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Apr 29, 2012 10:44 AM

Peking Duck in Beijing

We will be traveling with friends to Beijing next month and I have been put in charge of determining where to have a Peking duck dinner. The existing threads on this topic are a couple years old. Would greatly appreciate people's current faves. Thanks!

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    1. re: Steve

      I don't think I've seen anyone referring to the dish as "Beijing Duck". Even the Chinese themselves routinely translate the dish as "Peking Duck" (and so do the Chinese diaspora in other countries).

        1. re: Steve

          Interesting. Here in singapore, no one refers to it as "Beijing duck" (of course, in mandarin it would be bei3 jing1 (kao3) ya1).

          I don't recall the term "Beijing duck" being used by City Weekend last time (then again, my "last time" was a good 6 years ago, when I was on a student exchange programme for 4 months, so things definitely are a bit hazy).

          In addition, wikipedia refers to the dish as "Peking duck".

          1. re: akated

            Ah, Wikipedia. Then it must be true......

            1. re: Steve

              My mentioning Wikipedia is merely to collobarate the fact that most of the English-speaking world know the dish as Peking duck, and not Beijing duck.

              Even if some people now feel the need to call it Beijing duck because of (current) geo-linguistic accuracies, the fact remains that the dish has historically been called Peking duck, because Beijing *was* known as Peking previously. Are we suggesting that if Beijing changes its name for whatever reason, that the name of the dish will change (again)?

              1. re: akated

                That's right. Sort of like Kung Pao Chicken. Now it can be called Gong Bao Chicken but it might likely always remain Kung Pao somewhere in the world on some menu. “Peking” actually is the Cantonese pronunciation of 北京 Běijīng. Imagine spending 10 years in Canton in the mid 17th century waiting to get permission to visit Beijing from the Emperor and learning Cantonese to pass the time, thinking that would be of help once you got to the capital!

                1. re: akated

                  You are taking this far more seriously than I am. I was merely pointing out something I found humorous. The English-speaking community in Beijing has fully accepted Beijing Duck. I understand that everyone esle will continue to call it Peking Duck.

                  1. re: Steve

                    The Mandarin speaking community in Beijing called it Kao Ya though the rest of the world debate if it is Peking Duck or Beijing Duck.

        1. re: scoopG

          I have tried all of them except Li Qun. My vote goes to Made in China.

          1. re: FourSeasons

            I did not try them all. But, I did go to MADE IN CHINA 3 times while I was in Beijing in April, and had many very good dishes. I saw some people ordering the duck....and can't comment from experience, since I did not taste it there. From what I've read in past posts, some people were served the duck there---and found it dry. Like so many places, there can be inconsistency.

            1. re: FourSeasons

              Going to Da Dong Wednesday and Made in China Friday.
              What other dishes besides the duck would you recommend?

              1. re: Porthos

                Re Made in China: avoid their Southern and Sichuan dishes. Their strength is in the Northern dishes. I think you have to pre-order the Peking Duck. (You can order half portion too) I would usually order 芝麻菠菜 (sorry, not sure what the name of the dish in English menu; literally translated as sesame sauce spinach, typical Beijing appetizer, very well done here); try some dumplings 饺子, they have a few types and I tend to prefer the House Special ones; also not to forget 地道炸酱面 Ca Cian Noodle but notice some friends do not like the style here. All these dishes are quintessential Beijing dishes. This should be good enough for solo or two diners but if you have larger party, may want to try one of the lamp dish, I can't remember the name of the dish but it includes 烧饼 (think of it as Chinese pancake). Or the other option is 葱爆羊肉. May also consider 松鼠桂鱼 (sweet sauce fish???) but I always thought Northerners are not so good with seafood dishes. If you like spicy food, may consider 口水鸡 (Saliva Chicken), the only Sichuan dish worthwhile to order here.

                Re Da Dong: I am probably the only one in Chowhound who thinks Da Dong is way overrated. Been there twice and not impressed at all. The only memorable dish is 董氏海参 (Da Dong's sea cucumber). Hope your experience will be more like others here.

            2. re: scoopG

              This fall, we will be staying at the Regent Beijing on Jinbao Street in the Dongcheng District.

              Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant at Jinbao Place (88 Jinbao Street) should be within walking distance of our hotel. On TripAdvisor, Dadong ranked #20 of 3,530 restaurants in Beijing.

              We also are considering another restaurant within walking distance of the Regent: Huang Ting in the Peninsula Hotel (8 Goldfish Lane). On TripAdvisor, Huang Ting is ranked #12 of 3,530 restaurants in Beijing.

              Any thoughts on Huang Ting?

            3. A check on shows Da Dong occupying the 1st, 3rd and 4th spots. So I guess things have stayed more or less the same, Peking duck-wise.

              1 Reply
              1. re: akated

                I haven't eaten at most places yet, but although the atmosphere and other foods of da dong are superior, I really do prefer the quanjude roast duck. It's just super delicious, and I don't find the da dong variety any less greasy.


              2. I just got back from Beijing. I'm a serious "foodie" and can guarantee you an exquisite roast
                duck meal (I am not scholarly like the other chowhounders about terminology with regard to duck), but I just went to DA DONG---the International Plaza Branch in Doncheng. The duck was spectacular. There are several branches of Da Dong in Beijing. I was there on April 10th---and even alone, and even as a woman, I was treated wonderfully; everything was fresh and perfectly prepared. It was extremely memorable. Good luck whatever you choose.

                1 Reply
                1. re: EZM

                  I second your experience. i dined solo at Da Dong (also the Doncheng branch) and found it to be incredibly welcoming. I ordered a half duck and a veggie dish, and would eat there again in a heartbeat. The presentation of the duck is part of the experience. I've also eaten at Quanjude (the Wangfujiang branch) and found the duck very good, but the experience was not as good as Da Dong.

                2. my vote for dadong. i'm usually all for the old restaurants which have been famous for decades. but peking duck wise, dadong wins by miles compared to the more famous and older peking duck places in beijing. btw, my opinion is it's called peking duck, if you want to use the correct mandarin pronounciation, it should be called beijing ya. peking duck is a common term that everyone knows about, no need to make an axx out of oneself by correct others on that.a

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: japanesefoodlover

                    Another vote for Da Dong. Duck was the best I've ever had. But the other dishes there are also quite exceptional - most notably the steamed whole sea bass, sauteed bamboo shoots.

                    1. re: urigio

                      btw, if you are going to dadong, it only costs like 10 rmb more to be able to pick for best duck in the house. i always do that just for peace of mind.

                    2. re: japanesefoodlover

                      I was pointing out that in the same sentence, the two terms were used. I found it humorous. Obviously, not everyone's sense of humor is the same.

                      Unlike you, however, I never made any sort of pronouncement on what it should be called.