when it was still an back alley unknown, and still think it better than all the other regulars (Quanjude, Dadong).

      1. j
        jenn Jul 19, 2006 04:52 PM

        I concurr with Gary Soup and Shannonmay!

        We like Liqun--we've been there twice and enjoyed both trips. It was made very clear to us by the friend who lives in Beijing that making a reservation was a must, that they only cook so many ducks and without a reservation there was no guarantee. On our visits, the duck was very tasty as were all the side dishes. We were particularly enamoured with a shredded potato/hot pepper dish that I haven't found anywhere else. Last summer we even did a duck taste off between what we view as the People's Quanjude [the small brightly lite place in front, not the fancy place up the driveway] and Liqun. As I recall Liqun won but it was very close.

        I read the Foobai review and thought the reviewer was a real novice traveler and didn't sound very familiar with Beijing to boot. Of course, the taxi just drops you off--the streets in that hutong [like many hutongs] are too narrow to drive in. We've never taken a rickshaw to Liqun--we just walked but its clearly marked and well lite.

        As for pushy rickshaws, Beijing is FULL to the gills with pushy rickshaws. That doesn't mean you have to ride in them. On our last trip, when looking for Prince Gongs Palace, we were pursued down the street by a stream of pushy rickshaws. My husband finally turned to the drivers and shamed them by telling them they were scaring our kids [actually the pups were annoyed more than anything else]--pretty much every driver hung his head and turned tail. Firmness works well with pushy rickshaw drivers as does learning to say NO in chinese.

        OP, eltongore, I have to ask, have you actually eatten at Liqun or are you just relying on the review of this other person?

        2 Replies
        1. re: jenn
          d
          Deathalicious Dec 9, 2009 07:11 AM

          The shredded potato dish is actually not that difficult to find in Beijing; I had it a few times when I was there. A friend of mine who lived in central China for a year ate it often, so I assume it is a common dish. If you life anywhere near Philadelphia, PA, the Four Rivers restaurant makes an excellent version.

          1. re: Deathalicious
            m
            modernleifeng Dec 9, 2009 08:14 AM

            its typically on menus as xiang la tudou si (香辣土豆丝) and is available all over the city at any 家常菜 restaurant.

        2. p
          Petitpois Jul 20, 2006 12:31 AM

          I think Liqun serves fine duck - certainly as good as Dadong or Quanjude and tourists do love the hutong location. I don't think their duck is the best, however, and I eventually stopped going to Liqun, mainly because it started to feel too touristy... it's always packed with foreigners, the owners seemed to be putting more emphasis on garnering publicity than on the food and the whole humble courtyard-hutong thing started to feel a bit Disneyfied. Anyway, Liqun is certainly worth a visit, if only to see the neighborhood, but I would hesitate to sing its praises too highly. The food is nice, but there's better food out there.

          1. z
            zhongguoren Jul 23, 2006 08:09 AM

            Not to turn this into a rag on Liqun post, but I gotta agree w/ Petitpois that Liqun has gone downhill. They market now to the "That's Beijing" crowd instead of focusing on food quality. Any Beijing restaurant with English signs posted outside worries me. As fer food, duck was not moist when it arrived, and not hot either. The skin does not have the "melt in your mouth" quality that I expect when in Beijing. Wrappers far fr delicate, which is OK if you like them thick and dry. I don't. Meat tasted bland. Presentation somewhat sloppy. Side dishes far from great.

            I don't have the same long winded taxi complaints that the restaurant reviewer on foobai.com had. But can't argue other pts in that review. I care most about food quality, but can't be critical of people who judge a restaurant based on surroundings or service. Its part of the experience of eating out for some. I routinely and happily eat in many "dumps" in China. I am not put off by this but simple surroundings and dirty are 2 different things. I dont care if there is a squatter, but washrooms should be reasonably clean. Liqun has the opposite and 1 thing I have learned from working in restaurants is that if they can't even keep the washrooms reasonably clean you don't want to know what runs around in the kitchens, which the customers never enter and see.

            More to point, I don't know a single local who says Liqun is one of the better places for Beijing duck. Some Liqun customers look at the rundown hutong environment and assume they are getting a local experience and "real" BJ food. One look at the prices should dispense with this notion. You pay Laowai prices but dont even get upscale surroundings that usually come with it.

