Sunday 20 March 2011

China: Peking Duck

Tiananmen Gate guard and MaoSecurity checks on every entry point around the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square hampered progress as I headed south towards the Zhengyangmen Gate of the old Beijing city to Qianmen Street. This historical location has been turned into a hideous Disney model of Chinese street complete with a silly tram that trundles along the pedestrianized area. The street that runs parallel is in contrast, narrow, colourful, Quanjude Roast Duck restaurant - Qianmen Street, Beijingdirty, smelly, crammed with people cooking on restaurant steps and peddling their tacky wares. Much more like it.

The queue that had formed outside the famous Quanjude Roast Duck restaurant surgeQuanjude Roast Duckd through the doors as it opened at exactly 4.30pm. The ground floor filled quickly and we stragglers were forced to wait until the upper level was opened a few minutes later. My order of half a duck was carved at the table with great ceremony by a chef with a razor sharp cleaver as a waitress demonstrated how to construct the pancake parcels. Looking around, I realised there was a much less elegant but more efficient construction process which I also adopted.

An interesting restaurant and a cultural icon, but I’m going out on a limb here…….I’ve had better.

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