China is a country known for its food. That’s particularly true in Beijing, where Peking duck reigns supreme. Now, one of the most famous and lauded restaurants is eyeing an international expansion.
Da Dong just began construction on a three-level restaurant just around the corner from New York City’s famous Times Square. When it opens, Da Dong will cover some 1,200 square meters (13,000 square feet).
CGTN’s Han Peng got a sneak peak inside.
There is good news for those who know and love the brand (and even those that don’t): the recipes aren’t changing.
“What we want is to showcase Chef Dong’s food,” said Celso Moreira, Chief Development Officer for Da Dong NYC. “Exactly the way he serves it there versus Americanizing it or making it different to fit the taste. If you’re doing something great, why change it?”
Da Dong is one of the most famous Peking duck restaurants in Beijing. Tourists and locals alike go there, posting their experiences in videos to social media. Video titles include “Best Beijing Roast Duck” and “Duck Master.”
The duck is prepared traditionally with perfectly thin, crispy skin, juicy meat and the usual garnishes.
Moreira knows the food well. He spent nearly a month in China touring all of Da Dong’s locations– more than two dozen of them.
“I definitely think, being a Westerner and spending most of my life in New York City, I think it’s a great opportunity to really try true Chinese food,” Moreira said.
Da Dong hasn’t said much publicly about the new location in New York. But what is known now there will be several duck ovens, possibly as many as six.
And the space didn’t come cheap. While the final terms are unknown, but the asking rent had reportedly been more than $2 million per year.
If all goes as planned, Da Dong NYC will be serving its first diners this fall.