When I first visited China almost 20 years ago to go to Beijing to study Putonghua, my Cantonese dad didn’t have much advice for me, but he did say one thing, “Make sure you go to Quan Ju De and eat the Beijing roast duck!” For Quan Ju De is THE standard for Beijing roast duck, the measure from which all other Beijing roast ducks are judged. With 150 years of history, Quan Ju De is the most famous restaurant in China and is served to visiting heads-of-state. Now, the real deal has arrived in Hangzhou.
The Hangzhou location on Moganshan Road has an open dining room and many private rooms with opulent Chinese furnishings in Qing dynasty style. The service is formal and attentive.
For Quan Ju De’s restaurants across China, the ducks all come from Beijing farms that produce ducks exclusively for them. Ever since the 2008 Beijing Olympics when Quan Ju De’s ducks were served at official state banquets, the production process has become high-tech. All ducks have a barcode tag that tracks them throughout their 60-days life to ensure food safety and quality and German designed electric ovens precisely control the temperature during roasting.
Prices for the roast duck are quite reasonable (108RMB/half, 198RMB/whole) including pancakes, sauce, scallions and cucumbers. Our roast duck was served in the more expensive peony flower arrangement (258RMB), which was first unveiled at the 2014 APEC state banquet in Beijing.
First, we were served the crunchy fatty skin without meat and you can eat it dipped in some sugar or brown sauce. The duck fat melts in your mouth, enveloping your senses in duck flavour. Then came a plate of duck skin with meat for you to roll up with pancakes, scallions, cucumber and sauce. Customers can decide how they want the rest of the duck cooked - in a soup, stir-fried, etc.
Besides duck, there are many Chinese regional dishes to choose from including Beijing, Sichuan and local cuisine according to each restaurant’s location. For Hangzhou, that means Hangbangcai. The usually simple Hangzhou appetizer of Marinated Turnip (15RMB) was crisp and sweet with the addition of apple juice and was formed into an exquisite flower shape. Also try the Marinated Assorted Vegetables (22RMB), a salad with a spicy, sweet Chinese style dressing.
Quan Ju De is a great place to bring your visiting friends and family for a refined Chinese dining experience. Chinese and English menu.