Dadong

Price guide: Expensive

22A Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Price guide: Expensive

Thorny sea cucumber

By Tom O'Malley, your Beijing expert

I write for Travel and Leisure (SE .... Read more
#4 of 30
expert-rated restaurants in Beijing
Expert overall rating:4.7 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.6
4.6
Ambience:
4.2
4.2
Service:
4
4.0
Location:
4.4
4.4
Value for money:
4.2
4.2
Recommended for:
Families with teenagers, First-time travellers, Sightseeing

Expert review of Dadong

Dadong’s artistic Chinese continues to wow, but the nightly queues are all about the duck.

Some 800 ducks are roasted daily at Dadong’s trio of restaurants, which legions of visitors (not including me) have long declared the best in town. But I urge you to explore beyond Beijing’s beloved signature. Chef Dong Zhenxiang (“Da” means big) boasts a mouth-wateringly creative menu that draws its inspiration from Sichuan to Spain.

Food and drink: 

Dadong’s “super-lean” roast duck is sold on the claim that longer cooking times render off more of the fat, resulting in a healthier dish. I doubt this, but it’s certainly delicious, and seems less oily that the likes of Quanjude. More recently, showy, molecular-style dishes have become big draws as Dadong restlessly expands his technical repertoire. I’ve had some memorable banquets here that featured wafers of kobe beef blowtorched at the table, braised sea cucumber (delicious, honest) and desserts bubbling over with dry ice.

Ambience: 

The flamboyant, brightly-lit dining room is rarely less than heaving with locals and out-of-towners dipping amber shards of duck skin in sugar and rolling overstuffed pancakes.

Service: 

Service is neat and tidy, with absolutely no waiting on ceremony. At very busy times, slip-ups can occur (not literally).

Location: 

This branch, house in a restored Ming Dynasty era granary, is the most central, located just outside Dongsishitiao subway station (line 2).

Price advice: 

Booking is essential if you don’t want to join the queues. Like most Chinese restaurants, you generally get more for your money if you come in a group.

Other useful branches: 

The original branch beside the 3rd Ring Road gets very overrun with tourists, whilst the branch on Jinbao Jie, in a glitzy shopping mall, is the most sleek and contemporary.

More information on Dadong:

Price guide:
Expensive
Type:
Restaurant
Food:
Asian, Chinese
Address:
22A Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Telephone:
+86 10 5169 0329
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Daily 11am-10pm
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Always essential
Free tags / Keywords:
Peking duck

Have you been to Dadong? Would you recommended it?