Thursday, December 24, 2009

Epicurean in Beijing

Quanjude BeijingEven business lunches in China can end up being quite a feast. This time was no different. My hospitable hosts had organized an elaborate lunch at Quanjude, the renowned restaurant that has being serving Peking Duck since 1864 when the Qing dynasty still ruled China.

Like is usual when dining in Asian restaurants, we were seated around a large round table with a revolving platter of exquisitely presented dishes placed in the center.

Quanjude BeijingDish after dish of fish, meats and fruits appeared. Slices of pear, jello-encased seafood, BBQ pork short ribs, sauteed spinach with peanuts, and much more. I will let the pictures do the talking!

Lunch at Quanjude Beijing
Lunch at Quanjude Beijing
Lunch at Quanjude Beijing
Lunch at Quanjude BeijingSoups and fried rice were followed by more meats and vegetables in sweet and savory sauces. All exquisitely presented and every one of them delectable. The variety of taste, texture and flavor was a feast for the senses.

Quanjude Beijing
Quanjude Beijing
Quanjude Beijing
Quanjude Beijing
Quanjude Beijing
Quanjude BeijingIt was time for the house speciality - Peking Duck. I was presented with a certificate with the serial number of the duck - a running number from the time they have been serving roast duck to their patrons. This popular restaurant now sells over 2 million roast ducks annually!

Ready for Peking Duck at Quanjude BeijingThe chef expertly carved the duck at the table as we admired their practised deftness of hand. A plate of the famed melt-in-your-mouth slices of the glazed, crispy skin arrived in front of us, followed by the duck meat which we greedily rolled within pancakes with hoisin sauce, sugar and spring onions. Finally came the soup made from the duck. Nothing goes waste here. The Peking Duck was amazing as always.

Peking Duck being carved at Quanjude Beijing
Peking Duck at Quanjude BeijingFinally came an interesting cream-filled dessert, a pastry filled with a sweet tasting meat and a fruit platter. Desserts in China seem to play a minor part in what is usually always a very elaborate dining experience.

Sweet Endings at Quanjude Beijing
Sweet Endings at Quanjude Beijing
Dining at Zen 1903 BeijingIn the evening we dined at Zen 1903, an upscale restaurant in Beijing's swish Legation Quarters. This area used to house foreign embassies at one time but now is the destination for gourmets in the capital city. This butterfly-themed restaurant serves upmarket Cantonese cuisine along with Peking Duck and some Sichuan favorites.

Dining at Zen 1903 Beijing
Dining at Zen 1903 Beijing
We sat under an impressive crystal chandelier as a series of steamed, stir-fried, BBQ and roasted delicacies made their way to our plates. This time there were more exotica such as jellyfish, duck's feet and duck's kidneys and I am happy to say I tried every one of them. We ended with a dessert made of egg yolk along along with a sweetened roll.

Selection of delicacies at Zen 1903 Beijing
Selection of delicacies at Zen 1903 Beijing
Selection of delicacies at Zen 1903 Beijing
Selection of delicacies at Zen 1903 Beijing
Selection of delicacies at Zen 1903 Beijing
Duck's feet at Zen 1903
Dining at Zen 1903 Beijing
Dining at Zen 1903 Beijing
Dining at Zen 1903 Beijing
Dining at Zen 1903 Beijing
Dessert at Zen 1903 Beijing
As you can see, it was another elaborate and satisfying meal in Beijing. Ming and team, thank you for being the perfect hosts as always!


PS: Posts from my previous visits to China:



8 comments:

Vibhu Rishi said...

Wow ! The way the food is laid out is just amazing !

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

The food spread looks so tempting. I felt hungry just looking at those awesome pics!

Shantanu said...

@Vibhu, Swapna: Yes, the presentation was a big part of the appeal.

kyh said...

Oh gosh, what a wonderful food journey in BJ! The dishes in the first few pics may look simple, but the way they presented it make them look extra delicious!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shantanu said...

@kyh: Absolutely. Some of them were just fruit, but the presentation was great and the combination of tastes and flavors made the entire experience enjoyable.

bloglover said...

Fantastic, We cal also try for Vegetable Fruit Carvings

Indian food said...

Indian food served at our restaurants ensures maximum satisfaction as you order for authentic Indian cuisines of great taste and aroma. Genuine ingredients of Indian food and traditional cooking methods employed by our celebrity chefs, excellent services and customer satisfaction make us stand apart from others.