Peking Duck, Beijing Style

Jim arranged for a Beijing Duck dinner with the IBM team.   A local manager ordered all the dishes, and there was an array of nice , and not so nice dishes.  Nice dishes included Snails with Mushrooms. Not so Nice dishes included grisly and grotesque Duck Tongues.     As usual, there was no rice.   When asked, the waitress said ‘ … the duck is the rice and it’s at the end’.

Beijing Duck was served with

  • sugar and skin only, not like in Toronto
  • pancakes, like in Toronto
  • sesame pita puffs, not like in Toronto
  • green onions and hoisin, like in Toronto
  • garlic puree, radishes and cucumbers, not like in Toronto

On Friday, after a week of eating formal business dinners, I felt the need for a simple meal.  I decided to eat at the hotel in the Dragon Palace, a Cantonese style restaurant.  Cantonese meant rice with the meal. I had Imperial Braised Chicken, which was a delicious hot-pot of boneless chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

On the next table, a lone American ordered Beijing duck.   I watched as the waitress carved the duck and carefully prepared two platters of duck and pancakes.  It seemed wrong for a person to dine alone on Beijing duck.  It is a special dish reserved for banquets and celebrations.

However, this gentleman did and he finished it all off on his own.

Good for him.

Beijing, 2007

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