Beijing Roasted Duck is renowned
as the most delicious food of Beijing. The duck
is hung in the oven and roasted by flame burning
from fruit-wood. The finished duck is characteristic
with crispy skin, tender meat and the fragrance
from the fruit-wood. Some find it a bit too greasy,
but others get hooked after one taste. In any
case, a Peking Duck dinner is usually a fixed
item on any Beijing tour itinerary. Eating Peking
Duck is also one of the two things you are absolutely
supposed to do while in Beijing. The other one
is climbing the Great Wall.
The place that offers the best
Peking Duck is the Quan Ju De Restaurant, which
has outlets at Qianmen, Hepingmen and Wangfujing.
It was established 130 years ago and, if you count
from the time when founder Yang Renquan began
his duck business, it is 160 years old.
At Quan Ju De,ducks are immersed
in condiments unique to the restaurant and are
roasted directly over flames stoked by fruittree
wood. The best roasted duck is date-red, shining
with oil, but with a crisp skin and tender meat.
The chef then cuts the meat into
thin slices, each having a piece of skin. Then
the meat is served with very thin pancakes, Chinese
onions and special sauce. The way to eat it is
to coat the thin pancake with sauce, slap on a
few pieces of meat and roll up the pancake. Chopsticks
are optional: it is much easier just to grab the
thing with your bare hands.
Another famous restaurant offering
Peking duck is the Bian Yi Fang (Cheap Restaurant),
which opened in 1855, nine years earlier than
Quan Ju De. At Bian Yi Fang, roasting is done
in an enclosed container fueled with crop stalks.
There are now hundreds of restaurants serving
Peking Duck all over the city. Most of these restaurants
offer ducks for 38 yuan a piece,cheaper that at
the larger places.