Peking Duck Dinner 101 : Where to Eat?
I hate to write this letter, because thinking of Peking Duck just makes me hungry, no matter what time of the day it is. But “first meal once arrived”, that sounds important, doesn’t it? Peking Duck has always been on top of the list, by a big margin. However, which duck restaurant shall you take your group to? There are many choices and they are not equal.
There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes. Each restaurant has its specialty. Budget of course is important but it isn’t everything. Taste, location, settings and group size all matter.
So, there are some questions I would like you to ask yourself before making a decision:
1. What's your budget?
Yes, Dadong (大董) restaurant is great, if you are a high roller dinner. Unfortunately, it's pricy. The average budget is about $100/person. It’s a great place to kick off the business school EMBA trip. But if you are more of a saver and still wants to check out one of the most popular places now, Sijiminfu (四季民福) has many locations and is one my personal budget favorites. There are many choices in between these two (and what? Even more expensive than Dadong?) and we would be happy to show them to you.
2. Modern or classic taste?
Quanjude (全聚德), probably the most famous Peking duck restaurant in Beijing which exists over 150 years, used to be the no-doubt 1st choice to tourists. However, it is not THE oldest. Bianyifang (便宜坊) started even earlier and it’s famous for its stew duck vs. Quanjude’s furnace duck. When it comes to the dipping sauce, Dadong came up with the refreshing blueberry based dipping sauce vs. traditional sweet bean sauce.
Stew vs furnace? Blueberry vs sweet bean? It’s your call.
3. Settings and environment?
Would you like to stay in busy restaurant lobby, your own private room, a traditional Beijing courtyard, or a chic glass building? Can the restaurant accommodate advanced reservations of your group size? Are you expecting a speech by guest for faculty?
Last but certainly not the least, location matters! No one wants to spend another hour in the infamous Beijing traffic after their long international flight. So is there a good duck kitchen near your hotel?
Since it’s our job to make sure that your first dinner in China will impress in every aspect, ask us and we will help you figure it out.