Monday, July 16, 2012

Pop in to The Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen

Aside from home, it's great to have places where you can just pop in and feel comfortable, as if you were at home. The Duck Inn Pub in Chippendale is surprisingly one of those places.

Post recent renovations it no longer feels like a pub at all but rather someone's house - where the interiors are low-key but inviting, and where its warmth on a clear winter's day is more welcoming than the blue but cold skies outside.

Devil's Corner pinot noir and mulled cider at The Duck Inn, Rose Street, Chippendale
The bar doesn't feel like a pub bar, but there are plenty of beers on tap including some boutique brews. The area around the bar feels like a living room, and there are couches by the faux bookshelf and other homely furnishings.

Around the restaurant side, especially closer to the windows where we've scored a table, it feels like a sunroom with views out into the outdoor seating (or backyard).

It's a great place for a group to sit, drink and catch up noisily, which is what most tables seemed to be doing. A mug of spicy mulled cider is made for winter days like this, but I'm finding red wine to be my long-haul drink of choice these days.

Charcuterie board with pancetta, Danish salami, jamon, cornichons,
onion jam and sourdough
There's plenty to tempt on the menu at The Duck Inn kitchen and the friendly waitresses didn't even seem to mind that we were too busy chatting to make food choices. We managed eventually and barely noticed the time that passed before food started to arrive.

The charcuterie board was particularly generous with toasted sourdough but the jamon was cut too thick while the salami was a little pedestrian. The ample cornichons, onion jam and seeded mustard kept things interesting.

Roast pumpkin salad with rocket, goat's cheese, toffee walnuts and honey balsamic
Also from the entree menu was this epic-sized rocket salad with plenty of roast pumpkin cubes and crumbled goat's cheese. The toffee coated walnuts worked a treat with the goat's cheese, as too the sweet honey balsamic dressing.

Roasted eggplant ravioli with sage butter, Castel Blue and walnut crumbs
While hearty mains were the order of the day, I defied the urge to follow suit with the Sunday roast and went out on a limb for the ravioli.

Looking nothing like a pub meal, the fresh ravioli filled with roasted eggplant was strewn with greens, pumpkin and bits of blue cheese. The pasta was lovely and al dente although the filling could have had a better impact with more seasoning.

Lamb and rosemary sausage with creamy mash, capsicum marmalata and minted jus
I adore bangers and mash, especially when the mashed potato is super creamy and luxe as it was here. The quality, meaty sausages were pure comfort with the mash, while the capsicum marmalata sauce lifted the dish out of the home kitchen.

Posh chicken and truffle pie with creamy mash, pea puree and dark ale jus
I'd heard about the deconstructed pies at The Duck Inn, but not a creamy chicken and truffle version. While the mash, peas and jus were well presented, I'm not sure the chicken filling benefited from its deconstructed presentation.

Being a bit of a pastry fiend, I'm not sure deconstructed pies are my cup of tea but I can see the appeal for the carb-conscious (mash aside).

Roast lamb shoulder, creamy mash, carrot and vanilla puree, turnip fritter, sauteed
cavalo nero with peas and bacon, ale jus
The mammoth serves of the Sunday roast special pretty much blew all the other dishes out of the water. A huge hunk of lamb shoulder, with bone in and roasted dark, dominated the plate and subsequently, stomachs.

Not only was the meltingly soft lamb gorgeously rich, the dish included the creamy mash, a flavoursome ale jus and vegetables turned somewhat naughty; that is, deep fried into a turnip fritter and tastily cooked with bacon.

Dessert platter: chocolate brownie with clotted cream and raspberry sauce
and vanilla creme brulee
With thanks to PEPR Publicity, The Duck Inn had arranged for a couple of dessert platters to share amongst our group, although I don't think this is on their usual menu. The nut-studded chocolate brownie was an excellent rendition and even had some kind of praline-like crunch and sweetness within.

The creme brulee was easily the best I've had all year. A cracking toffee top covered a vanilla-fragrant custard that was just textbook in flavour and texture - heaven in a ramekin.

We lingered over glasses of wine and schooners of cider in the restaurant until families and kids started to arrive for their early dinner bookings. We'd popped in for lunch and almost made it to dinner, which is a good sign that The Duck Inn could easily become my new second home.

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen on Urbanspoon


joey@FoodiePop said...

This is definitely a great newbie to frequent when going to shows at The Seymour.

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

Wow. Just wow - the food looks amazing here. From the looks of the food, I definitely wasn't expecting that to come from something called a bar. Then again I love suprises! :D

chocolatesuze said...

holy moly the lamb shoulder looks insanely good!

gastronomous anonymous said...

looks like they have changed their menu and the lamb shoulder looks amazing!!!

Kiki @ simplykiki said...

I've been here!!! :D the desserts are insanely good!

john@heneedsfood said...

Yup, go the red wine. I'm in for the long haul as well. Loving the sound of the eggplant ravioli but pity it wasn't well seasoned.

tastyfoodsnaps said...

the Roasted eggplant ravioli sounds awesome!

Chompchomp said...

Gorgeous shots! The lamb looks so tender and tasty. And lets be honest...nothing beats a well made brulee ..yummo

Richard Elliot said...

I went to the Duck in back in late Jan / early Feb. It certainly has great decor and atmosphere. Somewhere that you can definitely imagine being your local.

I thought the menu was a bit confused when I was there. A mix of traditional pub meals and some more gastro efforts. It was all a bit dis-jointed for me and didn't completely work in terms of value and execution.

I've heard things hav echanged a bit recently and this is better. Just a shame I can't go back to try it out!

penny aka jeroxie said...

This place looks really good! Will have to check it out

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

The servings there are mammoth aren't they! :O I was so surprised when I saw them. It's great value for money.

SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) said...

Love the sound of the mulled wine and all that lovely rib-sticking pub food. Wonder if they'll do a lighter menu once the weather warms up?

Vivian - vxdollface said...

That salad looks really delicious! Might make that for lunch next week :) i love healthy food ideas hehe. Definitely not pub-like at all, seems more of a bistro style

Tina said...

Hi joey - Agreed, but also fabulous for random Sunday lunches :)

Hi Tina - It'sdefinitely one of the least pub-by pubs I've been to!

Hi suze - It was, I was so jealous of half the table that ordered it!

Hi Kiki - Judging by the brûlée we tried, I agree!

Hi John - I'm all about the beer, cider and fruity cocktails in winter, but only red will do in winter.

Hi tastyfoodsnaps - Doesn't it just? A very unique and enticing pasta it was.

Hi Chompchomp - Thanks, life's a bit easier on sunny weekends at the pub :)

Hi Richard - It does have an in-between feel about it but so easy to just spend hours drinking and eating ;)

Hi Penny - Indeed, it's a lovely day out.

Hi Lorraine - Yeah, it's nice to have a good value local :)

Hi SarahKate - I wondered the same, but I'm sure they will. There were even some lighter dishes when we went but most went for the winter warmers ;)

Hi Vivian - Yes, the walnuts were a nice new touch on a common salad - hope yours is scrummy too!

Sarah@eateatplay said...

Been wanting to go here for ages!!! Everything looks amazing!



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