There are many restaurants in Beijing who do Peking duck and many claim they are the best. We decided to try Made in China located in Grand Hyatt. The restaurant has several open cooking stations where you can see the dumplings being freshly wrapped and the hot kiln where the ducks are roasting. The service was mediocre for a hotel restaurant and they seemed flustered with a busy service. We ordered a series of dishes and found that for a restaurant in a 5 star hotel, it was lacking a real wow factor. The prices were comparable to Sydney restaurants but considered expensive for locals.
Here are a few dishes we sampled:
Of course the main reason why we were there was the duck. The chef would bring out the duck on a trolley and show you the whole bird before carving it up in front of you. The knife skills of the chef is impressive with plates of duck arriving to our table in no less than 10 minutes. The duck was sliced in 3 different ways: just skin, skin and some fat and skin, fat and meat. The condiments they serve with the duck are hoisin sauce, crushed garlic and white sugar along side wafer thin pancakes, shallots and cucumber. Overall, I must say the skin was very crispy just like a potato chip without it being overly oily or fatty. I did try another piece with sugar as I was intrigued at what flavour it would bring to the duck but it didn’t tickle my palate. The duck was lacking a real meaty/gamey flavour and I was really disappointed as duck is one of my favourite proteins.
On our last day we were all suffering sore heads and we were walking around Wong Fu Cheng to find some authentic street food. They have a street where at night various food stalls come out and sell their goodies. The cabbie was trying to tell us that but we found another street that served local goodies such as handmade noodles, dumplings, lamb skewers etc all for about $10RMB-$15RMB!
I didn’t sampled these but they had several stalls selling starfish, sea horses, scorpions etc. Really freaked me out when they were still moving!
We were lured into an alley way with the promise of tables and seats. The food looked good but it didn’t taste the same as it looked. The soup was bland and the noodles were floury.
All in all, Beijing trip was definately an experience. I don’t know if I will come rushing back as compared to Shanghai I visited a few years ago, Beijing food didn’t really catch my attention.