The best Peking Duck in Beijing?

No Beijing experience is complete without Peking Duck, and being a mean Peking Duck eater, I wanted to start with the best that I could find and was willing to travel far for this culinary experience.

The Roast Duck Restaurant
The Roast Duck Restaurant is located in the district of Chaoyang, and is both majestic in appearance and service. Aesthetically complete with a happy dancing golden statue on entry, there are 5 waiters purely for meet and greet, all equipped with walkie talkies to efficiently seat the large busy dining floor.

The Peking Duck – Roast duck delicately sliced with perfect portions of meat, fat and crispy skin. It was GOOD. However, I feel it was the quality of produce that let this dish down slightly. The ingredients of roast duck, plum sauce, cucumber, and spring onion wrapped in a corn pancake was fresh, but the combination didn’t have the crunch, the contrast in texture, or balance of flavours at the standard that it should have. It didn’t taste as good as the Golden Century, my favourite Peking duck eatery in Chinatown, Sydney.

Complementary dishes
Crispy duck skin on a thin slice of duck fat dipped in sugar – Tasty and quite enjoyable initially, then kind of unsettling as the duck fat and oil kicks in and you have to either swallow, or inconspicuously spit into a napkin.

Milky duck broth with thinly sliced cucumber – I could see where they were going with this entrée, using the subtle duck flavour of this dish as a precursor to the roast duck. For me, it was more like eating the poorer cousin of Cream of Chicken soup, quietly sitting in its category of ‘a dish you ate purely out of circumstance’ – Because it was there.

Roast duck head and brains with duck tail – Firstly, I didn’t know that ducks had tails? But having my adventurer hat on, I ate the tail, which was just like normal duck meat, and then courageously went to try a tiny bit of the brains, but as I clumsily picked with my chopsticks, the half head flipped over and this duck eye was staring at me. No amount of balls could make me eat this duck now- I take my meat faceless.

Verdict? Good Peking Duck. Average complimentary dishes. Definitely worth the culinary experience, but don’t expect the best Peking Duck in Beijing.