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Quan Ju De @ Qianmen, Beijing

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The first proper meal in Beijing was at Quan Ju De - a restaurant opened since 1864 that specialises in Peking Duck. I had no clue how huge the chain is until I spotted so many Quan Ju De's along the way, as ubiquitous as Mcdonalds is, in fact. Every 200m within Wang Fu Jing would be an outlet. Overfranchised?

qian men

This particular outlet we were slated to have our dinner at was at Qian Men. Be ready to get welcomed by their lovely arches.

Here's Starbucks for you, translated in a manner that I can barely identify with.

Lining the streets of Qian Men are tons of touristy shops and stores from old Beijing. There is also a food street to boot! Word has it that there is a street that plays resident to Beijing's oldest street eats.


At the door steps of the much revered Quan Ju De.
there we are

Grand, is a major understatement.

There is a saying "不到长城非好汉, 不吃全聚德烤鸭真遗憾!" Loosely translated as, you're not a fine man if you don't attempt the Great Wall of China, it's a great regret if you miss Quan Ju De Peking Duck!
love the outside

Still loving the oriental touches of the doorway.
the story of quan ju de

The tale that spans decades and possibly centuries.

quan ju de exterior

Still mersmerized by the architecture.
quan ju de full

Getting a table is not as easy as you think. Filled to the brim with people it is. I felt a sense of relief having to walk past throngs of hungry diners to your specially reserved table.

Up to the second floor!
huge lamp

Something about this huge lamp...
quan ju de spoon

Cutlery with their brand name emblazoned across..I wonder if it's to deter people from proliferating.
Beef Fillet with Vegetable
Braised Duck Leg with Wild Pepper

I soon learnt that each meal will begin with a round of appetizers. Quite like the koreans, the chinese adore their little plates of appetizers. The only difference being, the range of appetizers does vary quite widely.

crunchy greens

This is a cross between bitter gourd and hairy vegetable, crunchy with a slight sappy aftertaste and mildly salty.


Chinese pate, a savoury delight.

I choose to think this is preserved meat, while it tasted like beef, I still cannot figure out what meat this is.
candied red dates

Sweetened red dates dusted with sesame seeds, really nice and addictive.
sweet and sour prawn balls

Sautee Prawn Ball in Sichuan Style

Their prawn balls are not over processed, mainly minced prawn meat rolled into balls and deep fried before being doused in sweet and sour sauce. I would very much prefer it were fresh prawns instead but it was not too bad.

salted chicken and crackers

Deepfried Chicken with sea salt and crackers
Nothing to rave about except the oily after taste that I did not particular love. The chicken was a tad overcooked as well.
 smoked duck with bamboo shoots

Sautee Duck with Bamboo Shoots, Beans and Duck
This seemed like a dish my mom could whip up with overnight duck. The duck meat here was firmer in bite and more flavourful than the peking duck which arrived much later into the meal. Adored the bamboo shoots which gave it a refreshing crunch and taste. Some thought it was an overkill of duck with two duck dishes but I thought this duck dish had a completely different meat texture...liked it!
 snow peas

Stir fried snow peas...too oily.

Sweet and Sour Fried Mandarin Fish
The first encounter with fish throughout the trip, they seem to love deepfrying their fish to such crispness, you can barely taste the meat. Kudos however has to be given to the chefs for frying this to such consistency, it was not overly oily...still light on the palette. Liked the pine nuts scattered on the dish!

I lost track of the number of plates of greens that made its rounds that meal. Either stirfried or blanched, none struck me deeply enough.
fried rice

Fried Rice
What I remember most about it has to be the perfect roundness achieved. I don't remember this being out of the world spectacular.
 busy chef2

You can imagine how long we waited before the main star arrived. Literally waited till the neck was long enough to rival that of the ostrich. All of us lamented its overdue arrival since most of the appetite was robbed by a couple of undeserving dishes.

busy chef1

Chef debones the duck with much skill, I think he could do it even blind folded!


Quanjude Roast Duck

Swiftly and surely, the roasted duck was dismembered skillfully cut with its best parts presented. I'm not sure why but everyone's cameras were on standby mode, stealthily filming all the action. Not that the chef batted an eyelid or flinched an inch from all the unwanted attention, perhaps he could have engaged in some theatrics to up the entertainment factor.

peking duck cert

The only novelty came in the form of a duck-cert! Each duck had a unique cert pleasure to have consumed one of the 1.48 million ducks dished out since its opening...!

quan ju de peking duck platter

The first glorious plate.

Another shot of the famed.
peking duck skin

Yet another plate of the skin.


Each duck comes with a side of pancake skins or popiah skins as we Singaporeans would liken it to.
sesame buns

Hollow Sesame Cake

Or pair the meat with sesame cake, the choice is yours. Greedy gluttons like me had them both ways.


A must of chives and sweet sauce.
peking duck

Wrapping popiah has never been my forte, same goes for wrapping a peking duck roll.
peking duck crepe

As long as you get all the ingredients contained in a roll, that is considered success.

Here's the duck truth about this delicacy that most have drooled over.

The skin is crispy but the layer of oil beneath is thick beyond measure. Every bite spills over in oil. As much of a luxury and sin that is, it does get jelard after a couple of bites. Duck meat is tender but the gameyness does get to you ultimately.
peking duck bun

No matter how I pair it, the conclusion seems to be the same.

I obviously was not wowed nor blown away by it. It was an experience to try the authentic peking duck and I am glad I had a go at it.
duck soup

Duck Bone Soup

This came in timely to wash down all the grease but I found it acquired. Almost tasteless with a tinge of sour, I did not particularly love it.

fruit platter

This ended the meal on a better note for me.

Quan Ju De's service is hugely lacking. Strange especially when they are visited by throngs of foreigners on a daily basis. They were almost cheesed off that they had to handle such a huge turn out. Do not expect to carry out a decent conversation for all you can hear is your chewing sounds and perhaps the next table's boisterous conversation. If you even get lucky, a private table is available but I reckon it comes at a separate surcharge.

Queues are unimaginable at dining hours, I suggest you make a reservation before heading down. Just for their supposed authentic peking duck experience...once was suffice. Not too sure if I would head back for seconds.
 beijing railway station

Walking out of Quan Ju De was an enthralling sight...the night scenes and night lights that greeted me was...pure happiness. Loved how this sparkled at night.

How about a tram ride for a romantic night?

I spied Capital M near Qian Men...if only I could steal time away for a drink or two there!

Quan Ju De
Qian Men

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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