As a pioneer of Kingston Foreshore, The Wild Duck has been treating Canberrans to the very best of Chinese and South-East Asian cuisine since 2012. In one of the city’s most beautiful dining rooms, diners can experience stunning food, rare and exciting wines and professional service that has seen to restaurant collect so many awards.
The menu focuses on cuisines across China and throughout South-East Asia. Wild Duck resists the urge to toy with the recipes, rather relying on authentic flavours and skilled technique to create a stunning dining experience.
To start, there are plenty of entrees to share around the table. A great choice is the Lamb Shank with Golden Sands. The delicious crunch of shallots, garlic and sesame may look like a batter, but it’s much lighter and delicate than what you’d expect.
The richness of the lamb – which has been stewed in master stock – is a great foil for the crust. Served in lettuce cups, there’s no reason not to eat with your hands (similar to a San Choy Bau).
Much like their namesake monks, the Shaolin Tofu Puffs. Light, airy and exploding with flavour. Alongside these is a serving of tofu marinated in cinnamon caramelised to bring a sweet punch of which the monks would have been proud.
The third major part of the dish is a single piece of untreated, silky tofu. This element sits in a soy sauce and provides a simple, cool contrast to the dish.
For the meat-eaters, Xinjiang Lamb Skewers is the perfect snack – originating from the great traditions of Chinese street food. The key ingredient is the quality of the lamb and the pure simplicity of the dish.
The cumin and the chillies add the necessary complexity for the palate, but at the end of the day we’re really only talking about four ingredients that deliver a rewarding experience for those looking to sample the famous style of lamb.
Oh, and the Peking Duck? How could you not order this classic? Enough said.
For main, there is a stunning vegetarian offering that will be the star of any dinner at Wild Duck. Dragon Cut Baby Eggplant rears up from a bed of crispy noodles as though it is ready to strike. The dragon’s fire comes from the addition of a chilli sauce of garlic and vinegar – that is as tasty as it is visually impressive.
It’s always great to see a chef that knows how to use restraint as an essential component of a dish. At Wild Duck, the talented kitchen team refuses to overload dishes with distracting and unnecessary ingredients. It brings a certain purity to dining that is so rarely experienced.
This carries through to other main options such as theCrispy Xiang Su Duck. Again, diners are presented with high-quality, confit organic marylands cooked to perfection. Given the importance of duck to Chinese cooking – as well as the restaurant’s name – it’s befitting that the dish receives such royal treatment. The results speak for themselves.
This is just a small selection of what is on offer. With a range of small and large private rooms, and a gorgeously-decorated main dining this is a restaurant for any kind of celebration! After experiencing a meal bursting with skill and flavour, it’s clear that Wild Duck is the jewel in the crown of Canberra’s Chinese restaurants.