Now open: Holy Duck in Castlecrag
The newly re-vamped Quadrangle Shopping Village in Castlecrag is set to become one of lower North Shore’s hottest foodie destinations with all the exciting developments taking place. Two of Kensington Street much loved restaurants have already opened their doors. Bistro Mekong the sister restaurant of Mekong and Holy Duck are now in full swing serving their specialised menu that is sure to please one and all.
This is my second trip to the Quadrangle, just a few months ago, I attended the launch of Bistro Mekong and just recently I was invited again for a full sit-down dinner to try out Holy Duck’s offerings.
On arrival, a thirst-quenching cocktail was served, a mixed of HD Royale Martini balanced with organic honey and pink grapefruit Paloma, a refreshing, light and fruity drink perfect as a point of conversation with other guests including Marcus Chang the CEO of Kensington St who shared the table with us.
At the entrance, the prominent Holy Duck signage with glowing globes will welcome you along with the classic duck neon sign. The main dining room is an open space with simple and clean deco, a mixture of versatile table settings that can be transformed to cater for larger groups. Contrasting to the white table cloths, are the bright signature orange serviettes and gold tipped chopsticks which added a pleasing tone.
The tasting dishes were served in stages with choices of Holy Duck’s own wine label and beer as an accompaniment to the meal.
The first dish to arrive was a mixture of steamed dim sum served in a bamboo steamer. It came in pairs; prawn har gow, vegetable dumplings, chicken siu mai and prawn and chive dumplings. These delicately flavoured bite-size Chinese staples were silky and translucent along with the siu mai with savoury filling. The accompanying sauce gave a spicy hint and a pleasant topping to the dim sum.
Platter of house specialty was the second dish to arrive, this dish allows you to sample a unique mix of flavours of roast duck, char siu (BBQ Pork) and crispy roast pork belly. Shiny golden brown skin, the roast duck was moist. The other duo, bbq pork and crispy roast pork belly were succulent tender jam-packed with umami flavour and the crackling was light and crunchy.
My wine of choice was the Holy Duck’s red which went down well without overpowering the dishes.
The highlight of the evening was the Holy Duck’s signature dish, duck served with steamed pancakes, hoisin sauce, cucumber and shallots. I must admit that I’m a big fan of this unique approach to a duck dish. The skin is so crispy and the meat literally falls off the bone. It requires assembling as below: (watch the video)
- Shred all the duck meat by using two forks.
- Place pancake on your plate.
- Spread the hoisin sauce on the pancake then add cucumber and spring onion.
- Add a generous serve of both soft meat and crispy skin.
- Fold both sides of the pancake over.
- Use your hands to eat and savour every bite of this delectable holy duck!
Polishing the bones to claim every bit of meat is another way of finishing off this dish.
Another stellar dish on the table was the all time favourite san choi bao served with yellow pickle, chilli, basil and crispies. Chicken was the main ingredient of this version, overall it was appealing to the tastebuds. Cos lettuce was sturdy and well-sized for folding in all the delicious fillings.
At this stage, I was already getting full and another pair arrived, glossy and bright green stir fried vegetables along with a serving of fried rice with mustard seeds. The rice was light and filling, a perfect combination to the veggies. One thought while devouring this pair was I should have saved the rich juice from the specialty platter, it would have been a nice add-on to the fried rice, oh well it’s a very Asian taste I guess.
How did we finish off the meal? A sweet note of banana and chocolate spring roll served with slices of strawberry. It was served warm with golden crunchy pastry drizzled with chocolate. What a dessert!
So whether you’re in the heart of the city or across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, why not duck in to Holy Duck and enjoy their traditional and modern Chinese style offerings!
The Quadrangle Shopping Village 100 Edinburgh Rd Castlecrag NSW 2068 Tel 9958 3288
The Old Rum Store Kensington Street 2-10 Kensington St. Chippendale NSW 2008 Tel 9281 0090
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