            As for the best places for Beijing duck, local BJ friends suggest a no frills restaurant on the East Gate of Worker's stadium. I didnt go but think its called JiuHuaShan (but not sure)? I rarely bother with lines outside DaDong but think its reliable. Grand Hyatt (i.e. Made in China) serves fantastic duck, but for most probably not worth the premium pricing. If you do not care about price, go there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zhongguoren
              h
              huangsandra Feb 18, 2008 11:42 PM

              On your no frills recommendation, I think you might mean Jin Bai He (Gold Lily) which is just east of Worker's Stadium. The duck is only 58 rmb but the meat is moist and tasty, and the skin crisp. It is also generously carved so you get nearly twice the portion size compared to Dadong (which is tasty admittedly tasty duck but I object to being charged a per person fee for condiments). The other dishes on the menu are less impressive (but more interesting than at Liqun) but it's the perfect place to go if you have a hankering for a quick and delicious duck dinner. I've pasted in my full write up from Savour Asia below:

              Beijing Gold Lily Roast Duck Restaurant
              北京金百合烤鸭店—Bei jing jin bai he kao yao dian (Jin Bai He, for short)

              Chaoyang qu Chaoyang yi yuan bei men zheng dui mian
              Directly across from the north gate of Chao Yang Hospital – and very near Sanlitun Bar Street.
              Tel: 010-6594 3870
              $: Dinner for two including duck and three dishes, 119rmb; whole duck, 58rmb including condiments.

              What we think

              Great cheap and cheerful duck restaurant. They recently moved (in the fall of 2007) from their original Chun Xiu Street location. For 58rmb, you can have your duck carved into thin slices with skin and meat on each slice. A great value for sure, but also very good duck. The pancakes looked a little doughy and worrisome when they first arrived but they peeled off the pile easily, were thin and even, and held up nicely throughout dinner. With one duck, we put down at least ten wrappers piled high with duck and still had a bit leftover. The accompanying dishes were a touch heavy-handed but overall not bad. For an extra 30 kuai, you can have your duck carved three ways, with some of the skin and meat separate, and some together. The fancier carving also comes with some extra condiments such as sugar in which to dip the separate skin pieces (a Beijing habit).

              http://www.savourasia.com/content/vie...

              1. re: huangsandra
                b
                briordan1 Nov 11, 2010 07:36 PM

                Huangsandra…. Tried your rec and really enjoyed Gold Lily. We stayed in Beijing and tried 3 different places. Gold Lily was our favorite since the duck meat was tender, skin was crispy, and not at all greasy. Plus the soup (included) they brought out at the end was really flavorful. 45RMB for half a duck with condiments.

                Xiang Man Lou (香满楼) was slammed with people and gave the most generous portion of duck meat/skin. We paid 75RMB for half a duck with condiments. The wrapper is much thicker than Gold Lily's. Overall it was still tasty and included soup at the end, albeit on the bland side.
                They also give you the duck head on a seperate plate. Are you supposed to eat that?

                Our least favorite was Tian Wai Tian. It was just down the street from where we stayed and near the Forbidden City Palace. The duck was noticably greasier and left us feeling a bit heavy at the end of the meal. Half a duck for 45RMB with condiments but no soup included.

                I think if you are interested in trying Beijing duck, any of the above places are a good start. Quanjude is 200RMB for a full duck so if you want a reasonable easy meal the ones above are decent.

            2. w
              wyahaw Sep 10, 2006 05:02 PM

              I completely agree with eltongore - Made in China serves easily the best Peking Duck I have ever tasted, in China or anywhere else. Indeed on a recent trip to China it was by far the best restaurant overall, and I would think it could reasonably clsim to be the best anywhere (and I include Hong Kong). See

              www.andyhayler.com

              for a review and details.

              1. m
                Maelstrom Jan 4, 2008 08:14 PM

                As of late 2007, Liqun was really not bad, though a bit greasy and the accompanying dishes weren't that hot. If you are hoping to have duck, and want it relatively quick in a good atmosphere with lots of other food choices, you should go to Xiao Wang Fu (Ritan or Guanghua locations) or Xihe Yaju on the northeast corner of Ritan Park. Both will serve you a plate of duck with less theatrics than other places, and you can add it to a good meal with lots of other dishes. These places tend to have lots of foreigners (mostly expats) but don't let that fool you - the service and food are excellent!

