One thing that was necessary for us in Beijing was to find some duck. We love it! It’s one thing that translated seamlessly to the UK from China without being changed to suit our tastes.
The duck is actually cooked a number of different ways. The first day that we arrived in the city we found quite a posh restaurant on the south west side of Beihai Park Close to Beihai North station. The lake was a nice place to wander around in the low evening sun.
The place served the duck with a soft, sweet fat on the outside. It also came with a plate of sugar to dip the fat into which was a new experience, and then the normal sliced cucumber and onion. Both times that we tried the duck it came with a kind of fermented bean sauce rather than the hoisin that we know in the UK. I suspect this is a north/south difference but the bean sauce was delicious so we weren’t complaining.
The second time we tried duck was when we returned from Shenyang to stay in Beijing for a night on the way to Pingyao. We found an apparently famous place in the hutong (alleyways) to the south west of Chongwen men station.
It’s interesting because a lot of the alleyways have now been demolished but this place survived with it’s jagged brick borders a reminder of the fate of the rest of the traditional alleyways that were home to a huge amount of people and date back hundreds of years.
The duck here was smoked over fruit tree wood so had a smokey and slightly fruity flavour and the skin was crispy.
It was absolutely delicious.
We had to wait for an hour outside for a table and they recommend you reserve a table and a duck at busy times and on the weekend, if you want to try your luck make sure you find the person with a small clipboard with a long list of names on it, they speak a little English and it’s well worth the wait.