by CHEFS GALLERY
Words by Daria Kill-Smith
Images Courtesy of Holy Duck!/Cardinal Spin & Daria Kill-Smith.
Les petits was the theme for the night, beginning in the little lanes of Chippendale – once a grungy centre of Sydney, now a trendy hub for inner city occupants, uni students, and hipsters too hip to eat at home. L’etiole accompanied me on this tasting and she was warned – leave your inner vegan at the door for there will be no room at the table for edible-consciousness – the bounty of the Holy Duck! promised meat, meat, and more meat, and it did not disappoint. Duck, steamed in a dumpling, roasted whole (sans bone if desired), or crisply filling a pancake, joined short-ribbed roast beef and stir fried wagyu, alongside double-cooked, roasted or barbecued pork – which included two types of crispy crackling for the true adventurers. For those preferring the white-meat option, there was the choice of whole spring or Sichuan-style chicken; crustacea in the form of spanner crab, steamed scallops or butterflied king prawns; and two types of fish – steamed orange roughy or fish of the day.
L’etoile and I decided to try our hands at as many taste dishes as we could and started with, what else, duck – encased in light and crispy spring rolls with the shining balance of mushroom and vegetable; that perfectly offset the special entree of the day, deep-fried spanner crab wontons with dipping sauce. We were mindful not to forget the lighter option of steamed scallops, although each of our dishes maintained the healthy food pyramid with the inclusion of micro-greens: alfalfa sprouts with sesame seeds, snow-pea shoots, and zucchini discs with smooth golden garlic and crunchy fried millet! We finished with crispy rice balls heaped with what else – duck – plus rocket, radish and red cabbage salad which was drenched in a sweet dressing; and fiery Sichuan Hot & Numbing Chicken – fat little pieces of wings with hidden heat bombs of Sichuan peppercorns and whole dried chilli. But L’etoile required a non-meat protein and we ordered a serving of Handmade Salt & Pepper Egg & Spinach Tofu – AMAZINGLY smooth and creamy and topped with coriander leaves and fresh chilli – and unanimously voted as the dish of the evening.
Sadly, we missed full platters of barbeque and roasted meats, and were loathe to order a dessert neither of us could finish, but the sight of those dishes being served to fellow diners didn’t need tasting to know the verdict would be none other than delicious. Les petits morsels and a reasonably priced menu – little wonder the Holy Duck! is a popular venue.
**Daria is a Sydney writer with a palate for tempting food and tasty events!
The Old Rum Store
2-10 Kensington St
Chippendale NSW 2008
Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Hospitality/Events
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