Saturday, October 06, 2012

Quan Ju De Peking Duck (全聚德烤鸭) - The Most Famous Roasted Duck in the World @ Beijing, China

Mention a visit to Beijing to foodies and they would immediately start a discussion on Peking Roast Duck (北京烤鸭) - the signature dish for the capital of China. 

I would therefore be doing the duck a great disservice if i didn't attempt to have it in my recent visit to Beijing! It didn't take me long though as i had it on the very date i arrived in Beijing. 

Veterans would tell us that there is no better place to have authentic Peking roast duck than Quanjude, a restaurant that has served the dish since year 1864! That is a whooping 148 years in operation!

Authenticity aside, i am aware there are many people who felt that Quanjude is overrated and there are better choices to have Peking duck in Beijing. Given the limited time i had in my tour package, i guess i can only confirm that in the future, when i take on the capital as a free and easy traveler. 

As part of the tour package, lunch was provided at Quanjude and this included a lot of dishes (i counted 10) other than the famous duck. 

This was diced chicken in sauce and they were so tender and nice! Not as salty as some would comment on typical Chinese fare in China. 

The one that took me by surprise was this plate of stir fried vegetables (already half eaten when i took the picture) that even my mom would find it hard to emulate. They tasted almost burnt yet it wasn't and left a tingling sensation that made the green vegetables extremely addictive!

Grand arrival of the duck! Befitting its status, this was placed on the trolley and pushed into the private room reserved for our group. 

And best of all, it was carved right before our eyes!

No worries on the issue of hygiene. This young chap was fully equipped with a face mask and plastic gloves. You don't even find many people doing that in Singapore.

This was definitely not the first time i had Peking duck; I had it a couple of times in Singapore but i realised that something didn't look right. 

Ain't these supposed to be just duck skin with minimal meat? Have we been eating Peking duck the wrong way! Either that or it is a matter of Singaporeans preference! 

Nonetheless, look at the thick layer of fat!!! For those who are unaware, the ducks were force fed 4 times a day in order to gain bulk for a more fatty constitution! This is so similar to the breeding of ducks for foie gras!

The items you need to truly savour the Peking duck. What's missing was a plate of warm steamed pancakes that generally had a taste you would not want to eat on its own.

Here they are, all ready to be rolled as one! 



Mmmmmmmm, delicious! The skin was incredibly crispy (you can clearly hear the crunch) without all the oil smudging my lips! They would have been placed on equal standing with my favourite deep fried pork lard! 


Sorry, my taste buds could not really discern the supposedly fruity fragrance. My bad although it was still the best Peking duck i ever had. 

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Location 
Quanjude has over eight branches in Beijing and the one we went was the Chaoyang branch. Should you prefer the original store, please visit the one in Qianmen.

Price
Not too sure about the other dishes (since lunch was part of the package tour) but according to the above, a Peking duck cost 198 RMB while the vacuumed pack cost much cheaper (fishy). 

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