Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Beijing Roast Duck: are they INSANE?


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Fengyi

Fengyi
  • participating member
  • 291 posts
  • Location:Beijing

Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:58 PM

I just found this posted on "The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them" on the Observer.

it sends shivers of horror up and down my back...

22. Best place to eat: Peking Duck
Quanjude, Beijing

Beijing's most famous purveyor of Peking duck is nothing if not well-endorsed: more than 115 million ducks have been dished up in the restaurant's 145-year history, and China's first Premier, Zhou Enlai, personally chose the location for the seven-storey Hepingmen branch. Quantity hasn't affected quality: the duck, with its crispy red skin and melt-in-the-mouth flesh, is sublime – 400 versions of the classic dish are available: opt for the classic kaoya.

Hepingmen Dajie, Xuanwu District, Beijing, China, 0086 10 6552 3745, www.quanjude.com.cn

AND they're suggesting Hepingmen branch which managed to be crappy even 12 years ago when I first went....
Sublime?....more like slime.... :blink:
<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

#2 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Shanghai

Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:19 AM

Well, this just begs the question then! :biggrin: What are your recommendations for duck in Beijing? And why is Quanjude bad?

#3 Fengyi

Fengyi
  • participating member
  • 291 posts
  • Location:Beijing

Posted 17 September 2009 - 09:08 PM

Quanjude can be good - but all the restaurants are franchises run to completely different standards. The best one I've been to has been Tsinghua Science Park one, most of the others are terrible - greasy and indifferent.
I do like Dadong...BUT I've hear tale of another place that I must go to (but haven't had time so far) that far exceeds Dadong, or so I'm told. Jiushan in the west is also pretty darned good. Not a fan of Bianyifang, and the last time I went to Made in China (recommended by many guides) the poor duck was BURNT! dry as a bone :shock:
<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

#4 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:48 PM

Do you know of any place that does "traditional" Peking/Beijing duck, where the first course is skin-only with paoping? Most modern places have a good portion of fat and meat along with the skin which is, to me, a big no-no. I've not been to mainland China, but a very popular place in Hong Kong known for their Beijing duck was like that, too. And practically no one carves tableside, either.

FWIW, the best duck I've had has been in Bangkok. You can get amazing old-style Beijing duck there.

#5 Julian Teoh

Julian Teoh
  • participating member
  • 183 posts
  • Location:Singapore

Posted 17 September 2009 - 11:30 PM

Rona,

Pretty much every decent Cantonese restaurant in Sydney and Melbourne will serve Peking duck skin-only as the first course (I make no comment on whether it is traditional or not...). The chefs and restaurateurs there are often from Hong Kong, so it wouldn't surprise me to learn that that was the source of their inspiration.

I've come across many places in Malaysia that do this as well.
Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink

#6 Fengyi

Fengyi
  • participating member
  • 291 posts
  • Location:Beijing

Posted 19 September 2009 - 03:58 AM

Most places here will (if you speak Chinese...) give you a choice of ways to cut it - either skin and meat separate (which I personally don't like that much despite having grown up with it) or together.
They make a big fuss of the 108 cuts (but I've never know anyone to count so....).
Even where they do most of the cuts with meat and skin together, they always should start with the breast skin only. Here, the rule is to dip this prime bit in sugar and crunch it down.

If you get shaobing with it, garlic instead of the Tianmianjiang is good :-) and I'm a fan of the 'watermelon' radish threads myself...
The low carb version with lettuce leaves is kinda nice too - if you're up to that kind of thing.

When I first came here (many moons ago) I was REALLY disappointed by the roast duck - didn't seem a patch on the ones I used to eat in HK. Now, I can say that the BJ duck is firmly back in its seat of glory.
Anyone serving it with plum sauce should be taken outside and spoken to very severely and preferably spanked for a crime against "duckamity"...

BTW, if you can live without the soup - get the carcass!!!! gosh, I've had some good meals out of the saved carcass... :biggrin:
<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

#7 lilyhotel

lilyhotel
  • participating member
  • 27 posts

Posted 22 October 2009 - 01:30 AM

the crispy red skin is delicious, definitely. There is oil , but not greasy,quite to my taste.

about 100RMB($15) per person.
HePingMen's QuanJuDe is the best kaoya restaurant.

Howerver, some Bejing natives said, Beijing roast duck is to deceive those who had just arrived at Beijing. ~~~ :)

Edited by lilyhotel, 22 October 2009 - 01:33 AM.

welcome to my blog: chinese food picture
http://www.chinesefoodpicture.com
It's mainly about Chinese food and drinks.