                10 Replies
                1. re: Maelstrom
                  FourSeasons Jan 5, 2008 03:57 AM

                  Hi Maelstrom : how would you compare Xiao Wang Fu or Xihe Yaju to Dadong and Made in China? I prefer Made in China to Quanjede on my last few trips and was planning to try Dadong on my next trip. Now you came out with these 2 new names that may changed my mind.
                  If I have only one choice to try Beijing Duck on this trip, do you recommend Xiao Wang Fu, Xihe Yaju or Dadong?

                  1. re: FourSeasons
                    p
                    Petitpois Jan 6, 2008 07:36 AM

                    I'm not Maelstrom... but I lived in Beijing for four years until this summer, around the corner from both Xiao Wang Fu and Xihe Yaju. I've never eaten the duck at Xihe Yaju, so cannot comment upon it at all -- in fact, though I've had many, many meals at Xihe Yaju, I didn't even know they served duck! On the other hand, Xiao Wang Fu IS well known for duck -- **but there are two locations and I cannot vouch for the one in Ritan Park.** The other branch, on Guanghua Lu, has a fruit wood-burning oven and you can see them roasting the ducks when you walk into the restaurant. Their duck is quite good -- you will see a fair amount of expats here, but locals also come here, primarily for the duck. This is a very casual, family-friendly kind of place -- no bells or whistles and their jiachangcai is pretty good, too. Xihe Yaju is a bit more expensive than XWF, and the decor is nicer. Dadong is quite, quite fancy and much more expensive than XHYJ or XWF -- I ate there once, years ago when I first arrived in Beijing but the meal was not very memorable (but that could have been due to jet lag). Of course, my favorite duck is from Made In China, but the atmosphere there is quite sanitized. I don't think you'd be disappointed with either Dadong or Xiao Wang Fu.... but I'm also butting in here, and perhaps Maelstrom has another opinion!

                    1. re: Petitpois
                      FourSeasons Jan 7, 2008 07:58 PM

                      Hi Petitppois: thanks. I think I will have to select either Dadong or Xiao Wang Fu on this next trip. Can't make up my mind yet.

                      1. re: FourSeasons
                        i
                        ivanleafs Jan 7, 2008 08:02 PM

                        I would definitely have to say Dadong... the Beijing Duck is just absolutely sublime (And I've had a lot of Beijing Duck!). I've only been to their new location, but I'd imagine they use the same recipe at both places. The rest of their menu is good as well!

                        1. re: FourSeasons
                          FourSeasons Mar 28, 2009 11:36 PM

                          I am replying to my own post that is 14-15 months old. I finally went to both DaDong and Xiao Wang Fu. Da Dong was a disappointment, queued for like 60-90 minutes since it was really full and we forgot to make a reservation. Did not meet up to my expectation; the roast duck was not as good as Made In China, in fact, everything there was not as good as MIC. Went to Xiao Wang Fu at Guang Hua Lu; did not have the roast duck, ordered some homey northern dishes, like the cozy ambiance, food is good but not in the same standard as MIC too. But I may still want to go back to Xiao Wang Fu but certainly not Da Dong.

                          Also went to Xi He Ya Ju last year. Also ordered the roast duck there. It is just above average. The shui zhu yu水煮鱼 was quite delicious though that is a Si chuan dish in a northern restaurant.

                      2. re: FourSeasons
                        m
                        Maelstrom Jan 11, 2008 09:40 AM

                        Made in China is pretty great. But so expensive. . . and the attitude of the restaurant can really put me off. The first place in China I have had to agree to an ending time for my meal! Anyway. . . XWF and XHYJ are different from Dadong and MIC because they are not exclusively duck places. You can branch out much more, and get better dishes - but probably not the full bells and whistles of a duck dinner. Which is okay if you're mostly interested in the bird and not the show.

                        See Savour Asia for some very readable data on the Beijing Peking Duck scene:
                        http://www.savourasia.com/content/vie...

                        1. re: Maelstrom
                          buttertart Jan 11, 2008 10:06 AM

                          Agree 100% on price and attitude - we had 1/2 duck of which they served maybe 50% - service was supercilious and staff attitude in general most unwelcoming (we are in our 50's, more than presentable looking and impeccably mannered, if I do say so myself ;-), have dined out at any number of high-end restaurants around the world, and speak putonghua - this is the only place in 2 weeks in China in which we experienced poor treatment).

