We had peking duck at Da Dong restaurant, which is recommended by Timeout Beijing and my friend Jodi (from legalnomads.com) as the quintessential Beijing Peking Duck experience. When Jodi says, “Go here and eat this,” you listen.
The restaurant is beautiful.
We ordered sweet potato salad for Cole and they brought out this (Cole loved it):
After bringing us the appetizer and drinks, the duck is brought out to a cutting table in the back of the restaurant. I’m not sure why they set it up under such harsh lighting, but it’s pretty dramatic.
Slice by slice your duck is carefully dismantled.
Each person gets their own condiment tray with cucumber, radish, soy bean paste, garlic paste, sugar and what I’m calling “some other stuff”.
The duck is brought out. You get two of these:
There’s also some paper thin pancakes for the table.
You create your own duck-condiment-pancake design…
Fold it up, and eat it. Yum. The duck is leaner than other places (a good thing) and the duck fat and skin is rendered into this crispy counterpart to the soft duck flesh.
You can make it savory or sweet…
Garlicky or salty…
Afterwards, they bring you oranges kept chilled over ice with… of course… dry ice for effect. The effect being, ‘oh god these oranges taste good’ and your almost two-year-old trying to catch dry ice smoke with a chopstick.
By the time we left, the place was nearly cleared out, but the place is huge.
I love all the little details.
Lovely. I’m not really doing it justice, but here it is (there’s also an entire bar area with a chic lounge).
So good. If you make it to Beijing, it’s such a cliche, but you have to get Peking duck, and if you want something exceptional, then it’s Da Dong (they also have a huge ala carte menu that looks absolutely amazing and terrifying — I have to go back for the braised sea cucumber). It’s a little pricy, running in the $30-$40 pp range (or more if you order drinks) but well worth it.
Da Dong Roast Duck 北京大董烤鸭店
5th floor, Jinbao Dasha, Jinbao Jie, Dongcheng District