The Dining Experience
Eating Peking duck in Beijing is something you’ve got to add to your bucket list! I had seen plenty of bright red ducks hanging from shop windows in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but I had no idea what the actual dining process was like until I sat down for the traditional meal at a Chinese restaurant. The roast duck is hand-cut in thin slices in front of you. It’s served with cucumber, spring onion, a sweet brown sauce, and thin crepes. Everything is served in separate dishes, so you can customize your own little burrito-like things and enjoy! The veggies are bright, the duck meat is tender with crispy skin, and the thick sauce is both sweet and savory. It’s a delicious explosion of traditional Chinese textures and flavors.
Embrace The Awkward
As an American, navigating a Peking duck restaurant was a bit awkward. First of all, everyone stares. Typical China. Secondly, there’s all the weird cultural things I wasn’t used to: smoking indoors, spitting food scraps on the table, drunken yelling, waiters asking you to move tables. And lastly, they’re really into which specific bird you’re going to eat. They always make sure you’re served at least part of the head so you can see it. Waiters will even get your attention and point with enthusiasm when your duck has arrived to the dining floor. Embrace the awkward! That crispy skin is worth it.