Quanjude or Bianyifang, whose duck do you prefer?

There is no doubt that Peking roast duck is the signature dish of Beijing. There are dozens of restaurants that serve this delicacy; and the most notable ones are Quanjude and Bianyifang.  They both have a history of over one hundred years, but represent two different schools of roasting duck  

Hanging-oven roast duck

The restaurant what we know as Bianyifang nowadays was established in 1855, during the Qing Dynasty. The closed-oven roasting technique has still been retained here for hundred years, whereas almost all other restaurants now roast over an open flame, pioneered by Quanjude. The brick oven is preheated for five hours before ducks are put inside. No flames come into direct contact with the duck; and the meat is slowly cooked through the convection of heat within the oven. A duck roasted in this manner is crisp to the touch and golden brown in appearance; its flesh is both tender and tasty. What's more, Bianyifang now presents trademark ducks in different flavors, such as flower scent, garlic scent and vegetable scent.

Closed-oven roast duck at Bianyifang

When we talk about Peking duck, the first brand that comes to our minds is always Quanjude. The first restaurant to bear the name can be traced back to 1864. Different from Bianyifang's closed-oven roasting style, Quanjude develop the hung oven to roast ducks above the fire by burning fruit tree woods. Every roast duck has a certificate accordingly, and the number now exceeds 100 million. A perfect slice of roast duck here consists of three layers - a crisp golden-brown skin on the top, a layer of juicy fat in the middle and a layer of duck meat in the bottom. Quanjude has also invented distinctive cuisines, including a "whole duck banquet" and more than 400 specialties.

Peking duck roasted in hung oven at Quanjude, Beijing China

In addition, there are many other restaurants favored by the locals and tourists, like Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant (大董烤鸭). Peking roast duck didn’t became world famous accidentally, and definitely worth to try in while traveling in Beijing.

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