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!
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!
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
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.
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 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
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!
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 has over 250 types of traditional snack foods. Many of them are made of glutinous rice, soy beans or fried materials. The king of all snack foods is called "dou zhi". This is a strange-tasting, greenish-grey, fermented bean porridge, and if you can manage to eat a whole bowl of it you will earn great respect from your Beijing friends. Supposedly it is an acquired taste, but who wants to acquire it? For a taste of snack foods, take a trip to Snack Street, just off of Wangfujing Street. Starting from about 5:00pm, the vendors line up in their stalls and start selling foods from all parts of the country. You can have an entire meal's worth of food walking from one end of the street to the other, trying this and that along the way. In addition to the traditional snacks, fried scorpions, sea horses, cicadas and starfishes are not rare.
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.
Ambience - close to fine-dining. This is a new DaDong Branch, where one can view thru the glass panel, to see the chef roasting the ducks. Need advance booking - 2 days prefarably. If there is a Q, one can help himself to the free wine/soft drinks served while waiting for a table - but usually it takes a long time to get one table.
Favorite Dish Cold dish - "Saliva" chicken (in mandarin)
Lean Roast Duck, prawn salad with mayonaise.
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...