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Beijing DaDong Restaurant: Artistic Conception of Chinese Cuisine
Having many establishments in Beijing and one in Shanghai, this restaurant is famously known as DaDong Roast Duck Restaurant since 1985, but presents itself now as DaDong artistic conception of Chinese cuisine for the last decade. The concept, as I gather, is to create dishes with with some expression and emotional appeal. The menu itself is a large book with many attractive photos of dishes, with an explanation and expression of each to convey some essence of a feeling, thought or concept. It succeeds in this way to some extent without being too pretentious. The restaurant decor matches the overall concept and provides an atmosphere that is not too stuffy, with a staff that is friendly and family oriented.
The dishes themselves, at least the ones i sampled, are all tasty, well presented and prepared. Some effort is made here I think to make attention to the meal and not put on airs in the superior way of fine dining, but making an atmosphere to enjoy in casual ways and embrace the experience. That is my impression anyway. There is a wide variety off dishes to choose from on the menu here, some of a particular specialty and others of a more traditional nature, but each and every one served with an attitude of excellence, without being condescending. It is service for the customer, pride in the presentation, and taste to savor, all wrapped up in an artistic conception that is enjoyable to experience.
I often wonder how chefs and their staff manage such a large menu, and usually a large menu means some dishes are better than others, but here everything was great, or the dishes we ordered anyway. I was a guest for dinner and with some people familiar with this restaurant too, so maybe they knew the best things to order. In such ways I had a great experience here and benefited by my Chinese hosts in their selections. It's a good restaurant to have some fun exploring the menu maybe and sampling some dishes in culinary creativity. I have admiration for Chef's who do their best to serve the customer with excellence, creativity, presentation, quality, and in the end leave a memorable memory in dining. DaDong achieves that!
Favorite Dish: It's all good here and hard to choose a favorite!
Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck: Maggot on the table (after we had eaten!!!!)
I have just left Da Dong restaurant in Beijing feeling quite sick. It wasn’t the food though. It was the maggot crawling between the plates that made me nauseous. And also the attitude of the staff when we quietly complained.
After waiting for some time we were first offered to have the water and 2 cans of coke removed from the bill. Further complaints raised the discount higher, but we weren’t actually in the mood to negotiate with them so we just told the manager, “Take what you think is fair off the bill”. He presented us with the card machine where he had charged us the full bill! 1975 RMB for three people is not cheap even with free maggots.
I don’t know how this works in China, but in the UK the health and safety executive would be paying a visit after seeing our video of the maggot in question.
The management of Da Dong obviously feel that maggots crawling on the table is no reason to complain or to offer some recompense but I would never set foot in the place again. Do you really want to pay these kinds of prices and risk an unwanted guest at your table? I was at dinner with friends but imagine taking a loved one for a special night or an important business client. I can tell you that a maggot crawling on your table will change the mood somewhat as well as removing any memory of the food.
On a final note I am sorry to say that the Duck was not that great. I have certainly had better in Beijing without the huge bill, the maggot or the surly attitude of the staff. Not a place I will be visiting again. Next time I want Beijing Duck I will go to the one in Tianamen Square.
If you wish to share our experience the videoclip below should do the trick!
Favorite Dish: Not the maggot!
- Food and Dining
Dadong Restaurant: Expensive and yummy ...
After a tiring day of walking around in Beijing, the time had come to indulge ourselves in local cuisine and we chose Dadong to tantalise our taste buds. This elegant restaurant offers one of the most exquisite Peking Duck specialty in Beijing. I really enjoyed the duck and how it was served. The chef came to our table and prepared the duck in front of us. The waitress showed us how to prepare a wrap from the duck and the apetizers. After that, it didn't take too long to give our stomachs a good, yummilicious treat. Although expensive, the elegant setting, the great service and delicious ducks make this place a must.
Favorite Dish: Peking Roast Duck
DaDong Roast Duck Restaurant: Is this the *best* duck in Beijing? Perhaps YES!
I thought that the *last* duck restaurant we ate at in Beijing was our favorite, but now that we've eaten at this one (our 5th duck restaurant), Da Dong has taken over the #1 spot. Simply fantastic duck! The skin is truly crispy and tasty, the meat is succulent and flavorful, and the restaurant environment itself is modern and pleasant. Our duck meal included soup broth (made from the duck carcass), fresh fruit served afterward, as well as a pleasant corn ice cream (I know... corn!) It's one of the only non-smoking restaurants I've eaten at in Beijing (the other being Element Fresh); nice if you don't like smoke with your meal. They have a decent wine list, too. It's fun watching them carve the duck right at your table-side, as many duck restaurants bring it to you already carved, and they make a bit of a show of it here.
