While doing yoga in Hoi An, Mr. Selfish and I ran into an American couple who were living in China. We immediately asked them for recommendations, and they told us that we had to go to Made in China for peking duck in Beijing. It turns out that Made in China is quite well known for its peking duck.
On our first night in Beijing, we headed to its location at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (1 Dong Chang’an Jie). Unfortunately, even though we had a reservation, the hostess informed us that there were no tables available and that we would have to wait. After wandering the lobby for a while, we returned and were given a table all the way in the back of the restaurant.
It wasn’t a spectacular start to the meal. Next, I discovered that my fork had all sorts of food residue on it. I asked for another fork and wasn’t given one until I asked for it a second time.
In any case, we had pre-ordered the peking duck, which is recommended to do, and it came out quickly. I was salivating as the duck was being sliced up.
The duck came with the usual condiments of pancakes, scallion, garlic, onions, and hoisin sauce.
The duck was cooked expertly. The skin was crisp but the meat was still moist. Each bite was exquisite. The duck cost 298 yuan (plus a 15% service charge) and included the condiments.
Next, we went to Duck de Chine (1949 The Hidden City Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu), for which it is also recommended that you make a reservation. The restaurant is located in a hidden area, and you have to walk through a museum to get to it.
The duck at Duck de Chine is cooked a little differently than your typical peking duck. It is roasted for a longer-than-usual 65 minutes over 40-year-old jujube wood. Plus, the condiments are a little untraditional since the dipping sauce includes sesame paste and peanut.
Once again, I couldn’t wait until the slicing was finished. The duck was amazingly delicious. The skin was also crispy while the meat was succulent.
I particularly enjoyed the dipping sauce being a little different. Although the dipping sauce was an extra 8 yuan per serving, the duck only cost 238 yuan for a total of 254 yuan, which is still less than the duck and condiments at Made in China.
Moreover, the ambiance and the service at Duck de Chine were superior to Made in China. The location was more subdued and romantic at Duck de Chine, and we had no problems with the service. In fact, we ordered tea at Duck de Chine, and a waitress was in charge of pouring our tea. She never missed a beat even though Mr. Selfish drinks like a camel.
I must admit that the duck at both Made in China and Duck de Chine were equally delicious. However, due to the cheaper cost, untraditional dipping sauce, and better ambiance and service, I must recommend Duck de Chine more. But if you’re in Beijing and have the budget for it, why not try both?