Food reviews - Shanghai, Uncategorized ‘QUAN JU DE’ ROAST DUCK RESTAURANT 24 March 2009


Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant (???)
786 Huai Hai Road
Shanghai, China
????-

I’d heard good reviews on Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, and so dragged Chris there one night. To my utter surprise he said “Hey, I’ve been to Quan Ju De before!” Turns out his workmates took him to the Beijing one when he was there on business a few weeks ago. Having been around for around 150 years, I also learned that it is THE place for duck, a famous restaurant that everyone here seems to know. I should also note that Quanjude is pronounced “chuan-joo-der”. NOT “kwan-jood”, which was what I originally thought it was – much to the horror and amusement of my colleagues. Man, places here need to come up with easier names!!!! And considering the sign down the front is in Chinese characters (so it doesn’t actually even say the words “Quanjude”, we shuffled up and down trying to figure out where the restaurant was, until we asked a lady standing there and she said “It’s HERE” (duh).

That said, it’s worth the hassle of trying to hunt down the restaurant, because it’s so iconic and is famed for serving up the best roast duck. So what did we ordered? Yep, one whole roast duck, please! And then we waited. And waited. And waited. 30 mins later, I was starting to see red – I HATE being kept waiting for my food. When I asked what the problem was, the waiter told me that “the standard waiting time is 45 mins” WTF?!?!?!?!??!!!! The roast ducks are pre-cooked and sitting there, so what are we waiting 45 mins for? Oh, for the carvers to come round. How many are there? I counted TWO(!) carvers in the huge restaurant.. basically filled with people waiting and waiting and waiting. So, you’d think some bright spark working there would say “Well, hire 10 more carvers and obliterate the waiting time”, right? Yeah, that’s too logical, because somehow they just want to stick with their 2 carvers and have people wait. I was gobsmacked.

Grouchy as I was, and also probably due to Chris’ “foreigner” looks, our duck came shortly after. Was fascinated with how the carver deftly cut the duck apart, shaving off piece after piece of skin and meat. It was like an artform πŸ˜‰ I can only imagine how many he does a day! They ought to find out how to cook the duck in less oil, or at least drain the oil prior to bringing it out.. the slick juices running out was a bit freaky to see. You definitely don’t come here if you’re on a diet πŸ˜‰

Whe finished, he presented a couple of plates divided up into duck skin, and duck meat. It is AMAZING. There was a special plate of special duck skin that was thick with no fat, but crisp.. yet it melted once you popped it into your mouth. I’ve never had a roast duck with that kinda skin before – utterly spectacular. And the lean meat was generous and came piled up, with minimal fat. There was another plate of skin+meat+fat all together, like what you get at regular roast duck places. Basically something for everyone πŸ˜‰ One whole roast duck is definitely too much for both of us though.. we were totally “ducked out” afterwards πŸ˜‰

That didn’t stop us from ordering the duck soup, however. It was a beautiful broth that was creamy with duck flavour, yet light on the stomach. Absolutely delicious. We were so full we couldn’t even stuff in dessert – boohiss! A satisfying (almost too much so) meal, however a pricey one at that. We probably won’t go back ourselves, but definitely when we have visitors in town..


Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant

Kitschy interior

Pictorial menu – woohoo!

Pu-er tea

Duck soup – really light and so tasty

Carving up our whole roast duck

All sorts of condiments and crepes

One of the many plates of crisp shining skin and tasty lean meat

Peking duck pancake. DIVINE.


48 Comments

  • tiffanyx posted on March 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    *drooools*

    i totally ♥ roast duck!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      We’re huuuuuuge fans, thank goodness we’re in roast duck country, haha

      Reply
      • tiffanyx posted on March 25, 2009 at 12:31 am

        send some over, man!! :DD

        Reply
  • kachunknorge posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    It’s one of China’s best exports!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      I can see why! It’s so so so good, better than the rosat duck we get in AU

      Reply
  • j0s1e267 posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Mmmm, the duck was certainly good! Do you know that there are two prices for duck? If you skin+meat are carved together, it’s cheaper vs if you get skin and meat carved separately!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm

      Yeah, thank goodness we get the more expensive one, i heard later that it’s heaps better!! i wanna go back :)~

      Reply
  • vixette7 posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    ooh i’ve been to the one in beijing. the duck is gooooooooooood stuff!!! wasn’t that impressed with the other dishes but man……the duck!!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm

      Oh so many people told me the same – the other dishes are so-so, but the duck is super!

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I think the restaurant allow the 45 min wait because people are willing to wait for it if they have such an awesome reputation for the duck.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:13 am

      however, you’d reckon because they know there’s high demand, they’d hire another duck carver or 10, but nup!

      Reply
  • joni_to0622 posted on March 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    mmmm the food look soooo good!!!! i can eat the whole duck right now lol

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:15 am

      I’m hungry atm and want some duckkkkkkkkk!

      Reply
  • claypot posted on March 24, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    There is one in Melbourne too! It looks exactly the same and you get a certificate in the end for your roast duck.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:16 am

      The certificate thing is so cute, i’m annoyed we forgot!

