Food Bytes: Deconstructing The Recent ‘Duck-Is-The-New-Chicken’ Phenomenon That Has Hit Mumbai!

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A few years ago, if you’d asked your friendly neighbourhood Chinese restaurant if they had ‘Peking Duck’ on their menu, chances are that they’d probably stare at you like you had just made a detour from the loony bin straight to their premises. We as a race in India never really “did” duck, as it were. Never ever. We were the lovers of the ubiquitous chicken in all its myriad avatars, be it tandooried, buttered, chillied etc etc . Duck was considered weird, strange looking and even stranger tasting. I mean, hello! A bird that had red meat?

But all that changed a couple of years ago and today almost every self-respecting restaurant be it Chinese, Thai, German and even Indian has duck in some form or the other gracing its menu card. But one doesn’t need a degree in economics to make sense of the maxim that ‘supply is proportionately related to demand’. So, it’s obvious that were Mumbaikars are loving our little dalliance with the bird on our plates that has in the past been referenced by a quacky Donald Duck on our TV screens on Sunday mornings or as a symbol to highlight the very glaring shortcomings of a batsman playing our national obsession—cricket!
So, in no particular order are some of the city’s best duck preparations at restaurants that redefined the way we look at the flightless bird…

Peking DuckPeking Duck at China House
One the finest places to indulge your craving for Peking Duck has got to be China House at the Grand Hyatt, Vakola. The table side drama of slicing slivers of moist succulent duck meat and crispy skin and then enrobing them with soft pancakes, plum sauce and scallions batons is enough to send shivers down my spine as I type this. Full of umami flavour and crunch, this is a multi-sensory experience that has got to be tried to believe it. And thought the dish will easily set you back by Rs 2,250, it is an investment that will pay rich dividends. Trust me!
Where: Grand Hyatt, Western Express Highway, Anand Nagar, Santacruz East.
Contact: 022 66761149

Ped NoiPed Noi (Thai Roast Duck) at Thai Pavilion
Occupying primo position on the menu card, this wonderfully Thai roasted duck served on a bed of spinach is a classic Thai Pavilion dish that Chef Ananda Solomon has thankfully kept back even after the restaurant’s recent overhaul. Partnered with a side of steamed jasmine rice (khao hom mali) and a wonderfully unctuous dipping sauce, the fragrant and spice-redolent Ped Noi will have you coming back time and again to partake in its rich, dark meaty wonders.
Where: Vivanta by Taj President, 90, Cuffe Parade, Colaba.
Contact:  022 66650808

Duck SausageDuck Sausage at Imbiss
You have certainly heard of pork sausages. You’ve definitely tried a chicken sausage and you might have even heard of veal sausages. But a duck sausage? Well, yes. The meat lovers paradise—Imbiss does a mean duck sausage (Rs 225) that is perfect along with a side of sauerkraut and creamy mashed potatoes. While the taste of the meat in a sausage is generally lost due to over processing, the duck sausage served here retains the rich, almost iron-y taste of the red duck meat, lending to the dish tons and tons of rich concentrated flavour.
Where: 3, Pipewala Building, 4th Pasta Lane, Colaba.
Contact: 022 22020455

Tandoori DuckTandoori Duck at Punjab Grill
Taking a very bold departure from the rather pedestrian tandoori chicken by offering a tandoori duck (Rs 1,200), this standalone restaurant makes good of this gamble by producing a stellar dish. The master chefs here marinate a Barbary duck in citrus and saffron along with yogurt resulting in a moist piece of heaven on your plate, best chased with a roolmali roti and some thick black dal.
Where: 3rd Floor, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Contact: 022 30932030

A few pictures of the dishes may be for representational purposes only.
Pics courtesy: www.laurustravel.com, www. yelp.com, www.saveurdujour.com and www.pimlicospice.co.uk

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.