Beijing... the best Roast duck.
- josephml1 Aug 19, 2012 08:37 PM
If is your first time in Beijing.. Where I should for a good not necessary expensive local kind of spot, but a good one for Roast Peking Duck...
there are several threads on this issue and a search would be worthwhile.
However, it depends on what you mean by 'not necessary expensive'. My favourite roast ducks are quanjude and made in china. V. different duck preparations, but both delicious. Quanjude's other food, however, is not great. The other food at Made in China is v. good, but more pricey. Da Dong does a decent duck, and other dishes are v. good, but service is rather snooty. Some dishes are extremely pricey here, but judicious ordering can provide for decent value.
Quanjude is the famous one but I have to say, to my taste there is not a huge difference between the famous places and the random neighborhood restaurants that just happen to have duck on the menu. It is a little bit better but in my opinion the only real benefit to paying more at Quanjude and Dongdan is that they have (some) English speaking waitstaff.
The pretty good one we always went to when I was studying in Beijing is called the Hibiscus: 航空航天大学体育馆西南角Xiaoyuan East Road, Haidian, Beijing, China, 010-82335086. But we just went there because it was close to our school. You don't have to plan a special trip to this one if it's far away from you. Just look for any old place with "烤鸭" on the sign and see how many Chinese people are eating there.
I think that the advice of 'how many Chinese people are eating there' is possibly the most useless advice in Beijing (no offence intended). Chinese people make up 99.5% of the population in Beijing, so _everywhere_ has Chinese people eating there. This has no discriminatory power at all. Furthermore, as you would know, having lived and studied in Beijing, local Chinese can and do vary by several orders of magnitude in the quality of food they find acceptable. In fact, finding a lot of foreigners eating at a place may be a mark of quality (not necessarily, I grant you), since local expats are reasonably discriminating.
It's true, roast duck is available everwhere, but the quality does vary. One of the restaurants at my work does a 'top quality roast duck' for about 65RMB, a third to quarter of the price of the famous places. It's tasty, but not even closely comparable to the better places.
The OP has probably already come and gone, but oh well. My point was that the bar for roast duck is so much higher in Beijing that a tourist probably wouldn’t be able to tell much difference between the average and the great places. I know I couldn’t tell much difference, even after 3 years. If traveling and short on time a visitor might be better served by walking into a crowded neighborhood place with high duck turnover than seeking out a destination restaurant.
amazing post and very useful. I truly apreciate your help and advice...
I will come back with a full review.