I ate very badly on the Trans-Siberian and in Ulan-Bator, and upon reaching Beijing I was absolutely famished. I had fond memories of eating at the famous Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant on my first visit to Beijing in 2004, so I immediately headed to the closest location, on the east side of Wangfujing Street. Finding the place wasn’t too difficult with the enormous duck outside.
The restaurant is still proud of the visits of Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea in 1960 and — during Nixon’s tour — Henry Kissinger a decade later.
I was the only Westerner there, though it was obvious that many of the other diners were tourists. The growth of the domestic Chinese tourism over the last couple of years is impressive, and while dining at the restaurant I heard accents from all over China from the nearby tables.
I ordered an entire duck and after a short wait a chef came to slice it in front of my table. After the duck is sliced, one wraps it in pancakes along with vegetables and sauce. In the meantime, the bones are taken away and used to make soup. I ate an enormous amount, but the bill came to only 120 yuan (around €12). Prices are quickly rising in China, and I was aghast at some of the differences from my first visit there three years ago, but for the quality of the food I thought Quanjude to be quite reasonable. I subsequently went back several times before moving on from Beijing to climb Tai Shan.