                          1. re: buttertart
                            FourSeasons Jan 11, 2008 08:33 PM

                            I am surprised by the complains of the service in Made In China. I have been there 4 times in the past few years, the last one being in April 07, and have never encountered such poor attitude. Also MIC is not an exclusively duck place; I did not even have the roost duck on my 3 visits there, and certainly it has plenty of selection beside the roost duck. Yes, I do agree that price is on the premium side, but that is what you have to pay to dine in a slick interior surrounding in Grand Hyatt.

                            1. re: FourSeasons
                              Cookingthebooks Jan 12, 2008 06:10 AM

                              Agree, some of the northern dishes at MiC are really excellent. And I've always had efficient service there -- not memorably top-notch excellent, but not memorably bad either.

                              1. re: Cookingthebooks
                                buttertart Jan 14, 2008 09:33 AM

                                I am glad your experiences differed from ours. We found the food as well as the service indifferent. We are knowledgeable about Chinese food, having lived in Taiwan and China - had a varied menu at MiC, not just duck.

                    2. j
                      Jerome Jan 11, 2008 04:03 PM

                      Does Bianyifang still exist?
                      cooking methods supposedly different than those at Quanjude.

                      Are kongxinbing available at all the restaurants?

                      1. k
                        karenitasf Jan 17, 2008 08:33 PM

                        Made in China was good! But we actually liked this crispy lamb pancake thing the best of all there... I was more into it than the duck. Go figure. Some Beijinger friends took us to a place they translated as "Daily Food and Beijing Duck Restaurant" that had slammin' good duck and was definitely not touristy or expensive. Apologies if that's been mentioned here in pinyin/Chinese and I didn't know...

                        I have some more info/pics on this blog post if interested!
                        http://offthemeathook.com/2007/12/31/...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: karenitasf
                          w
                          wanderjahr Feb 6, 2008 10:11 AM

                          Can anyone tell me about the prince range in Made In China? My husband and I will be in Beijing in July, and are scouting restaurants.

                          Thanks!

                        2. LIuzhou Laowai Feb 7, 2008 04:46 PM

                          The Guardian has a feature on this topic today.

                          http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008...

                          And it links back to this thread!

                          1. g
                            goomoo Feb 28, 2008 06:36 PM

                            YEAH..

                            BEIJING DUCK IS REALLY PRETTY GOOD

                            1. n
                              NYCmoodyfoodie Mar 28, 2009 01:09 PM

                              DON'T GO TO LI QUN

                              Like so many others before us, we were attracted to Li Qun based on the many excellent, quality reviews posted all over the Internet, and on the desire to hunt for a "gem" in the hutongs of Beijing. However, we have noticed several bad reviews warning us of very bad food (and very poor hygiene to boot), and the trend has been more negative of late. Against better judgment, we ignored these bad reviews and paid the price for it...Our advice, save your time and money, and go elsewhere..there are definitely better places in Beijing.

                              We went on 3/23/2009. It took us a bit of effort to find it after we walked over from Tiananmen Square, but sure enough, we found it after finally locating the duck drawings as mentioned on earlier posts. We didn't have a reservation for 6PM, but that wasn't a problem. One thing we immediately noticed that spelled trouble -- all patrons were non-Asian tourists. We were shown a menu with dinner plans all nicely spelled out. For 2 people, there were two 288 RMB dinner plans (=$42 USD), which included an appetizer, a vegetable, and a whole duck. Not bad, we thought, but definitely first-class pricey according to Beijing standards. So then the bad:

                              1. If you do make it to Li Qun, make sure you go on an empty bladder. Don't bother going to the bathroom. It's all true. It's the most gross squat pit in all of China. Smelled like cow manure. Seriously. And too bad our table was right next to the bathroom. Fine, no problem, we thought. We were asking for it especially since we decided to "rough it out" and get the real deal in a Beijing hutong. However, the bad news is that even this hutong experience is not authentic.

                              2. The appetizer was spongy duck liver. Not bad if you like that..unfortunately, we didn't.

                              3. The vegetable was broccoli saturated in grease. Horrible, but broccoli is not a native vegetable in China, and so I can't blame them for not knowing how to prepare broccoli. Most of it gets imported from California...so it may probably be the most expensive dish on the table!

