Bianyifang is as old as the Forbidden City, and close to the ordinary people. In the 605 years from 1416 to 2021, adhering to the business philosophy of “convenient for the people, suitable for your family”, Bianyifang has developed from a roast duck workshop to today’s catering chain group, forming a dish feature led by Menlu roast duck (duck roasted in the closed oven) and based on Shandong cuisine.
Twenty processes of cooking, six hundred years of ingenuity
For thousands of years, Menlu roast duck has been a must-have dish on royal tables. According to the “Imperial Diet Record in Wutai Mountain”, the Qianlong Emperor loved the Menlu roast duck so much that he set up a room called “bahafang” in the imperial dining room, specially for cooking the Menlu roast duck.
Menlu roast duck has more than 20 complicated and delicate procedures, from laying duck stove, selecting heat source, selecting duck, feeding duck, making eviscerated duck, drying duck, roasting duck and slicing duck. Since Liang Detai in the late Qing Dynasty, through Wang Baowen, Li Wenfang, Liu Zanting and Bai Yongming, the roast technique has been basically handed down in a direct line from the master or his official heir. Skilled roast duck chefs need to be very dexterous and have to study for two or three years before they can roast ducks on their own. Therefore, the Bianyifang roast ducks are green and environment-friendly as there are no pyrotechnic residues. The skin is crisp, the color is jujube red, and the meat is tender. The color, inside and outside taste of roast duck make it a famous Beijing dish.
This “intangible cultural heritage” technique has been imparted and inherited for 600 years. Until now, Bianyifang has attracted diners from all over the world with its unique technique.
Bringing forth the new through the old, the ancient brand flourishes wonderfully
There is an old saying in the catering industry; “when you have a skill, you can eat your fill.” However, in terms of the inheritance of the traditional culinary skill, Bianyifang has never been content with staying where it is. It has constantly pushed through the old and brought forth the new for hundreds of years, so that it has ended the century-old history of unchanged technique and taste of Beijing roast duck, and constantly updates the taste of its roast duck.
In 2002, Bianyifang chose lotus, tea, dates and other ingredients that are beneficial to the human body. In order to blend the flavor of these ingredients into the duck without damaging its appearance, the roast duck masters of Bianyifang conducted trial production and improvement again and again. After one year of development and thousands of adjustments, they finally developed the unique “Fragrant Crisp” series of roast ducks.
In order to meet people’s consumption demand for new, environment-friendly, nutritious and fashionable food and promote the concept of acid-base balance, high protein and low-fat diet, in 2004, Bianyifang group launched “Vegetable Crispy” roast duck. The duck is degreased with vegetables to increase the protein content and remove the usual greasy feeling. After drying, the roast duck does not taste smelly like traditional roast duck, but retains refreshing taste of vegetables and mint.
Bianyifang has also improved the pancake and set dishes. Pancakes are made of 100% vegetable juice. The color of vegetable juice is the color of pancakes, which is not only a visual enjoyment but also nutritional and healthy.
China’s delicious roast duck is a feast for the world. I would like all the guests, including foreign guests, to taste our authentic Chinese roast duck.” Said Master Bai, the inheritor of Bianyifang cooking skill.
In addition to the Menlu roast duck, Bianyifang has many other specialties. The duck series dishes are the most prominent of them, exquisitely prepared with duck meat and related ingredients like duck liver, duck gizzard, etc. Four treasures of dried roasted duck, salted duck liver, mustard duck feet, crystal duck tongue, drunken duck heart, etc., are all signature dishes of Bianyifang.
In recent years, Bianyifang has developed the “Three Kingdoms" banquet, with the historical story of the Three Kingdoms as the background, integrating the collection of cooking skills, food aesthetics, dining psychology with precious raw materials, so as to form a unique style of food culture and greatly improve the intrinsic value of dishes. For example, the “Battle of Red Cliff” dish is matched with mountain scenery and flames, making diners feel as if they were on the ancient battlefield, so that people can enjoy art, acquire historical knowledge and improve the taste of eating.
In the long history of over 600 years, countless people of Bianyifang have continuously followed the pace of the times and devoted themselves to the ultimate pursuit of food, so that the Chinese food culture and traditional skills can be inherited, and Bianyifang, a century-old restaurant, still radiates youthful vitality.