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20 Dec 2013

Da Dong Roast Duck (北京大董烤鸭店) Part 2, Beijing

Beijing [北京] • 20 DECEMBER 2013
Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant, named after its chef and owner, Dong Zhenxiang, is popular among tourists and expats. Reputed as one of the best Peking roast duck restaurants in Beijing, it's surely another not-to-miss option for roast duck and a full range of Beijing cuisine. Taking health perspective into consideration, Da Dong has made great innovations in its cooking technique. 

As a result, ducks here are crispy outside and juicy inside, yet less fatty or greasy than those of their rivals. The sugar provided to dip the duck skin is also much less sweet. On each table, there is an instruction on eating the duck, and the waitresses will also show diners different ways to consume the delicacy.

Fattened ducks are slaughtered, plucked, eviscerated and rinsed thoroughly with water. Air is pumped under the skin through the neck cavity to separate the skin from the fat. The duck is then soaked in boiling water for a short while before it is hung up to dry. While it is hung, the duck is glazed with a layer of maltose syrup, and the inside is rinsed once more with water. Having been left to stand for 24 hours, the duck is roasted in an oven until it turns shiny brown.

Peking Duck is traditionally roasted in either a closed oven or hung oven. The closed oven is built of brick and fitted with metal griddles (Chinese: 箅子; pinyin: bì zi). The oven is preheated by burning Gaoliang sorghum straw (Chinese: 秫秸; pinyin: shú jiē) at the base. The duck is placed in the oven immediately after the fire burns out, allowing the meat to be slowly cooked through the convection of heat within the oven.

The hung oven was developed in the imperial kitchens during the Qing Dynasty and adopted by the Quanjude restaurant chain. It is designed to roast up to 20 ducks at the same time with an open fire fueled by hardwood from peach or pear trees.[21] The ducks are hung on hooks above the fire and roasted at a temperature of 270 °C (525 °F) for 30–40 minutes. While the ducks are cooking, the chef may use a pole to dangle each duck closer to the fire for 30 second intervals. Almost every part of a duck can be cooked. The Quanjude Restaurant even served their customers the "All Duck Banquet" in which they cooked the bones of ducks with vegetables.

Besides the traditional methods to prepare Peking Duck, recipes have been compiled by chefs around the world to produce the dish at home

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 ; 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. 

Da Dong is a very big restaurant in the centre of Beijing. The second floor is full of beautiful private rooms, from small to wedding sizes. Downstairs has a small bar incase you need to wait for a table. I highly recommend booking, though a day in advance is more than enough. Try to get a group of people to come together so you can try more dishes. Chinese portions are big and since all the dishes are amazing, do save some space after the duck!

It is an expensive restaurant, but it is the best Peking Duck in Beijing so you do pay for good food. They have very expensive fish dishes on the menu, which could cost £200 per dish so do avoid them if you intend to keep the bill reasonable.  
Duck is a must order. The whole duck is sliced next to your table. Skin first, which you eat without any sauce or pancakes, just dip in sugar and let it melt in your mouth. The Peking Duck here is lighter than others, not too much oil and not greasy. Other dishes are just as good, though you’ll easily get lost in the bible thick menu, full of beautiful food photos.

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. 

Flagship Restaurant and Major Branches:

1. Da Dong Peking Duck Tuanjiehu Branch (Old Branch)

Address: Southeast corner of Changhong Bridge on East 3rd Ring Road, Bldg 3 Tuanjiehu Beikou, Chaoyang District
Telephone: +86-01-65822892/65824003
Getting there: Subway Line 10 to Tuanjiehu Station, or Buses 302, 406 to Changhong Qiao Dong

2. Da Dong Peking Duck Dong Sishitiao Branch

Address: F1-2, Nanxincang International Mansion, A 22 Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng District
Telephone: +86-10-51690329
Getting there: Subway Line 2 to Dongsishitiao Station, or Buses 42, 701 to Dongsishitiao Qiao Bei


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