Dining on Authentic Peking Duck in Beijing

By Mark Wiens 14 Comments
Famous Peking Duck
Famous Peking Duck

This is a guest post by Ben and Carly of Round the World Traveler.

We found eating out in Beijing, China, slightly hit and miss due to the language barrier and, shall we say, the interesting menus.

Walking down a street just reading the incredible items on the menus (along with some whacky translations) proved to be highly entertaining…

…the strangest being a dish of ‘bacteria’. Nice!

The food markets also threw up (excuse the turn of phrase…) some interesting offerings.

But one we were looking out for was Peking Duck, one of the national dishes of China and of course a speciality in Beijing.

Sijiminfu
Sijiminfu Restaurant in Beijing, China

We were recommended a restaurant nearby the Jade Youth Hostel called Sijiminfu where it’s the house speciality.

There was one English-speaking waitress at Sijiminfu – the others avoided us like the plague! We ordered a whole duck for around $20, a couple of beers and settled down for the ceremony.

Peking Duck Condiments
Peking Duck Condiments

Firstly, we received a basket full of the thin pancakes, some buns, salad, hoisin sauce, and a tray full of chopped up various bits and bobs.

We eyed them trying to work out what they are.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know what half the things were, beyond cucumber, spring onion, sugar, garlic and hoisin sauce. Any ideas?

Beer in China
Beer in China

After a short wait the chef came trotting over with a silver platter and proudly presented the golden duck (above). We smiled and nodded enthusiastically and he turned around and walked off again.

Carving the Duck
Carving the Duck

We watched as he carefully carved the meat in a specific, ordered fashion, following a set routine of cuts and slices.

Peking Duck in Beijing
Tasty Duck

The duck was served one plate at a time – to start with just the crispy skin, traditionally the best bit. We were advised to dip the skin into the sugar and garlic and let them melt in your mouth.

Absolutely delicious.

That didn’t last long.

Folding the Peking Duck
Folding the Peking Duck

Next was a plate of the best parts of the rich flesh. Our friendly waitress took the time to carefully show us how to pile everything in, delicately fold the pancake and then eat. Wow.

We took to this part pretty easily, experimenting with the various ingredients for the ideal combination.

Peking Duck Speciality
Peking Duck

And next…were the other cuts of the duck, legs etc. By this time we were starting to be fully ducked out…

The Full Meal
The Full Meal

The buns added an extra dimension but the star of the show was the oily meat, and the balance you create between the sweet sticky hoisin sauce, the sharp spring onion, the crunch of cucumber and…well the other bits.

It was certainly the best meal we had in Beijing by far and although was our most expensive meal for 6 months was worth every penny.

Carly

About the Authors

Ben and Carly run the website Round The World Traveler which recounts their 10 month round the world trip, from a broken toe in Laos, to motor biking through paddy fields in Vietnam; from trekking the Great Wall of China to the beaches of Cambodia.

 



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  • Eugene

    6 years ago

    Man, I’ve really got to get my timing right for reading your blog. Now all I can think about is duck and I’ve got 2 hours to go until my lunch hour!

  • Lane

    6 years ago

    We will be traveling to China in April, and are apprehensive about dining. I wonder how much of our stereotyping of Chinese food is a myth?

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Cool to hear that Lane. I’m sure some of the food stereotyping will be true and other things false, and also because China is such a massive and diverse country, the cuisine is equally diverse and different by the region.

  • Leslie (Downtown Traveler)

    6 years ago

    Love that the chef is wearing a full-face mask. How uber-hygenic!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Haha, yup!

    • Robert (@Kenya Safari)

      6 years ago

      Thats what came to my mind. Although it really helps in keeping limited harmful contact with the food, i think this is more for the show than anything else.

      • Mark Wiens

        6 years ago

        Yes, a meal like this is definitely a combination of food show entertainment and delicious tasting food!

  • Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    6 years ago

    Despite leaning heavily toward vegetarian, duck is an Achilles Heel to be certain. Beijing is a likely stop in 2012, and we will be definitely indulging.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      I would agree, duck is one of the tastiest. I’d love to visit Beijing as well, hope you guys can make it a stop in 2012!

  • tunimaal

    6 years ago

    Has we tell here in Japan: Oishii desu ne. Seems delicious. And that’s funny the fact that the other waitresses didn’t even look at you guys….

  • sully86

    6 years ago

    mark: mark..i am gonna ” duck” the hell outta this post..cos its making me hungry again…