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Feb 20, 2010 06:43 PM

Beijing Duck

A few years ago there was a restaurant on the upper East Side that had fabulous Beijing Duck (it had a cherry wood oven) but alas like almost every interesting Chinese restaurant (in Manhattan) I have ever liked over the 20 years I have lived in NYC it went out of business. I have been to the places in Manhattan's Chinatown that "specialize" in this lovely dish but am not impressed. My sister is coming from out-of-town and wants me to find some place that can replace that duck from the upper East Side so I decided to put a call out to all you "Hounds." Is there such a duck somewhere in Queens or Brooklyn?

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  1. to my knowledge there is no true peking / beijing duck places in NYC although peking duck house in ctown does specialize in it

    its a difficult dish to make and you need a ton of volume in order to make it work and i dont think there is really the demand in NY for it

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lau

      regarding volume:
      The original Quanjude Restaurant in Beijing serves up to 5,000 meals a day,covers a floor area of 15,000 square meters with over forty private dining rooms and can simultaneously occupy 2,000 guests.

      Found the above on wikipedia, but went here a couple years ago. They give you a ticket with your ducks number, which is a running total since 1864. Gimmick? Probably, but it was pretty cool.

    2. Sad, Peking Duck is really one of my favorite things on the planet, but I have not found really great PD in NYC. The Peking Duck house on Mott Street is probably the best I have found, but still no wow factor.

      When I was a grad student years ago I lived in Philly where there was an amazing and cheap PD house in that city's small Chinatown. Dinner for two was only $20 there. It too has gone out of business.

      I think a trip to China is long overdue.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Anicca

        This is all very sad news! I think it is a wonderful dish.

        1. re: Mangita

          its like amazing if you do it right

      2. I would look toward Manhattan for Beijing Duck. The top three ducks I've had have been at Shun Lee, Mr.K and Chinatown Brasserie. I had the duck again at CB recently and it was really, really phenomenal. The flavor of the duck was full and rich without gaminess, skin crisp and devoid of fat. The pancakes really set them apart, very skillfully made, fresh, pliable and thin, like the qualities of a good xiao long bao wrapper.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Pookipichu

          I will try CB. In the meantime we should all look out for some corner of this huge metro area with great Beijing Duck. It must exist somewhere!

          1. re: Mangita

            Keep us updated after you try it at CB. Beijing duck is my absolute favorite dish and I try it everywhere it is served so I can relate to your quest.

              1. re: Pookipichu

                Was at Chinatown Brasserie on Sunday nite.
                Walked past a table eating it and the skin looked great.
                I found the dim sum excellent but the other food mediocre at best.
                I remember Shun Lee Dynasty in the old old days having peking duck in three courses and it was something else.
                I love the soup course.
                Havent been to the Peking Duck House in a few years but I did rather like it.

          2. Just out of curiosity: do people really say Beijing Duck? I've only ever heard it as Peking Duck. I always assumed it was a historical relic like Siamese twins or Prussian blue.

            2 Replies
            1. re: shane

              Beijing Kao Ya is what Mandarin speakers say. It's more phonetically accurate than Peking Duck.

              1. re: Pookipichu

                peking is an old english tranliteration of beijing, so its the same thing. in english i think almost everyone refers to it as peking duck (i do)

                pookipichu is correct, beijing kao ya literally means beijing roat duck

            2. Out of curiosity one evening, I ordered the Peking Duck from Chance Bistro, on Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The skin was nicely crisped, the fat rendered just enough, and the meat was moist and tender. Even the wrappers were good -- freshly made, in-house.

              The best Peking/Beijing duck I've had in Manhattan has been at S. Dynasty on Lexington and 48th St. (2nd Fl. - inside the Lexington Radisson Hotel). The food there is well above average, but unfortunately so are the prices. I prefer their duck over Peking Duck House's. The host or waiters usually make the wraps tableside -- before they start, I would suggest that you request they go easy on the plum/hoisin sauce. They tend to have a heavy hand with the stuff -- can easily overpower all else.