Tourists in Peking invariably ask to try the local specialty, roast duck, which is eaten with spring onions and pancakes slathered with sauce.
Several restaurants here specialize in Peking duck, and for each, the foreign community has chosen an irreverent name. The duck restaurant near the hospital of the Peking Union Medical College is known as the "Sick Duck." The big, six-story establishment at Hepingmen has gone through several name changes; at the moment it is called either "Factory Duck" or "Super Duck."
Our favorite is a newly opened restaurant offering tasty duck and an atmosphere that is, for Peking, relatively intimate. Its unimaginative title is Beijing Kaoya, translated as Peking Roast Duck. But because the place is situated near one of Peking's diplomatic compounds, Sanlitun, it has been dubbed the "Dip Duck."
The Dip Duck has only 12 tables, but each is large enough to seat as many as 10, and it would be best to put together a party of at least six. The brightly lighted room is decorated so well that you might think you are in Hong Kong. But no, this is a state-owned enterprise of the People's Republic of China--a spinoff, in fact, of the Sick Duck.