Hey guys! So I’ve been on another hiatus. I haven’t been updating my blog because I’ve been too busy getting used to such a different life in Beijing, China.
Yup! I’m in China. I started studying Mandarin at Tsinghua University, Beijing last September.
Anyway, this has been such a different experience. It’s my first time in Mainland China and boy did I expect everything wrong.
As many of you might know, Beijing is known (among many other things) for their Peking duck. This dish is so popular and delicious that it is even considered their national dish. Being in Beijing, of course I had to try it. The most popular restaurant that serves Peking Duck or Kǎoyā is Dadong.
My parents were in town so we decided to have dinner in Dadong with some of my schoolmates in Tsinghua. Dadong has several branches across Beijing but we chose the Jinbao Place branch because it was very close to the hotel my parents were staying in.
While waiting to be seated, you can indulge yourself with some complimentary drinks. They had a self-service bar set up at the entrance of the restaurant. They had tea, iced tea, red wine, white wine, champagne, soft drinks and more. All the drinks were free but you cannot bring the drinks to your table. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a picture of this bar.
Of course, we got an order of Peking duck.
Your duck is carved in front of you. They thinly slice the duck into bite size portions.
Peking Duck is typically eaten with Chinese pancakes and/or this bun.
On the condiments plate, we have melon, garlic paste, sugar, cucumber, hoisin sauce, not really sure what that is, radish or ginger (sorry, also not sure) and scallions. At first I was surprised how many condiments could go with Peking Duck! I find that sugar + cucumber + garlic paste + hoisin sauce + scallions was the best combination.
The duck was very crisp! At first, I thought it didn’t really taste like much but as I continued to eat it, I appreciated the clean and light taste of the duck.
My dad loves Prawn Salad. Whenever we have dinner in Shang Palace, he always orders this. This dish was really good! It tasted very similar to the one they serve in Shang Palace.
I don’t remember the name of this dish but the noodles were very good! I know it looks kind of bland and boring but I enjoyed this very much. Here in China, they have a flavor or taste: “qingdan” which literally means not greasy or strongly flavoured; light.
I enjoyed the fried rice as well but there was nothing spectacular about this dish.
I found this soup very strange. Apparently, it is soup made from the remainder of the duck we ordered. It tasted like tasteless milk with a slight hint of salt and duck fat.
Anyway, when Enzo visited me in Beijing, I took him here. Of course, we got Peking duck again. We also ordered some dumplings and cod fish.
Beijing is surrounded by dryland. It is not very common to have seafood. I was really craving for seafood so we got this. This tasted like home! It was a bit spicy. I loved the fresh red onions and the calamansi.
Beifangren or the people from northern China typically eat wheat-based food. Some examples are noodles, dumplings, buns and more. Dumplings or jiaozi are one of their staple food. I’ve tried some dumplings in different places in Beijing already and I wasn’t impressed. The wrapper was either too thick, too hard, undercooked, or tasteless. This, however, was good! Inside, there was some soup. I know-the first thing that probably came to your mind was xiao long bao but it’s far from xiao long bao. It was juicy and had that “qingdan” or light taste at the same time. I really liked this! The wrapper was al dente!
After our meal, they served some sherbet and fruit.
I enjoyed both meals very much. The first time I went to Dadong, 5 people shared one duck. I was satisfied . The second time around, only 2 people shared the duck and I found that was perfect. If you visit this restaurant, I suggest that you share with just 1 other person. 3 persons maximum on one duck.
When in Beijing, I think it’s a must to try their Peking Duck. Afterall, it was born here. Yes, if you don’t already know, Beijing used to be called “Peking”. Just some interesting trivia for you all.
Anyway, I still have a couple of restaurants lined up in case you decide to visit Beijing. I’d give this place an 8.5/10
’til next time!