                              4. Worst of all, the duck was horrible. All fat, no meat, and all fat. The skin was not great, eventhough it was a freshly-prepared duck. Look, we're Chinese (Chinese-American), and we were brought up to definitely know how real Chinese food--and for that matter, Peking duck, should taste--and this meal was horrible.

                              5. When it was time to pay the bill, the restaurant manager who came to write up the bill literally made up the final pirce on the spot--and the price mysteriously shot up to 340 yuan . We ordered 2 Yangling beers in addition to the above meal...the beers may have cost 52 yuan (very unlikely), or the waitress decided she could milk us for more money (most likely). It wasn't worth the trouble to complain because we wanted to get the hell out.

                              I wouldn't bother writing this, and would have chalked it up to us having fallen victim to a bad tourist trap...unless I had a reason. The reason: there are better Peking duck places in Beijing. We went to Da Dong three nights later, and found the duck to be truly amazing (and with a great, clean atmosphere too). And the surprise? We paid LESS --> 336 yuan at Da Dong for a whole duck, with an appetizer, 2 other dishes, and 2 beers.

                              Conclusion: Li Qun's days are over. I would not trust any other positive reviews about this place. Don't go, unless you want to waste your time and money.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: NYCmoodyfoodie
                                k
                                klyeoh Mar 29, 2009 07:53 AM

                                What a nightmare! I've actually been curious about Li Qun but your post pretty much put paid to that. You should actually start a new thread (instead of using this thread) & call it Worst Beijing Duck in Beijing.

                              2. m
                                modernleifeng Jul 16, 2009 07:56 AM

                                My rankings would go like this:

                                1. Dadong (far and away the best duck in Beijing)
                                2. Made in China
                                3. Bianyifang
                                4. Duck spot in City Hotel (can't think of the name)
                                5. Xiao Wangfu

                                Quanjude is only for tourists and surviving off its "laozihao"ness, avoid the Qianmen outlet like a plague unless you want a Disnifyed experience. Duck de Chine is an extremely expensive and not very good duck.

                                Liqun is quite possibly the worst duck you can get in Beijing. Having been forced to take tourists there who heard about it from guide books multiple times, I'd rather eat the vacuum sealed ducks sold all over the city than have Liqun's duck, horrible.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: modernleifeng
                                  j
                                  Jerome Jul 19, 2009 03:35 PM

                                  interesting that you put Bianyifang so high. Do you prefer the closed straw oven roasted duck to the open hearth fruitwood oven roasted duck?

                                  1. re: Jerome
                                    m
                                    modernleifeng Jul 19, 2009 07:54 PM

                                    What needs to be said first is that there is basically just Made in China and Da Dong and to me any of the other spots are a massive drop off from there, making it hard to even create a top 5.

                                    Bianyifang offers a different duck, is the oldest of Beijing duck spots, and I believe (though not 100% sure) was the first duck spot to do a lot of the little touches that Da Dong uses (ie the shao bing for the duck, as well as using sugar to dip the skin in).

                                    The top 2 are also the main duck experiences, after that, its more about no frills, budget ducks that can be had a lot more often rather than the once every 6 months experience (or more often if you have lots of business clients coming to the city) of 1 and 2.

                                    1. re: modernleifeng
                                      s
                                      sadashek Jul 21, 2009 07:45 PM

                                      I understand there are three locations for Da Dong. Is there a significant difference between them? Which is closest to the Tianamen Square area?

                                      1. re: sadashek
                                        s
                                        sadashek Jul 24, 2009 06:56 AM

                                        Anybody know about three locations for Da Dong?. Is there a significant difference between them? And which is closest to the Tianamen Square area? thanks for your advice!

                                        1. re: sadashek
                                          k
                                          klyeoh Jul 24, 2009 09:56 AM

                                          Here's the map of the outlets in relation to Tiananmen & their addresses:

                                          http://www.thebeijinger.com/directory...

                                          My favorite outlet happens to be the one furthest away from Tiananmen, i.e. the Tuanjiehu outlet on the 3rd Ring Road in Chaoyang district. But then it's also only 20 minutes by car (40 minutes in traffic) from Tiananmen.

                                          1. re: klyeoh
                                            s
                                            sadashek Jul 24, 2009 03:17 PM

                                            Thanks so much for the helpful information and web site. I'm wondering if anyone out there was eating at Da Dong with three of your friends (and you were in charge of ordering!), what would you choose?