#8 Big Joe the Pro

Big Joe the Pro
  • participating member
  • 103 posts
  • Location:Beijing, China

Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:11 PM

BTW, if you can live without the soup - get the carcass!!!! gosh, I've had some good meals out of the saved carcass...


How do the restaurants get that milky white consistency to the soup? Mine just turn out kinda like chicken soup. Joe
Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

#9 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Shanghai

Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:34 AM

I have not had the soup. Please tell me more about the soup.

#10 Big Joe the Pro

Big Joe the Pro
  • participating member
  • 103 posts
  • Location:Beijing, China

Posted 28 December 2010 - 04:55 PM

Well, like Fengyi said; the roast duck restaurants will give you duck soup after the meal (I think you have to had ordered a full duck, my wife and I often just get a half and hence, no soup). There's no meat or vegetables in the soup normally (save for a few pieces of scallion maybe). It's a (need I mention salty, everything here is salty) milky white broth, nothing to write home about but a satisfying way to finish a meal. Chinese often use soup as a beverage during meals.

So, I'm just wondering how they do that. I'm guessing milk and starch but I'm not enough of a technician to be certain.
Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

#11 Kent Wang

Kent Wang
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,395 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:24 AM

I just made a stock out of half a roast duck and it was quite milky, with no additives. I think it's all about dilution; I used a fairly small pot.

Oh, and I do think it's something to write home about. Maybe it's not so great at the restaurant after you've eaten a duck already but it's great to take home to make soups, risotto, etc.

#12 Big Joe the Pro

Big Joe the Pro
  • participating member
  • 103 posts
  • Location:Beijing, China

Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:02 PM

Yeah, I'm always so stuffed on the glorious duck that I can barely fit in any soup, regardless of how good it is!

Guess I'm using too much water?
Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

#13 Fengyi

Fengyi
  • participating member
  • 291 posts
  • Location:Beijing

Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:01 PM

Ken's right - I make the soup out of the duck bones and it goes a lovely white colour easily... just ask for the carcass - they expect that most foreigners don't like the soup that much anyway so they won't be surprised. I usually get mine when I'm bringing out visitors - as the rest of the time I'm with a Chinese posse. . .

I was at the Tsinghua Quanjude on Wednesday - and it is funny how much their duck skin differs in mouthfeel from Da Dong's... though I must say that for a branch of Quanjude, they're not bad (I made the waitress laugh when I was telling my friends how bad some of the other ones were).

Incidentally, I was having dinner with ten 'food and wine experts' the other day (it was the opening of a wine and dine concept cellar) among whom were such people as the chief editor of Food and Wine magazine, and we nearly all agreed that currently Da Dong was still above the rest.... though someone mentioned a place on the west side that is very good too (Forgot the name right now! Though if you fundamentally prefer 'closed-door' roasting it will never be for you....
<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

#14 Big Joe the Pro

Big Joe the Pro
  • participating member
  • 103 posts
  • Location:Beijing, China

Posted 31 December 2010 - 04:39 AM

Well, I used a carcass from a roast duck I made at home. A frozen one I'd bought at a street market. So perhaps that had something to do with the difference. I used "Joy of Cooking's" fast recipe BTW, it came out pretty well but the WORST Qianjude Restaurant needn't be concerned about new competition. I definitely need to pay attention to how they slice those ducks the next time I go to a restaurant.

If you get shaobing with it, garlic instead of the Tianmianjiang is good :-) and I'm a fan of the 'watermelon' radish threads myself...

Anyone serving it with plum sauce should be taken outside and spoken to very severely and preferably spanked for a crime against "duckamity"...


If someone could explain the difference between Hoisin Sauce (which I believe is what you called 'plum sauce') and Tian Mian Jiang ('jiang' is Chinese for sauce for those who don't know) to me I'd appreciate it. I just googled it and while I'm happy that Wikipedia isn't censored here any longer, I'm not so sure they cleared it up for me. This is the entirety of the 'Uses' section (and I hope it's ok to paste this here):

(Tian Mian Jiang) Similar to the better known hoisin sauce, sweet bean sauce is sometimes used in dishes such as Peking Duck and as a replacement for yellow soybean paste (黄酱; pinyin: huángjiàng) in zhajiang mian; in Beijing cuisine, yellow soybean paste is the traditional accompaniment for these two dishes. Sweet bean sauce is sweeter than yellow soybean paste, which is saltier.

Is 'Tian Mian Jiang' what's used on 'Jia Jiang Mian'? I've been here forever but don't speak the language very well and definitely don't do characters. 'Tian Mian Jiang' literally translates to 'sweet noodle sauce', correct? I've asked my Chinese wife, she's not really sure about it and most of the people I meet here (twenty-somethings) haven't a clue how to cook.

Anyway, thanks! That's a very funny line about 'duckamity' in my opinion.
Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?