Monday, June 30, 2008

Back with a Duck, the Beijing Duck

Apologies for not properly giving everyone a chance to wish me "Bon Voyage" before my recent trip to Beijing. I was desperate to leave Hong Kong's typhoonic weather, only to get stranded in the airport as my flight was delayed for more than 6 hours!!! Welcome to Hong Kong's typhoon no 8 signal. But when I finally got to Beijing...

Oh wow! Beijing has changed A LOT since the last time I visited about 7 years ago. Fortunately, for the better.

These are some of the appalling things I won't miss from the old pre-Olympic preparation Beijing:
- The beyond hideous public toilets (Hello pristine, air conditioned, fully equipped public toilets!)
- Countless beggars harrassing you non stop. Get rid of one, here comes 1000 more
- "Persistent" i.e. the pushiest souvenir hawkers EVER. Yes, they do follow you to the toilet and no, language barrier does not deter them

Despite all of the above changes, there are some things which remained authentic. Such as the public toilets at the rows of restaurants beyond famous tourist destinations...and.....this famous roast duck restaurant.

I found it difficult to believe that it was so hard to locate this famous Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant which was recommended by most travel books (this is probably why we should not follow what travel books say?). When our taxi driver finally found it (after asking about the whole population of the district), I was shocked to see this unexpected (although kinda cute) signage leading to the restaurant:


Just follow the ducks...quack quack quack...

..and the ducks led us here:



Am I really at the right place? This corridor doesn't really scream out "famous and always frequented by celebrities"


But do I love the oldness of it...the old floor tiles...the old Chinese furniture...
the cracked wood frames, cracked mirrors...oh yeah, does dirty also mean authentic?



...here's the award posted on the wall:


Lovely sunlight coming through the roof...



...waiting for my food with my RMB7 instant coffee coming straight out of nescafe packet. The waitress asked me "black or white coffee?" I said white. I didn't know that "white" means "black" in China?? LOL

We were the only customers as it was late afternoon after lunch before dinner time...and the service was...ehm ehm...almost non existent


My "white" coffee was served in one of these Tsing Tao beer glass ^_*


Hot and Spicy Beef and lettuce. This dish was actually pretty damn good. The sauce was hot and spicy, the meat was tender



A line of Chinese wine (I was worried what I'd get if I ordered "house wine")


Various famous people who dined there (or were conned into dining there? LOL)


The skillful young chef, carved the duck in no time (at least it was faster than I could pronounce "Bei Jing Roast Duck with a gorgeous chef on the side" accurately in Mandarin)


The Roast Duck Set RMB190. It comes with a duck, a plate of pancakes, sliced cucumber, chives and the sauce

Soon you won't see this duck anymore...

Pancake, sliced cucumber, chives, duck meat, sauce and roll

Say Ahhh...

...and take a bite...

Bite after bite after bite... (this explains the rapid weight gain LOL)

and I ended up with empty plates...and a thumb up (FYR: the Peking roast duck in Hong Kong's American Peking Restaurant in Wan Chai deserves 2 thumbs up). So, I am sorry to say that the taste of the duck did not justify the much too authentic attitude towards hygiene (i.e. things aren't hygienic there) and good service (i.e . the service sucked).


Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant
11 Bei Xiang Feng Alley, Zheng Yi Road, off Qian Men Avenue
Beijing China
+86 0 10 6702 5681 / +86 0 10 6705 5578
Opens 12:00 - 22:00 pm

More food from Beijing coming up, stay tuned! ;)

19 comments:

Jude said...

Awesome post -- I'm so jealous :) I remember this restaurant from Anthony Bourdain's show. It's on my list of places to eat at before I croak.

KC said...

You are so lucky, Rita. To be eating Peking Duck in Beijing! The real thing! My favourite!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Oh man, all that build-up. I was expecting it to be the best Peking duck ever! It still looks good though. Soooo, did you recognize any of those "famous" people? :P

Don't hate me. I made nasi goreng from a packet! :P

MiNDY said...

sign ke resto-nya lutuw. duh kangen makan bebek euy

Little Corner of Mine said...

Haha, I love your expression in the last picture! Oh my god, the duck sign and path way lead to that tiny restaurant look mighty scary to me!

tigerfish said...

Oh you have gone to great extent...traveling to BJ to have Peking Duck. Did you intentionally dress in pink to match the red lanterns and red chairs at the store entrance? :P

If white is black coffee, then what is black coffee?

Anyway, you look superb in the photos. Just a movie star shooting an ad for the restaurant :D

rita bellnad said...

Ritaaa... di foto yg terakhir kamu pantes sekali jadi model iklan resto ini..... hehehehe...cute banget...gemezzz....*cupit pipine*

Dita said...

Ritaaaa....keren bgt tuh restonya!!! Vintage abis. Kalo gue ke tempat lo, lo musti ajak ke sini ya! :D

sefa firdaus said...

foto-fotonya keren Rit
*ihiks jadi pengen makan bebek*

Elsye said...

rita..asik banget makan2 muluwww :P

Elle said...

Oh my gosh, you are adorable! And brave. hehe. The food looks like it was fantastic!

deeTha said...

wih....
ga' kukuw.... deh...
ndeloki dikau pesta bebek beijing...
aku rak pernah maem bebbei ng resto, lha wes ng Ina, bebbei regane koyok emas je :(
jadine maeme nek pas ng kondangan kae...
hihihi gretong gitu deh...

eh, resto bebbei ne lutchu yo... onok gambare bebeke kui lho sing apik :) hihihi

Lina said...

youre photos look amazing. the duck looks even greater! I want to eat duck in beijing too!!! and yes... most of the time the authentic and yummy places are dirty! HAHA.

singairishgirl said...

Hey Rita, I love the picture of you by the window, so quaint, olden times-like. Very nice.

Dutchess said...

Based on the address and judging by the looks of the restaurant, I'm going to guess you went into one of the hutongs.

When was your Beijing trip? I would have loved to meet up with you since we are based in Beijing for the moment.

I love your photos and that dress is cute on you!

GICM Aficionado said...

I love your last photo ... you should be a model. Hmm ... I'm sure the food is great ... But the environment is very discouraging ...
Traveling a lot, eating a lot ... Wow a very lucky girl from Semarang ...
I wonder, who took the Photograph ???
So mysterious ...

Lidia Sianturi said...

love your outfit Rit...

Precious Pea said...

The way you ate the Peking duck...yumzz...must be superb!

Belzy said...

Talking about China.....errrr......almost everything there are not hygiene...huehehehehee. You might try their public toilet...hehehhe ;).
Anyway, your story reminds me of how delicious the food there...yummm..