I decided to head to Li Qun for peking duck after doing some research on Chowhound and seeing it on No Reservations. There are several popular duck restaurants (Dadong, Quanjude, Duck de Chine) in Beijing but Li Qun had a more rustic appeal, at least from what I read.
One of the hub's local colleagues kindly offered to show us around. When I mentioned wanting to go to Li Qun, he had this blank look on his face. OK not a good sign given that this guy grew up in Beijing and has no idea where Li Qun is. But I pressed on. I mean this place looked all authentic from what I'd seen and I made him take us anyway haha.
Li Qun is really hard to find! It's hidden in a hutong (old street). We drove past it several time before finally finding it. I'm thinking it's even harder for non locals to locate.
See how quaint it is?
As soon as we entered the restaurant, I realized that everyone there was a tourist. HRMMMM. The look on the colleague's face was also priceless. I'm thinking he's thinking this is a tourist trap and I'm the clueless foreigner.
Spot any tourists inside? Hehe
Anyway the colleague helps us order. We get a peking duck and some other dishes. I loved the duck feet in a horse radish kind of mustard sauce. It was sooo yum! There also a stir fry of assorted duck parts in a white wine sauce. My 2nd favorite dish hehe.
The duck was good but wasn't great, not really fine cuisine. The skin wasn't as crisp as the peking duck I've had in HK/Singapore and the slices had more fat and meat. Different style?
Here's the duck sliced:
The duck at Li Qun Restaurant was ok. It's more of a homey preparation. I'm not sure I'll recommend it if you're looking for the BEST duck. There were some good dishes (like the feet hehe) but the main attraction was lack luster. The location however definitely has a very authentic feel though according to the locals the prices are not :P I'm sure they're raking in a huge profit.
When the local Beijing colleague was asked where the best duck was, he said Da Dong. So I'm thinking I will try it next time. It's in a somewhat fancy restaurant setting but I guess I'm over rustic for now!
Finally, if you want to head there, get the Hotel Concierge to call ahead and make reservations. They are very busy!
Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant (Li Qun Kao Ya Dian) 利群烤鴨店