Holy ducking hell, this was good.
I’ve often passed by HOLY DUCK! on my way through to Spice Alley for lunch during the week. For those of you who haven’t been to Spice Alley yet, you’re seriously missing out. It’s basically a little street out the back in Chippendale, to the left of Central Park. In this street (Kensington Street), you’ll find the most wonderful Asian cuisine, ranging from Thai and Vietnamese to Malaysian and Singaporean. The alley only accepts cards, and there are little spots to eat in the once-habited townhouses along the alley. The man behind Spice Alley is Dr Stanley Quek, who is also the property developer behind Central Park.
Now, back to HOLY DUCK!
Dr Stanley Quek teamed up with Kaisern Cheng, the creator of Chefs Gallery to create HOLY DUCK!, a restaurant that focuses mostly on the beautiful and diverse tastes that duck dishes can bring. This month, they have relaunched with a new menu, which we were lucky enough to be invited to try. “We wanted to create a modern Chinese restaurant, where East meets West,” explained Dr Quek, “The Chinese eat by sharing, it’s very important. So tonight, we’ll be sharing.” And so, this is what we shared:
Crispy rice balls with roast Holy Duck! & seasonal salad
The only way I can best describe these is to compare it to another type of dish: arancini balls, where rice is made into a ball, coated in crumbs, and deep fried. The sweet chilli sauce on the side made for a perfect dressing ($12).
BBQ & roast platter Roast Holy Duck!, char siu & pork belly
Whilst I don’t eat pork, the duck in the middle was so good. Paired with a traditional plum sauce, as well as a sauce that I can only compare to apricot sauce, it made for a great main ($45).
Crispy duck served with 8 steamed pancakes, orange hoisin sauce,
cucumber & shallots
Drool. As we were about to dig in, our host Dr Stanley Quek, informed us that we would be shown how to properly take apart the crispy duck. I had assumed (wrongly) that the right way to do it is to just cut off bits and pieces in a formal manner. Nope. Instead, you need to crack the crispy top, and then attack it with your knife and fork and shred the meat. Plenty of hoisin sauce, shallots, cucumber, and duck, neatly folded into steamed pancakes. I have never had a duck as crispy as this one! (whole $60, half $35, quarter $20).
Roast beef short ribs with jalapeño puree, green shallot kimchi, soy glaze
Easily my favourite thing on the menu. The meat fell apart on my fork, and fell apart again as soon as it hit my mouth. Flavours such as soy and maple syrup were present, which was pretty interesting and extremely tasty ($36).
Matcha crepe & banana fritters with vanilla ice cream and Adzuki beans
I. Love. Banana. Fritters. Who can say no to deep-friend slices of banana? Paired with matcha crepes that were light and delicate, as well as bean paste, it made for a nice light dessert ($15).
White chocolate cheesecake stack with salted duck egg caramel
More like a shortbread stack than a cheesecake, but I still absolutely loved it. And I seriously love how they managed to find a way to sneak a duck egg into the dessert, in the form of salted duck egg caramel (which tasted fantastic). A lot heavier than the matcha pancakes, but well worth it ($12).
These are just some of the many new additions to the dinner menu, so head over for a great meal, and remember to share!
The F Diaries was invited by Cardinal Spin to try the new menu. All of the above are my own thoughts.
10/2 Kensington St, Chippendale
Mon-Sun: 11am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm