30 October 2008
If you come to Beijing, the Peking Duck can not been missed.Among China's 1.3 billion people, there's one name that first comes to mind when the words "roast duck" are mentioned: Quanjude. Ask the Chinese what a visit to the nation's capital should involve and they will tell you that two things must be achieved: climb the Great Wall and eat a roast duck at Quanjude.
The first restaurant to bear the name Quanjude opened in 1864 during the reign of the Qing Emperor Tongzhi. Due to its high standards, the restaurant’s fame spread rapidly and for many years the supply of roast ducks could hardly satisfy the demand. For this reason, the restaurant was rebuilt and expanded in 1948. In 1954 a branch (known as Hongbinlou) was opened in West Chang?an Boulevard and another in Wangfujing Street in 1959. These additions, however, still did not solve the problem, and with the opening of the Quanjude at hepingmen in 1979, it was no longer necessary to make a reservation a week in advance to taste Beijing’s most famous culinary delight.
While many have heard of "Peking Duck," few realize that the Quanjude restaurant has a menu list of over 400 dishes consisting entirely of duck. Of course there are the mainstays, like the famous Quanjude Roasted Duck, Quanjude Mustard Duck Web, Quanjude Boiled Duck Liver, Quanjude Seasoned Duck Gizzard, Quanjude Shredded Duck Wing, and Quanjude Quick Fried Duck Heart. But there are also pages and pages of more unusual duck selections. There's a duck dish for every body part: tongues, livers, skin, gizzards, breasts, and the appetizing duck-feet webs. Even the duck egg is included in the menu as a dish named "Crystal Duck."
With its long history, Quanjude roast duck enjoys a high reputation among domestic and overseas consumers for the peculiar roast technique and outstanding quality. It ranks the first not only in Chinese Famous Dishes, compiled by all-China famous chefs under the organization of Ministry of Commerce in 1958, but also in Elite of Chinese Famous Dishes, published by China and Japan in 1982. In many cases, Quanjude lists the first among famous restaurants.