Well aren’t we lucky ducklings? There are not many times we recommend you to dine alone, but this place may just bring out the ugly duckling in you.
One of our Kensington street favourites, Holy Duck has dialed it up another notch thanks to trendsetting chef Neo Ni (ex Billy Wong and Lotus Dumpling Bar) and Daniel Hu, (Singapore’s Le Saint Julien) whose creativity and execution delivers dishes which would be three times the price for this standard – its quackers!
They are kicking off with a regional dinner series which will focus on a different province of China starting with Sichuan (March), Cantonese (Apr/May), Hunan (June/July) and finally Shanghainese (Aug/Sept)
The series will offer up a select number of specially curated dishes that highlight the distinct characteristics of the region’s food. The first menu is inspired by Sichuan with our favourite being lightly battered shrimp, stir fried with dry long chillies, Sichuan pepper, celery and broad-bean sauce ($28) and stir fired green beans, chicken mince, yellow pickles and shallots ($19).
You can’t miss the light bulb installation ‘HOLY DUCK!’ sign nor the impressive street scene mural with cartoon white geese wandering the streets. The open plan front prep doubles as a culinary art gallery thanks to the rows of hanging roast ducks.
The normal favourites are still there – the duck and pork dumplings – a bowl of delicate flavours doused in a perfectly balanced Shanghainese sauce of black vinegar, soy sauce, chili and sesame oil. Crispy rice balls are a better version of arancini and all the better for it. Devilish spheres are crispy on the outside with an unctuous sticky rice centre. Topped with a citrus herb salad, walnuts, edible flowers and drizzled with a caramel sauce – its unmissable but easily overlooked on the menu.
Of course dont leave without: DUCK! If you can’t decide between roast duck or crispy duck, let us make up your minds; go ‘Crispy’. Six hours of steaming, its then deep fried and served at your table by your waiter who uses two forks to break through the crispy skin to leave you to the fun part – creating a duck pancake masterpiece.
Twelve pieces of roast pork belly has the best crispy crackling you’ll find in Sydney. Simply dunk in Pommery mustard sauce and it’s the perfect poppable morsel. Delicate salt and pepper egg and spinach tofu is handmade. Add a serve of delicious Holy Duck fried rice asparagus with mustard seeds and this is one food coma you never want to wake up from.
You may have gracefully glided into this spot like a swan but we are pretty sure you will be converted until a happy waddler. Yes we are lucky ducks indeed.
The Old Rum Store
2-10 Kensington Street