More Peking Duck at Beijing’s Quanjude!

November 18, 2012 in China, Food, Reviews, Travel

Quanjude is one of the most famous Peking duck franchises in China

On this night, after spending most of the day working on two lengthy articles, I caught up with a friend of a colleague who has been living in Beijing for more than 20 years.

He recommended either lamb hotpot or Peking duck, and even though I’ve had it before I decided to go with the duck again, as I’ve never been all that fond of lamb or hotpots.

This particular Peking duck place we visited was another famous one, and probably the most famous of them all. It’s a franchise called Quanjude (全聚德), and it has a history of almost 150 years. You gotta be pretty good to be able to last that long, right?

Outside the Quanjude near Shuangjing station

The Quanjude we met at is located near Shuangjing subway station. I originally wanted to catch a cab there but it was damn near impossible around rush hour, so I decided to catch the subway instead. I thought the subway was crowded before, but rush hour is a whole different ball game. You don’t really move voluntarily — you simply get carried by the crowds. You really have to experience it personally to understand what I mean.

Quanjude is regarded as fairly expensive, with half a duck costing around 200 yuan (AU$31). Like the other place I went to, you start off with the crispy duck skin (with dippable sugar), followed by duck meat wrapped in thin, hot pancakes plus hoisin sauce, cucumber and so forth.

Crispy duck skin with sugar

Succulent duck meat

Wrapped in steaming, fluffy pancakes

We also got a bunch of other duck related dishes, such as sliced duck feet with a spicy and tangy Chinese mustard and duck gizzards, which and looked and tasted surprisingly similar to BBQ pork. I wouldn’t usually get those things but they were better than I expected.

I admit, I found the duck feet a little unusual

Duck gizzards look better and taste better than they sound

The better duck side dishes were the soup, which was made with duck bones and was thick and full of natural flavour, as well as the fried duck meat on skewers. There was also a stir fry duck served in a crispy nest inside a lettuce (similar to a san choy bau) which was exquisite. To even out the food groups we added a stir fry broccoli, which was nothing special but got the job done.

Looks plain but the duck soup is sublime

Fried duck meat skewers

Duck san choy bau

Stir fry broccoli with pine nuts

While I didn’t pay for the meal I believe it cost around 370 yuan, which included a couple of beverages, one of which was a beer. Compared to the 60-80 yuan per head at Liu Zhai Shi Fu (刘宅食府), Quanjude is notably more expensive. But was it also notably better? I can’t say that it was. Definitely on about the same level, but all things considered Liu Zhai Shi Fu is better value for money.

8/10

Details

Quanjude (全聚德)

Website: http://www.quanjude.com.cn/direct.php (main website)
http://www.quanjude-sj.com/ (Shuangjing store website)

Address: 8 Guangqumenwai Dajie, Shuangjing, Beijing

(There are plenty of franchises, including at Wangfujing, and the Hepingmen store is supposedly the largest Peking duck restaurant in the world)

Price: 150-200 yuan (AU$23-31) per head

Peking Duck at Beijing’s Liu Zhai Shi Fu (刘宅食府)

November 11, 2012 in China, Food, Reviews, Travel

Source: travel.sohu.com (I forgot to take my own)

One cannot say they’ve been to Beijing (formerly Peking) unless they’ve had some Peking Duck, right?

I was very lucky on Wednesday night that my cousin-in-law was free and offered to take me out to Liu Zhai Shi Fu (刘宅食府), a famous Peking duck restaurant with a traditional Chinese setting.

The place wasn’t that easy to find, requiring us to go through a narrow alley until we arrived at the massive traditional Chinese doors. Inside, all the decor was traditional Chinese, from the wooden tables to the benches, making me feel as though I had just landed on the set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

We ordered the Peking duck, of course, which is three courses in itself, plus three other dishes. Apologies for the quality of the photos because I only had a phone and not my proper camera (I was too excited about the food and forgot to bring it).

The Peking duck was the highlight of the night. Unlike my previous experiences with Peking duck, the first course was just the skin. And it was so nice and thin and crispy, glazed with just the right amount of oil. And the way to eat it is to just dip it in a bit of sugar and/or chili sauce. Mmm….

The second course is your traditional Peking duck meat and just a little bit of skin (not crispy) wrapped in the pancake. You can add your own scallions and cucumber sticks and hoisin sauce — as much or as little as your want. There’s even this kind of melon you can put in but I wasn’t used to it.

 

And the third course is the bones with the remaining meat on it — you could either make a soup out of it or fry it with salt and pepper. We went with the latter option.

The other dishes we got were a cold cabbage platter which had this real nice sweet and sour tang to it, a pot of stewed chicken and eggplant rolls. All marvellous stuff. If I had to pick a favourite out of the three it would be the eggplant rolls — eggplant on the outside, meat on the inside, fried and dipped in sauce.

Check it out.

In all it was a fabulous dinner that will no doubt end up as my most memorable meal of the trip.

9/10

Details

Liu Zhai Shi Fu (刘宅食府)

Website: http://www.bjliuzhaishifu.com/

Address: 8 Meishuguan East Street, Beijing

Phone: (+86) 010-64005912

Price: Around 60-80 yuan (AU$9-AU$12) per person

 
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