                                            1. re: sadashek
                                              k
                                              klyeoh Jul 24, 2009 04:02 PM

                                              You mean besides the duck? I don't know - the restaurant has a good English menu (with nice pics) & I don't think you can go far wrong whatever you order. Dishes may have changed but the last time we were there, someone ordered either lobster or shrimp rolled in fresh mango, which turned out to be delicious.

                                              I'm a sucker for sweet-sour Mandarin fish (songshu guiyu) & the one we had at Da Dong was crisp & fresh, and the sauce was just right.

                                            2. re: klyeoh
                                              m
                                              modernleifeng Jul 29, 2009 04:35 PM

                                              the Jinbao Rd location is the newest and is in a mall, probably not the best choice,and its also a little more expensive because of its location in what is trying to become a ritzy, expensive area.

                                              My choice is the DongSi ShiTiao location, which is in a a complex that used to be an imperial grain storage area and now has a number of restaurants. No matter which location you choose definitely make a reservation at least a day or two in advance.

                                  2. PeterL Jul 22, 2009 08:25 AM

                                    Sidetrack, I know the city is Beijing, but is the duck Peking duck or is now called Beijing duck?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: PeterL
                                      k
                                      klyeoh Jul 22, 2009 09:53 AM

                                      I still tend to call it Peking duck though, just as I still say Bombay duck when I order that fish dish in a city that's being called Mumbai now.

                                      1. re: PeterL
                                        m
                                        modernleifeng Jul 27, 2009 02:44 AM

                                        It is definitely still referred to as Peking duck, just like Beida is still referred to as Peking University. Those are about the only 2 things in the city that still use the old spelling.

                                      2. c
                                        Chinafactor Aug 6, 2009 02:09 AM

                                        Beijing Roast Duck, known as the "No.1 delicacy under heaven," is a representative of Beijing cuisine - the dish is mostly prized for the thin, crispy skin, though the meat is fat, it is tender and tasty, not greasy. The history of the Beijing Duck can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty (1206 - 1368). By the time of the early 15th century, it had become one of the favorite dishes of the imperial Ming Royalty.

                                        Best restaurants for Beijing Duck
                                        BJ Duck Restaurant
                                        Bianyifang Kaoya Dian
                                        China BJ Quanjude Roast Duck Corporation
                                        China Garden Restaurant
                                        Fengyimen Huanggong Group
                                        Hepingmen (Big Duck) Roast Restaurant
                                        Peng Lai Chun Shan Dong Restaurant

                                        More about Beijing Duck and Beijing food and cuisine
                                        http://chinafacttours.com/travel_dest...

                                        16 Replies
                                        1. re: Chinafactor
                                          buttertart Aug 6, 2009 07:59 AM

                                          In the early 15th century, the Ming capital was at Nanjing. So perhaps it should, as some claim, actually be known as Nanjing roast duck!

                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            pepper_mil Aug 6, 2009 09:22 AM

                                            I've seen Nanjing roast duck on menus, I thought it was just a different style. Though the picture looked a lot like beijing roast duck.

                                            1. re: pepper_mil
                                              buttertart Aug 6, 2009 09:55 AM

                                              Menus where, I'd be curious to know? It is the same thing, the nomenclature may depend on political leanings of the restaurateur.
                                              There is also a distinctively Nanjing duck style: yan shui ya, saltwater duck, which is boiled in salt water and pressed, in my experience eaten cold.
                                              Like the roast hot one better!

                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                pepper_mil Aug 7, 2009 09:18 PM

                                                saw last in a Guangdong style restaurant in Chengdu. Sichuan also has lots of duck preparations - the tea smoked duck, dark and sticky sweet skinned duck (tian pi ya) from the south part of the province, and a roast duck that gets chopped up and dunked in a sweet broth in a bag with beansprouts and duck blood cubes. That one I'm too much of a laowai to appreciate.

                                                1. re: pepper_mil
                                                  buttertart Aug 8, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                  It doesn't appeal to me either, although duck (or chicken) blood is good in hot and sour soup.

                                              2. re: pepper_mil
                                                buttertart Aug 8, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                According to Jerome on another duck thread'on this board, while roast duck was known for many years of course, the "Beijing" preparation was brought from Nanjing to Beijing by refugees from the Taiping Rebellion. Makes a lot of sense. I knew there was a reason behind the Nanjing name but wasn't sure of what.

