Bianyifang Roast Duck Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants currently in Beijing. The restaurant was first established in 1416, and a dispute among its owners in 1855 resulted in the branch that survives until today.
Generally, there are two methods of roasting Beijing duck:
1. Roast duck made with half-open oven (where the duck is hung over heat source such as fire, such as Quan Ju De ), and 2. Roast duck made with closed oven (where the heat is from inner oven wall).
Bianyifang roast duck is the representative of the closed oven type, which is made without using open fire.
The oven is heated to a certain temperature with sorghum stalks. Then the fire is put out, the dressed duck is placed in an iron hood within the oven, and the oven is shut. So the duck is actually cooked by the heat from charcoal fire underneath and the walls of the oven. When done, it tastes wonderful, with purplish red, gleaming, crisp skin and tender, white flesh.
With traditional flavors titillating our taste buds over a hundred years, Bianyifang Restaurant has successfully receivedformer American president Mr. Bush and various foreign heads of state and heads of government from Guyana, Uruguay, etc.
Celebrities like Guo Moruo (a famous Chinese poet) and Qi Baishi (a renowned Chinese painter) have written poems and painted pictures for Bianyifang Restaurant.
Bianyifang V.s. Quanjude
Many of my friends asked me: “What’s the difference in taste between Bianyifang and Quan Ju De? Which restaurant has a better roast whole duck?”
However, it is not an easy task to compare these two because of the different roasting methods.
According to my personal experiences, Quanjude duck has more crispy skin and Bianyifang duck is more tender and less greasy. The prices at Bianyifang Roast Duck Restaurant is cheaper than at Quanjude (nearly 70RMB per person), and the method of preparing the duck are little different. Whereas the Quanjude duck is traditionally roasted over pear wood here the method involves millet stalks. Bianyifang claims an even greater antiquity than Quanjude.
Add: Jia 2 Chongwenmenwai Dajie (Chong Wen Men Wai Street)，Beijing, China
Tel: (010) 6711 2244 or (010) 6712 0505
Price: 70 RMB per person approximately