If you know DS, you’ll know he loves duck. It’s definitely in his top 5 favourite foods. So, naturally, we got very excited when Matt from Cardinal Spin invited us to check out the new dinner menu at Holy Duck! in Chippendale!
The restaurant has been around for quite some time, actually. Everyone that I mentioned it to was like, “Oh! That places does awesome fries and burgers!” None of that for us, unfortunately – Holy Duck! is stepping its dinner menu up with some modern versions of classic Chinese dishes!
I was lucky enough to be seated next to Kensington Street CEO Marcus Chang who, it turns out, is a halfie like me! We spent the night enjoying the food and chatting away about life as halfies. He’s also super into food so we salivated over each dish together. Each dish was also introduced by Dr Stanley Quek, the Chairman & Founder of Frasers Property Australia (the overall owners of Kensington Street). Sure, he’s the big boss, but he cared so much about Holy Duck! and the food there! His enthusiasm was seriously infectious.
We started with Holy Duck!‘s signature dish: Signature crispy duck served with steamed Mandarin pancakes, hoisin sauce, cucumber and shallots. This isn’t Peking duck, nor is it roast duck. It deep fried, and then the meat is expertly flaked off at your table. Extremely enjoyable and an excellent starter.
We then had some share plate entrees. First up were two dishes served with some salad – this puts the ‘modern’ into this Chinese food. I didn’t find the Crispy rice balls with roast Holy Duck! and seasonal salad very inspiring…but the Spanner crab with salmon roe, wild rocket, granny smith apple and seasoned seaweed salad was very tasty. This, in my mind, is kind of Chinese food for white people – LOL!
Our final entree was the Double cooked pork belly flash fried with black beans and chilli, served with mustard sauce. It’s not a very spicy dish at all, actually. Unfortunately pork belly has a tendency to become a little tough if not cooked in the right way. I found this dish a little chewy and would’ve liked the black bean flavour to stand out a little more.
Next up (yes, we really did have a feast!) were the meats. A Roast and BBQ meats platter with roast Holy Duck!, sticky BBQ char siu pork and crispy crackling roast pork belly was served to our table. My favourite was definitely the pork belly – can’t get past that crackling!
We then moved on to sharing plate mains. As if we hadn’t had enough food yet! The mains were definitely meat-heavy, which isn’t surprising. We enjoyed the Roast beef short ribs, jalapeno puree, green shallot kimchi and soy glaze. As Dr. Quek explained to us, beef short ribs aren’t traditionally on the menu at a Chinese restaurant. Again, we’re seeing the ‘modern’ influence. This was followed by the Crispy whole spring chicken with ginger, coriander, shallot, chilli and garlic, sweet & sour sauce. Chicken is a must on every Chinese restaurant’s menu!
We took a break from the meat with the Stir fried seasonal vegetables. Quite a simple dish, but you don’t need anything more. We jumped straight back into the duck which featured in the fried rice dish: Roast Holy Duck! fried rice with asparagus and mustard seeds. Is it weird that this was my favourite dish?! I definitely have a soft spot for fried rice. I love the added texture and bite from the mustard seeds, great addition to a traditional dish!
However, the main that everyone was looking forward to most was the King Prawn on ee-fu noodles cooked in lobster bisque, garnished with butter, ginger, shallots and asparagus. This dish definitely reminded me of the buttery noodles you get with lobster at Chinese restaurants sometimes. I don’t even like prawns but this dish was irresistible!
Finally, we got to the desserts. We were absolutely stuffed by this time but everyone’s got a second stomach for dessert, right?! We were served an incredible dessert of White chocolate cheesecake stack with salted duck egg caramel. Yes, the duck theme even makes it into the desserts! I loved this dessert. I’m a sucker for cheesecake and this dessert definitely hit the spot. Then we also got a giant platter of Vanilla ice cream with matcha crepes, banana fritters and adzuki beans. This is a big one so I’d recommend you share!
Wow – what a meal! Huge thanks to Cardinal Spin for inviting us. We seriously enjoyed the meal and can’t wait to come back for more duck!
The Old Rum Store
2-10 Kensington Street
Disclaimer: talk&spoon and DS were invited to dine at Holy Duck! with thanks to Matt at Cardinal Spin.