We'd heard that although the restaurant offers alot of fancy side-dishes and seafood, those extra dishes aren't worth the money. And what we came for was the duck (plus the chance to meet two other VT'ers!). So we stayed with the classic meal, including the all-important condiments, and a simple side dish of stir-fried greens (very tasty too). The cost came to about 150rmb per person (one duck easily serves 2 hungry people, might even serve 3). It's alot more expensive than many other duck restaurants, but to us it was a much better restaurant, too.
Da Dong (number 2): Not just Peking Duck
Da Dong has everything I could ask for in a high end restaurant - delicious food, stylish decor, good service, servers who look like they're transplanting a kidney, interesting cocktails and a great wine list (by Beijing standards). While Da Dong is famous for its "lean" Peking Duck, which is why most people make their way here, I think the non-peking duck items are the real stars of the show. There is so much to choose from, you could get easily lost in the tome-like menu that looks more like an artistic coffee table book than a menu (in one of my pictures you can see Kenny thumbing through looking for our next dish to sample). The amount of items to choose from is immense, but luckily, the menu features large pictures of most dishes that makes it a little easier, if time consuming, to thumb through. If you see a dish you'd like, make sure to keep track of the page, because it may be tough to find it once you've gone through 50 more pages of enticing photos. Among some other dishes, we had a cashew chicken, a kung pao chicken, and a beef with garlic and onions that were all out of this world. We loved the food here so much that we all agreed that we would have been happy eating here every day. I can't wait to visit Beijing again so I can enjoy a great meal at Da Dong.
To be clear, there are two Da Dong branches. We ate at Da Dong #2, which is the newer, more modern version of the restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Cashew chicken
Beijing duck (Bei3 Jing1 kao3 ya1)
I have already written dozens of tips of traditional Beijing snacks and so far none about the Beijing duck (Bei3 Jing1 kao3 ya1).
Well, this might be because Beijing duck is one of the most famous foods in the world and even those who have never come to China know something about it.
Just check the internet, all the experts will tell you that Quanjude or Bianyifang are a must for those who are coming to Beijing.
The main Quanjude branch (situated in Wangfujing) will even give you a sort of diploma stating the duck number you have eaten. “Market economy with Chinese characteristics” at its best.
In fact you can eat Beijing duck anywhere in Beijing, even the hotel where you will be staying has the roasted duck in its menu, just check it out. And you may also buy a well packed roasted duck in the supermarket and take it back to your country.
Da4 Dong3 kao3 ya1 dian4 (Da Dong restaurant), situated at Tuan2 Jie2 Hu2 Bei3 Kou3 is also a good choice and the prices are as stiff as the ones practiced by Quanjude and Biayifang restaurants.
Because you are a tourist, you don’t know any Chinese, the menus of most restaurants don’t have an English version, the waiters don’t understand English and you will entirely depend on your tyrannical tour guide, I advise you to stick to the 3 restaurants above mentioned.
Besides, you the foreigner who come to China are supposed to spend money, you are supposed to go to the most expensive places and pay more, you aren't supposed to wander the small taverns and pay cheap like the locals.
In the finest or more sumptuous restaurants like the three ones I have mentioned, the duck will be sliced in front of you by a cook (go ahead and take a picture with him to show your friends back in your country).
Then the waiter will bring to the table the sliced duck, a real show seeing that thin and crispy skin and that tender meat.
How to eat the Beijing duck:
Step 1: Get a white round pancake and place it in your plate.
Step 2: Dip some skin and meat into the sauce (hai3 xian1 jiang4) and put them inside the pancake. Some restaurants serve a side dish of cucumber sticks, you can add it to the pancake or just eat it by its own, up to you.
Step 3: Add the spring onions and fold the pancake (I like it with some garlic inside).
Step 4: Eat it (you can use either your hands or the chopsticks, definitely not with the fork).
Once again, ask the waiter to take a photo of you eating the Beijing duck.
What a wonderful trip to China, your lifetime greatest adventure!
Beijing Da Dong Roa Roast Duck Restaurant: Not as Greasy
The Lonely Planet billed the duck here as being lower fat than the other places in town. We decided to check that out and see what it meant. While the duck was quite good, you don't get the whole duck. You get a given amount of meat and they use the rest of the duck for other dishes for other people. There are other things to order, but the portions are gourmet-style small and utterly non-Chinese... so small for the price. It's worth it, and they have some interesting other dishes as well.
Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck: You will always remember the taste of the duck!!!!
This is the best Peking duck I've ever eaten in my life!!!!!
It's sooooooooooo crispy... that I kill to have it!!!