                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                  buttertart Aug 10, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                  According to a certain historian I know very well indeed whose specialty is Ming Jiangnan urban history, this is probably specious - he thinks it most likely became widely known as Beijing duck during the development of a national cuisine in the early 20th century. Nanjing was known as a center of conspicuous consumption during the Ming, even after the capital was moved to Beijing, and the Nanjing name had considerable cachet. Jiangzhe restaurants in Taipei served roast duck as Nanjing kaoya when we were living there. (The northern restaurants called it Beiping kaoya for obvious reasons.)

                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                    j
                                                    Jerome Aug 13, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                    Ask the historian what are the dates for the opening of quanjude and bianyifang in Shuntianfu. I have 1864 and 1855 respectively.

                                                    1. re: Jerome
                                                      buttertart Aug 14, 2009 06:10 AM

                                                      And opened by Nanjingers? Therefore seemingly result of the Taiping. Entirely possible, I will correct him. Specialty is Suzhou social history in the Ming and Qing, not Beijing or food.

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        j
                                                        Jerome Aug 14, 2009 02:27 PM

                                                        i don't know who opened it. There are chinese wiki pages as well but they seem wrong - with bianyifang having an (i think) impossibly early opening.] In any case, though, they definitely were open for business in the late qing.

                                                      2. re: Jerome
                                                        m
                                                        modernleifeng Aug 14, 2009 10:29 PM

                                                        The date typically given for Bianyifang is 1416. At the end of the Ming, there were 9 Bianyifang's around the city, in 1855 all but 1 was closed down, and the one has existed at the same location from 1855 through 1974.

                                                        There are conflicting reports, some say a guy named Wang who came from Nanjing with Ming officials opened the first one in 1416. Others refer to a guy named Wang as a "southerner" and say he was the one in charge of the 1855 branch that stayed open.

                                                        1. re: modernleifeng
                                                          j
                                                          Jerome Aug 15, 2009 12:25 AM

                                                          it seems strange to me. Yuan ends in 1368 after which Dadu is beiping for the first, time, just a provincial center. The Ming dont' elevate the city to Shuntianfu along with cocapital Nanjing/Yingtianfu until 1421 - although the process starts earlier - 1403? or so.
                                                          Andyet, I had always heard that ShaGuoJu was the oldest restaurant in the city. that a restaurant or one with 9 branches would last from Yongle reign to 1855 and would not be able to knock down ShaGuoJu's claim strikes me as unreasonable.

                                                          but there you go.
                                                          i like open hearth ovens better, although I don't hate the BianYiFang style.

                                                          1. re: Jerome
                                                            scoopG Aug 15, 2009 03:08 AM

                                                            Interesting. I am not familiar with the Nanjing-Taiping Rebellion-Peking Duck connection. Perhaps the answer lies in the Huangshicheng 皇史宬 – the Ming Imperial archives in Beijing. Beijing 北京 has had at least a dozen different names and locations throughout Chinese history and was the name for nine capitals between the 3rd and 15th centuries before it was applied to the present day city.

                                                            At the start of the Ming Dynasty, what is now Bejing was known as Beiping 北平 (1368-1403.) Beiping was renamed Beijing 北京 in 1403. The Ming began work on their new northern palace in 1406 and upon completion in 1420 made Beijing the capital or jingshi 京師.

                                                            1. re: scoopG
                                                              j
                                                              Jerome Aug 16, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                              fair enough.
                                                              however, the restaurants in question appear to have been started as we now know them in the mid-19th century.
                                                              as well, under the ming and even the qing - the cities also had the names of shuntian and yingtian (順天 & 應[应]天).

                                                          2. re: modernleifeng
                                                            s
                                                            Steve Sep 3, 2009 09:02 PM

                                                            Anyone looking for Bianyifang now has to look awfully hard. I almost gave up after being in the neighborhood for almost 30 minutes trying to find it. Just as I was about to get a snack from a street vendor instead, I figured I'd ask just one more person. Turns out that it is on the third floor of a modern shopping mall, on Chongwenmen Wai Dajie, located on the West side of the street. The Mall has an entrance on the SW corner of the street, about a block or two down from the Chongwenmen Metro stop. Even once I was in the mall, it took a lot of doing to find it.

                                                            Hardly what I was expecting from a restaurant in continuous operation since 1416.

