I don’t think any review of Chinese food in Beijing would be complete without a nod towards the Peking Duck. There is tough competition in the city of its creation amongst the lao zi hao restaurants, but relative newcomer Da Dong Roast Duck is disputably the best purveyor of the crispy skinned avian right now. The duck takes centre stage, but take a flip through the 100-plus page menu for an extensive selection of companion dishes.
Da Dong prides itself in serving ultra-skinny, ultra-crispy duck. Supposedly it’s healthier as well, but I’m not under any illusions…
What it was before.
If on a budget, skip the first 50 pages or so. Stand-out dishes that won’t break the bank are the tomatoes fried with egg, the stir-fried chicken with nuts, and the stir-fried eggplant. The free longans and iced persimmon dessert at the end of the meal was a nice touch, but if you’d like something with a distinctly local flavour, get the candied apple dessert to end it off.
西红柿炒鸡蛋，a popular Chinese dish. Tomatoes were surprisingly plump.
The Eggplant, a delightfully versatile vegetable that absorbs pretty much any flavour you give it.
Stir-fried Chicken with nuts. Simple, classic, decadent.
Happy, well-fed friends.
Da Dong has a reputation for being expensive, but with a little bit of prudence and a passing knowledge of classic Chinese cooking you could get away with minimal damage. We ordered two ducks and seven other dishes, excluding the bowl of nourishing duck-bone soup that comes with the duck. All that came up to 150 RMB per person. Pretty decent, for a dinner at one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the world.