China: Shanghai – 5-course Peking Duck at Xindalu
The full traditional way to eating the Peking duck is a five-course set meal. And Xindalu restaurant on the Bund is famous all over China as the best for Peking duck. The chefs, the oven, and all the preparation is happening right in front of you (you need to order the duck in advance as actual roasting takes 70 minutes) After the duck is roasted in a wood-fired oven, the chef wheels it to your table and carves it right in front of you and then the five-course extravaganza begins. First, is the crispy duck skin that is eaten by dipping it in sugar. Second comes the duck breast that is enjoyed with the garlic sauce. Third is duck leg, which is both dark meat and skin – the choicest part – that is eaten by wrapping the carved pieces into pancakes with cucumber, scallions, and duck sauce (which is actually a sweet bean sauce). Fourth comes the duck soup – double boiled with bean curd and cabbage. Finally, last is the round of what remains from the carved duck – all the bones chopped into pieces (they all have plenty of meat on them) and then deep-fried with salt and Sichuan pepper. From A to Z – it’s a must-do gastronomic experience in China.