Beijing Duck in Suzhou: Hua Chi 88

Widely recognized for serving the best duck around, Hyatt’s Made in China takes great care in every step of duck production, from how the birds are raised to their arrival on your plate. The result is a duck that looks healthy and tastes light and delicious, with extremely juicy skin.

With a seven-ton brick oven imported from Beijing firing up succulent roast duck, it’s no wonder that the birds at Hua Chi 88 are so popular in Suzhou. Thanks to the open kitchen, diners can marvel at the crispy, thin-skinned fowl roasting over a bed of red dates and green apple wood.

RMB 288 per duck includes pancakes, cucumber, spring onion, garlic, sugar, duck sauce and the restaurant’s unique duck soup. Once the freshly-baked duck is served, the chef comes to your table and cut it into delicious parts. We were advised to eat the crispy skin right away to ensure we could appreciate its full flavor. Next up to try was the lean meat, which went well with the garlic dip. After that, it was time for the classic duck wrap!

While the duck is certainly the star of the restaurant, it’s worth noting that the place serves other excellent Chinese dishes. Whatever the dish, the focus is on fresh and seasonal ingredients. We highly recommend a few light Suzhou dishes to accompany the duck.

One of our favorites is sautéed fresh water shrimps with biluochun tea, a great spring/summer dish typical of Suzhou cuisine. Braised turnip with black truffle is also recommended. The light-flavored truffle from Yunnan brings out the flavors of the local turnip, which is produced on the farm by Taihu lake.

The chefs at Hua Chi are innovative when it comes to dessert. They’ve come up with western style desserts made with some Chinese ingredients. The idea of fermented bean curd cheese (cheese cake with a little preserved beancurd inside) may put you off, but it looks and tastes good without being too greasy.

The dining area is modern and elegant with a touch of Suzhou traditional elements, an ideal place to bring guests. We recommend you bring a group of 6-8 to sample their succulent duck, well-made Suzhou dishes, and innovative desserts.

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