Beijing is a capital of delicacies worthy of the name. It serves nearly 100 varieties of famous local dishes and snacks, of which Beijing Roast Duck, Instant-boiled Mutton and Court Cuisine are the most representative.
Beijing Roast Duck has the reputation of being the most delicious food Beijing has to offer. There are two schools of roast duck preparation. One school makes use of a specially designed doorless oven, using non-smoky hardwood fuel, and Chinese date, peach or pear to impart a subtle fruity flavor to the skin, represented by Quanjude Restaurant. The prime exponent of the other school is the Bianyifang Restaurant. It makes use of a conventional convection oven, in which no flames come into direct contact with the duck, burning millet stalks inside.
Correct temperature control is vital. When the duck becomes an evenly deep red color, it is ready to satisfy the visual, olfactory and gustatory demands of the most fastidious gourmet.
There is a special way to eat Beijing roast duck. Before a duck is served, cold dishes can be prepared from the wings, webs, tongue, heart and liver, which can be eaten as side dishes while you drink wine. Usually a roast duck is sliced into thin pieces by a well-trained chef, and each piece includes both fat and thin part. The slices are then wrapped in a thin pancake or stuffed into a sesame seed baked cake with shredded green onions and sweet bean sauce. Fingers are mainly used to eat Beijing roast duck rather than chopsticks. The last course is the delicious duck bone soup. More than 80 different hot and cold dishes can be prepared with a duck, composing a “Complete Duck Banquet”.
Another famous Beijing local dish is instant-boiled mutton (also known as mutton hot-pot). The castrated sheep from West Ujimqin Banner of Inner Mongolia provides the best mutton. Restaurants serve instant-boiled mutton all the year around, but winter is the best season for you to try this special flavor. Donglaishun Restaurant is the most famous restaurant offering instant-boiled mutton in Beijing.
The Fangshan Restaurant is most famous for its “Manchu-Han Style Banquet”. The imperial cuisine of the Fangshan Restaurant is reputed for the “color, smell, taste and shape” of dishes. The dishes are fresh and delicious, plus color and shape which are pleasant to eyes.
As the capital of China, Beijing gathers various delicacies from all over the country. Traveling in Beijing, you can taste a wide variety of schools of Chinese cuisine, such as Sichuan Cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine, Shanghai Cuisine and Shandong Cuisine, etc. China is a united multi-ethnic nation with 56 ethnic groups. Now many restaurants with ethnic features have been set up in Beijing, which will you more choices if you want to try something different.
If you really miss your food after trying all the local dishes, you also can find them in Beijing. As an internationalized metropolis, Beijing also gathers a large number of foreign restaurants serving the dishes of different countries in the world. Some serve the French, American and Italian dishes; some are devoted to the Japanese cuisine and South Korean barbecues; and the others prepare the Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai food and so on.