Friday, August 4, 2017

Peking Roast Duck Dinner in Beijing

Beijing is famous for its Peking Roast Duck restaurants, some of which have been around for over 600 years.  The ducks are raised specifically for this meal, slaughtered at an exact weight, coated with syrup, hung to dry, and then roasted.  The duck is sliced by the chef and beautifully presented with pancakes, cucumber, spring onion, and a sweet bean sauce.

I choose the Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant near Tiananmen Square, founded in 1864 and ranked number 1 by several reports.  The restaurant is huge, with fourteen dining halls, one of which can seat 600 people, and  a total capacity of 2,000 people, serving around 5,000 ducks a day.

 Entrance to Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant

The greeter sends me up in an elevator along with a large group that enters when I do and we are efficiently moved to our rooms.  I am seated at the side of a large, beautiful room of smaller tables.

 View from my seat

I order the duck and a plate of vegetables, along with a beer and sit back in anticipation.

Starting with a beer and tea

The chefs bring in several ducks and carve them simultaneously, after which, the plates are distributed to those of us waiting.

 Carving and serving the duck

As the duck arrives on my table, the pancakes, onions, cucumber, and bean paste are served, along with a bowl of duck broth.  The waiter fills the first pancake with the duck meat, bean paste, and cucumber for me, all with chopsticks.  I confess, I need to use my fingers for the next few (and they don't look this neat)

 First Peking Duck pancake prepared by waiter

Next to the duck meat is a plate of duck skin, served with sugar as an additional treat.  Then, my plate of steamed vegetables arrives to finish off the meal.

 The complete meal

I sit back and enjoy the food.  What great tastes!  What was I thinking, not coming here every day!

Getting near the end, finishing the duck broth

As I finish the meal, settle bill, and head out, I take one last picture of the room in which I dined.

Dining room from the entrance

All I can say is "Wow"!  This is not just a meal, it's a ceremony!

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