Well, I ate it 3 times when I was in Beijing for 1 week... and I did put on quite a few pounds there... what the heck!! it was the best duck and I will never let it go!!!!
You should never miss this... I tried Chuan Ju De too.. that was suppose to be a traditional Peking roast duck.. but seriously, i think Da Dong is soooooooooo much better!!!!
PLEASE DON'T MISS THIS... (BEG)
Favorite Dish: NON OTHER THEN THE PEKING DUCK!!!!!
hmmm... the sea cucumber looks good too.. but I didn't have enough space in my stomach to eat it...
Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck: Better than Quan Ju De
This is the no.1 spot for Peking Duck in Beijing.
I was always happy with eating at the Famous Quan Ju de chain of peking duck restaurants.
But always had some minor complaints with regard to its inconsistent standard of quality and lack of service.
The reason as it turned out is rather simple....Quan Ju de is a state run company. While Da Dong is a privately owned enterprise. Da Dong is the name of the chef/owner? and he was one of the chefs from Quan Ju De itself.
What sets this place apart is the quality of service and also the quality of the duck. The duck and the way they serve it is slightly different than at Quan Ju De. Here you get a lot more condiments to flavour your duck pancake.
The duck here was also a lot less fatty than the duck at Quan Jude and it was quite obvious in the uniformity of the ducks that was being served that the chef had an very specific idea how it should look and taste like. Well I wasn't dissappointed and it was Delicious.Much better than Quan Ju De...but not by alot.
I love a peking duck ...and if you can handle...try them both.Quan Ju De...teh state owned juggernaut and the privately owned Da Dong...and have yourself a first hand experience of the 1 country two systems style.Which one is better.
But if you want to only eat at one place or you prefer less fatty duck...than I highly recommend Da Dong for your taste of Peking Duck. They are a better bet to consistently deliver a better duck at your table..
Favorite Dish: The specialty here is of course Peking Duck.
Unlike Quan Ju De you get more flavourings/condiments to make your peking Duck wrap just the way you like it.
Also the duck here was a lot less fattier than the ones at Quan Ju De and it was alot like the way they serve the Peking Duck in Hongkong.
Forgot about pricing.
Oh yeah...one of the weirdest experiences ever. If you dont have a reservation or you need to wait for the table to get cleared. You are required to wait sitting infront of the full glass restaurant front.Behind the glass window there is like a whole row of chairs and behind the chaors is like a covering so that people from outside cant look inside. It's like sitting in a shop window/display.
You get real self concious...cause everyone is looking at you while they walk past.
It's even funnier when they realise that they have to sit next to you waiting for the table.LOL.
Such a weird and cool experience. I really like it...and hope they will keep it up.So funny and unique.
Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck: The famous Peking Duck
This is supposed to be the most famous place to have the Peking Duck.
It is indeed quite tasty and the rest of the food isn't that bad either.
The place is fully airconditioned, but people can smoke anywhere, so ventilation there isn't fantastic.
Though you will come out of the restaurant smelling like the food you ate, it is still a recommendation to try the food.
Favorite Dish: Peking Duck of course!
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck: Beijing Duck
The dinner here was GREAT!!! It's cheap and good. RMB80 for a whole duck, peel in front of your table. Packed with both locals and westerners. Not possible to get a table without advance booking. Even we booked our table 3 days ago, we still need to wait for 30mins for a table. Free flow of wine (red and white California wine) in the waiting area, we helped ourselves with the drink while waiting. So... not that bad during the wait, time flies with drinks and chat.
Favorite Dish: The duck was good, not fantastic though, it will be perfect if the skin more crispy. I like the dipping sauce, each person have a own sauce plate with many different stuff. While other dishes are VERY GOOD, also the service. I love the fish stomach. It was the best among all dishes we ordered that night. The rice desert sucks, but that's free and we were full already, so, never mind.
Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck: I also recommend it
It is trendy, without being crowded. Clean, good value for money.
Easy for Westerners (menu in English with photos)
Favorite Dish: The duck is good. But the other dishes are excellent.
We liked the "chicken soup in an orange" very much.
BEIJING DA DONG ROAST DUCK: The best duck restaurant in the east part!
This is my favourite duck restaurant,whenever my European colleagues come, they ask me to bring them there.
Most of the clients of this restaurant are local and expats who live in China.
They have menu in English with picture, you can order with reference of those pictures.
If you have less people eating together , say for 2 people, you can simply order half duck, there are other plates to choose.
The chef will slice the duck in front of you, it's fun if you can take a picture .
Make sure to reserve the table beforehand, the worst experience for me is almost 1.5 hours in queue waiting for the table!
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