OUR HISTORY

During the 144 years, QUANJUDE has experienced business vicissitudes and survived the arduous ordeal of time. Throughout the years, QUANJUDE dishes have been greatly enriched due to developing and innovation.

With its long history, Quanjude roast duck enjoys a high reputation among domestic and overseas consumers for the peculiar roast technique and outstanding quality. It ranks the first not only in Chinese Famous Dishes, compiled by all-China famous chefs under the organization of Ministry of Commerce in 1958, but also in Elite of Chinese Famous Dishes, published by China and Japan in 1982. In many cases, Quanjude lists the first among famous restaurants.

In China, the well-known All-Duck Banquet is headed by QUANJUDE roast duck and supported by over 400 dishes with QUANJUDE characteristic flavor. Government leaders, officials and VIPs from nearly 200 countries and regions have visited QUANJUDE roast duck restaurants and had dinner here.



Quanren Yang, the establisher and the first manager of QUANJUDE
Quanren Yang (1822-1890), the first manager of QUANJUDE roast duck restaurant, came to Beijing from a famine-stricken area of Hebei Province. After arriving in Beijing, he was firstly engaged in buying and selling raw chicken and duck. In 1864, he rolled the dice with a grocery on the verge of bankruptcy. He renamed the firm QUANJUDE. Due to his extreme smartness and painstaking management, QUANJUDE developed from an ordinary roast duck shop front to a real restaurant characterized by roast duck done by hanging in the oven. This laid a sound foundation for the roast duck to become well known throughout Beijing.



Gold Tablet
Above the gate of every QUANJUDE roast duck restaurant, there is a tablet where the three Chinese characters of QUAN JU DE are inscribed. The three characters were written by a scholar of Qing Dynasty whose name is Zilong Qian. On the tablet, the three characters are covered with gold leaf, a special Chinese technique for preservation. The gold tablet glitters through the vicissitudes of a century, telling silently an ancient story, the hardships and achievements of generations in QUANJUDE.



Ancient Wall
The old shop front saved till now was established in the 14th year of Guangxu (1888) and witnessed QUANJUDE’s development. Now it is built in Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, Beijing.



Ancient Wall
Money reflects from a profile other social changes accompanying QUANJUDE. These coins are the very ones received on the very first day of the establishment of QUANJUDE in 1864.



Duck Sites--precious pictures taken 67 years ago
On the Dragon Boat Festival of 1933 (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month), Helen Morrison, a German photographer came to QUANJUDE roast duck restaurant for dinner. She was so deeply impressed by the special fragrance and taste of the roast duck. When seeing then manager Kuiyao Yang, she praised the taste of the duck as ’beyond compare’ and the extraordinary technique of the chef, asking eagerly to visit the spot of duck roasting. At that time, QUANJUDE’s roast duck done by hanging in the oven was a top commercial secret and QUANJUDE had never agreed anyone to see the site. But Yang was so satisfied with the busy business that day that he broke the rule and showed the lady to the roast oven. Helen was conquered by the scene: the claret ducks were being kissed by the red stove fire, the fragrance permeating; the chef was turning the ducks with the shaft handsomely. She immediately took the picture with her camera.



According to the old-timers of QUANJUDE restaurant, Helen Morrison was so interested in QUANJUDE roast duck. What amazed her was how an ordinary duck could achieve such pleasant fragrance after roast. Under Helen’s request, Kuiyao Yang showed her to the duck farm where the ducks were raised specially for QUANJUDE. The duck farm was situated in the northwest of Beijing and the boss Laowu Wang was unique and the best in raising ducks and had a nickname of Duck King. The Wangs and Yangs had been old family friends. The key to Wang’s success in raising ducks was that he used only grains as feed, which resulted in the duck meat without any unpleasant smell. What is more, the duck farm was favorably sited in terms of geomantic quality. With the good water quality nearby, the duck meat was tender, fresh and delicious. Helen was attracted by the story and shot this picture.



Old Menu

According to historical documents, All-Duck-Banquet was initiated by QUANJUDE restaurant. In its early time, the All-Duck-Banquet is substantial rather than sumptuous. This banquet menu in the 1930s is saved by a foreign guest who usually visited QUANJUDE restaurant. Now it is stored in the Capital Museum of China.