When it comes to Vietnamese Food the first restaurant that comes to my mind is "Grand Duk" and when the delightful Amy (Hostess Extraordinaire) invited me back for the Duck Fat Chips tasting menu I didn't hesitate to say yes. The restaurant is in George Street, Sydney and has a wonderful outdoor dining area; usually full of office workers. Grand Duk is a Vietnamese restaurant, however there is a touch of French in the style of cuisine that makes it very interesting.
We started with Gỏi cuốn: One of the real staple foods of the Vietnamese culture. My favourite was the Soft Shell Crab. Other selections were Confit Duck Rice paper roll and Five Spice Tofu served with gorgeous dipping sauces. A great start to the extensive tasting menu on offer.
Selection of canapés:
Olive Crusted Lamb with Polenta Chip: Local Spring Lamb Crusted with a Olive Tapenade with flavours of the Mediterranean with Parmesan Crusted Polenta Chips
Yarra Valley Ocean Trout Gravalax Roulade with Dill Cream on Five Herb Crostini
Earthiness Beetroot and Dill Cured Trout rolled with Dill Cream on Grand Duk five herbs; beautiful fragrant herbs of South East Asia
Grand Duk never fails to impress me, and these canapés were a treat. The Beetroot Trout was my winner here with a nice combination of flavours. Little did I know this was just the beginning of an enormous amount of food to taste.
Our table was literally all Food Bloggers/Instagrammers (about 12 of us), except I don't class myself as a food blogger at all, I do however write on the experience of a restaurant; not as a critic.
Lemongrass Marinated Octopus hand with Quinoa Salad, Roasted Peppers and Nuoc Cham Dressing. Lemongrass is one of my favourite flavours in Vietnamese cooking and in this case made the octopus tender and tangy. When Quinoa first became fashionable I really didn't see what the fuss was about, these days I use it a lot in my own cooking as it is very versatile and I've made some great dishes with it.
Tuna Nicoise. This is a traditional French salad which comprises crunchy spring vegetables with Tuna. This was a fresh and delightful salad, with quail eggs, very fresh tuna and with an addition of Grand Duk "Duck Fat Chips" to give it a little crunch.
Five Herb Crusted Barramundi with courgette spaghettini & Citrus Nage. Grand Duk source their Barramundi from the region of Cone Bay. The Barramundi is coated with a 5 herb infused panko crust. The sauce is inspired from the southern region of France - north of Spain in the Mediterranean with a reduction of citrus juices with fish fumet and finished with a touch of cream. The Barramundi was sweet and the crust gave it a little bit extra interest. I'm not a big fan of cream sauces so just had a little taste of the sauce and concentrated on the fish.
Peking Duck Slider: The famous burger at Grand Duk served with their house made Duck Fat Chips. We were all hanging out for those chips by now! As I don't eat bread I didn't get to taste the slider fully, however my fellow bloggers were raving about this one. I tasted the duck which was tender, flavoursome and sweet. The duck is marinated in Vietnamese 'secret' herbs and spices served with Grand Duk's house made dressing and makes a fabulous dish of 'East meets West'.
As for the Duck Fat Chips; I have no words other than 'go try for yourself' at $8 for a basket of these tasty treats it's worth it. So wicked but who cares!
Magret De Canard: A French classic. The dish itself will is served medium rare to medium to avoid dryness of the meat, however no duck breast is complete without a crispy skin and that's what makes it so appetising. Served with a potato cake and sauté Asian mushroom and a rich Bordelaise sauce. The mushrooms made a great combination.
GD Espresso Crème Brulee with Mascarpone Crème: Rich with the aromatic flavours of nuts and the perfect balance of acidity and richness was the perfect end to a fabulous lunch.
Now off to find a personal trainer after all that feasting!
Deb was a guest of Grand Duk for this review along with other media/influencers. Thanks to Amy and her team for a delightful lunch. You can read our full DISCLAIMER here. I