                                                            I'm no expert (or amateur of) BD, but it was much better than what I have available in Washington, DC. Still, I wouldn't get too excited about it.

                                                            1. re: Steve
                                                              m
                                                              modernleifeng Sep 4, 2009 02:20 AM

                                                              A number of websites have updated for the change, but I guess guidebooks haven't. The Haidemen Hotel that it used to be in is totally under construction, though "they" do have a stall next door selling snacks. It's sign says Bianyifang, but I expect a tenuous connection as they usually don't point out that the restaurant is across the street in the mall now. There is another branch nearby at Xingfu Dajie.

                                              3. x
                                                xtaaxtw Dec 16, 2009 08:18 PM

                                                Beijing duck is one famous food in the world. its color is Hongyan, the meat is tender, mellow flavor of fat but not too sweet features, it is known as "the world taste" . Quanjude is the best restaurant of Beijing duck I think.....

                                                http://world-culture-research.org/c.a... Quan Ju De Peking Roast Duck ,my favorite!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: xtaaxtw
                                                  m
                                                  modernleifeng Dec 18, 2009 09:01 PM

                                                  QuanJuDe doesn't even deserve to be in the discussion when talking about good duck in Beijing.

                                                2. h
                                                  hanguolaohu Sep 21, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                  I live in Beijing. I'm not an expert in Beijing Duck, but I've had enough to form an opinion of what I consider "The Best". It's amazing that only one person mentioned Duck de Chine and gave a mediocre review. My personal top 3 would be:

                                                  1. Duck de Chine
                                                  2. Da Dong
                                                  3. Made in China

                                                  The Peking Duck I had in Duck de Chine was the most savory, aromatic and juicy duck I've ever had. The aroma could be attributed to the fact that they roast the duck with wood from peach trees. The Mandarin crepe, Hoisin sauce and spring onions were exquisite and mouth-wateringly delicious.

                                                  Da Dong's duck is delicious as well and could be considered the standard bearer for most of Beijing's famous "Peking Duck" restaurants. I liked the duck at Made in China, but it didn't move me.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: hanguolaohu
                                                    j
                                                    Jerome Sep 22, 2010 06:05 PM

                                                    is hoisin de rigueur now in Beijing? does no one use tianmianjiang?

                                                    1. re: Jerome
                                                      buttertart Sep 23, 2010 05:51 AM

                                                      Tianmianjiang is much nicer w BKY.

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        j
                                                        Jerome Sep 23, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                        ok guessing - bky=Beijing Kao Ya?

                                                        1. re: Jerome
                                                          buttertart Sep 23, 2010 04:32 PM

                                                          Yes - should have been BJKY I suppose...

                                                  2. yimster Nov 29, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                    I know that this reply is too late bur for future information we had a very good Beijing Duck here.

                                                    Da Dung
                                                    56 Yingxie Road Chaoyang District
                                                    Beijing, Chin.

                                                    Great duck served two ways (soup and sliced served with pancakes and toasted/baked bread cups)

                                                    They served a classic Chinese dinner with the duck but had a few Fusion Dishes. Still download pictures. Hope to be able to do so.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: yimster
                                                      ankimo Dec 27, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                      Da Dong is a nice place with an excellent menu (great photos)
                                                      the duck was lean and good. service was poor though.

                                                      1. re: ankimo
                                                        yimster Dec 27, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                        I am still waiting for my trip mate to give me their SD disk for the download. It was our first night in China and my camera was still in the luggage. If I can do it I will post the pictures.

                                                        Our service that night was petty good. But it was my third visit to Da Dung. I guess I was lucky each time.

                                                        1. re: yimster
                                                          a
                                                          Aldocruises Jan 8, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                          I need some advice please-is this restaurrant far from the Grand Mercure Hotel on Xuanwumen Avenue in the xicheng district.?

                                                          1. re: Aldocruises
                                                            yimster Jan 10, 2011 05:31 PM

                                                            Sorry do not know the area at all. Always luck to have someone lead me where to go. The one we went to is NANXINGCANG (Dong Si She Tiao).

                                                            I hope that is near where you are.

                                                            yimster

                                                            1. re: Aldocruises
                                                              s
                                                              Steve Jan 10, 2011 08:36 PM

                                                              No.

                                                              This website is a good resource to show you restaurant listings with a map location for each restaurant:

                                                              http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/

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