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Nightmarkets and Street Vendors: Donghuamen Yeshi
This small street market sells every kind of chinese speciallity, from pekinese duck, dumplings, noodles (like yakisoba) to sticks of almost everything, including some exotics food choices.
If you do not plan to eat bugs, scorpions or sea-stars, a good suggestion is noodles or dumplings.
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 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!
Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant: Quoted as the Best Roast Duck in Beijing
This was to be the location of our mini VT meet, and what a fun night we had. SandiM had suggested this Restaurant and Susan (greencargirl) was eager to sample the duck, having eaten at many roast duck places and stating that each one was better than the last!! Susan was indeed impressed by the meal we were served, as were all of us.
Our mini VT meet included Sandi and her mother Betty, Susan, her Husband and 2 daughters, Tracy and myself.
Our meal consisted of one whole roast duck between 2 people, plus condiments and the total per person was about 165rmb ($30AUD) which I thought was extremely reasonable for the amount of food we here given. Tracy and I still think they made a mistake with our bill!
It was also quite a spectacle to see 4 chefs carving 4 ducks simultaneously, with immense precision and skill. I had never tasted roast duck before, but I can tell you that it was mouth watering and delicious. You were given these thin pancacke type things and you then placed the duck and a selection of condiments in it and rolled it up. Also served was corn icecream and fresh fruit. We were quite amazed when Susan's girls were arguing over who got to eat the duck's brains!!!!! We let them have it, just to be nice!
I would definitely recommend this restaurant, and as I said, Susan said it was by far the nicest roast duck she had tasted. Unforuntately, Victoria (sugarpuff) was unable to make it to dinner, it would have been lovely to have met her as well.
It was quite a strange feeling, having dinner with people who you feel are your friends, having talked to them many times on the computer, but still, having never have met. It was just like meeting old friends you hadnt seen for a few years, we had plenty to talk about and laugh about.
There are 3 Da Dong Restaurants, and Im pretty sure ours was the one Ive listed below.
It was a great nite - one I will always remember fondly.
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.
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 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 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: 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...
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
Da Dong Restaurant: You Gotto Try THIS Peking Duck Place-
The Peking duck is first class. The skin is crispy and lean. I tried both Quan ju de and Da Dong. And I must say Da Dong's duck is more fine and lean. Its other dishes are also very good. Several ways to eat it- but the 2 best ways are 1) dip the crispy duck skin into sugar. It simply melts in your mouth! 2) the classic way of wrapping the duck skin and meat dipped in the BBQ sweet sauce.
Food aside, the interior ambience and service is also first class!
Favorite Dish: Peking duck of course! It cost CNY158.
Nightmarkets and Street Vendors: Streetvendors...waste of a good appetite
There are SO many great restaurants and food you can/must try in Beijing that i consider the times I tried eating here as PURE waste of a good appetite.
In the afternoon in the middle of WFJ area is a sidestreet full of small establishments/vendors selling all kinds of food. From noodles to dumplings to all kinds of BBQ stuff.
Sadly I am afraid this place is a touristtrap..not geared toward the westernised tourists...but towards the chinese tourists. Place was full of them and later my associates there confirmed my suspicion.
The food was not that good I am afraid, pretty tasteless. A total opposite with the streetvendors in other asian countries like Indonesia or Thailand.
And considering teh price of chinese food in regular restaurant or better yet the government run places...seriously overpriced.
At night there's also a nightmarket full of streetvendors. On teh street just north of the WFJ area. IMO this is where the chinese toursits come to eat at night. Food quality and prices are just as dissappointing. There are more western tourists here.
My advice is to NOT eat here, even though a visit to these places is a must. The atmosphere is great and esspeciall at night it was pretty festive. Almost fair like.
But if you want to eat...don't bother eating here. A waste of a good appetite.
Favorite Dish: In the WangFuJing foodstreet there was one popular vendor selling cuttlefish balls. VERY popular and a long line.
Only thing is...in malls you'll find the same chain. Not only in BJ obut also other countries.
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: 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.
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