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on March 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    *drooools*

    i totally ♥ roast duck!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      We’re huuuuuuge fans, thank goodness we’re in roast duck country, haha

      Reply
      • tiffanyx posted on March 25, 2009 at 12:31 am

        send some over, man!! :DD

        Reply
  • thefragrantelf posted on March 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    OMG, that looks freaking incredible!!! 45 min wait is long, they should at least warn you first!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:16 am

      Yes! we’d have been much happier if we knew at the start.. instead of waiting and waiting and waiting til we’re pissed, THEN being told. doh!

      Reply
  • kachunknorge posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    It’s one of China’s best exports!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      I can see why! It’s so so so good, better than the rosat duck we get in AU

      Reply
  • j0s1e267 posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Mmmm, the duck was certainly good! Do you know that there are two prices for duck? If you skin+meat are carved together, it’s cheaper vs if you get skin and meat carved separately!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm

      Yeah, thank goodness we get the more expensive one, i heard later that it’s heaps better!! i wanna go back :)~

      Reply
  • vixette7 posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    ooh i’ve been to the one in beijing. the duck is gooooooooooood stuff!!! wasn’t that impressed with the other dishes but man……the duck!!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm

      Oh so many people told me the same – the other dishes are so-so, but the duck is super!

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on March 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I think the restaurant allow the 45 min wait because people are willing to wait for it if they have such an awesome reputation for the duck.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:13 am

      however, you’d reckon because they know there’s high demand, they’d hire another duck carver or 10, but nup!

      Reply
  • joni_to0622 posted on March 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    mmmm the food look soooo good!!!! i can eat the whole duck right now lol

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:15 am

      I’m hungry atm and want some duckkkkkkkkk!

      Reply
  • rubytues posted on March 25, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Wow, just wow. I haven’t seen duck soup anywhere in the USA. It’s quite famous here as the name of an old Marx Brothers movie.

    How much did this particular meal cost you in American dollars? Worth every penny, and the wait, it looks like, although I agree the wait is absurd if they have the business to merit hiring more carvers. Now you know for next time though, which elevates you from tourist status to native. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:17 am

      I can’t remember but it was about 250 yuan or more, certainly considered a really $$ meal since you can get a great one for 10 yuan πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • claypot posted on March 24, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    There is one in Melbourne too! It looks exactly the same and you get a certificate in the end for your roast duck.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:16 am

      The certificate thing is so cute, i’m annoyed we forgot!

      Reply
  • dottybunny posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Roast Peking Duck! Yums!

    Reply
  • thefragrantelf posted on March 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    OMG, that looks freaking incredible!!! 45 min wait is long, they should at least warn you first!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:16 am

      Yes! we’d have been much happier if we knew at the start.. instead of waiting and waiting and waiting til we’re pissed, THEN being told. doh!

      Reply
  • aphraeleiss posted on March 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

    LOL at Kwan Jude! I imagine they would be horrified! Most Chinese names would be translated into Hanyu pinyin, different phonetics altogether. But that’s the geek speaking.

    The one I went to in Beijing had 7 storeys, and the ducks were wheeled in and out of the kitchens on those clothes racks thingies! The wait wasn’t long at all. You had to wait for a seat and they’d direct you to different levels, the scale of the operation was nothing like I’d ever seen. It’s too greasy for my liking though. Might try the one in Melbourne if I ever did go there.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 26, 2009 at 9:56 am

      I felt a bit stupid with my prounounciation after I realised it, haha

      Chris went to that Beijing one too I think, lucky!

      Reply
  • rubytues posted on March 25, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Wow, just wow. I haven’t seen duck soup anywhere in the USA. It’s quite famous here as the name of an old Marx Brothers movie.

    How much did this particular meal cost you in American dollars? Worth every penny, and the wait, it looks like, although I agree the wait is absurd if they have the business to merit hiring more carvers. Now you know for next time though, which elevates you from tourist status to native. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:17 am

      I can’t remember but it was about 250 yuan or more, certainly considered a really $$ meal since you can get a great one for 10 yuan πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • dottybunny posted on March 25, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Roast Peking Duck! Yums!

    Reply
  • aphraeleiss posted on March 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

    LOL at Kwan Jude! I imagine they would be horrified! Most Chinese names would be translated into Hanyu pinyin, different phonetics altogether. But that’s the geek speaking.

    The one I went to in Beijing had 7 storeys, and the ducks were wheeled in and out of the kitchens on those clothes racks thingies! The wait wasn’t long at all. You had to wait for a seat and they’d direct you to different levels, the scale of the operation was nothing like I’d ever seen. It’s too greasy for my liking though. Might try the one in Melbourne if I ever did go there.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 26, 2009 at 9:56 am

      I felt a bit stupid with my prounounciation after I realised it, haha

      Chris went to that Beijing one too I think, lucky!

      Reply
  • gilraen_girl posted on March 26, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Ohhhhhh, drool! So yum! I want some melt in your mouth duck skin too!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

      So oily, but man, so good!

      Reply
  • gilraen_girl posted on March 26, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Ohhhhhh, drool! So yum! I want some melt in your mouth duck skin too!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on March 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

      So oily, but man, so good!

      Reply

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