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Duckee

This month’s culinary adventure showcases a Hangover Set of a sumptuous dinner prepared with quality wines

The latest addition to the vibrant dining scene in Causeway Bay is Duckee, a modern, upscale establishment billed as a Chinese gastrobar and restaurant – an intriguing appellation. We were there to preview Duckee’s special menu, titled Duckee’s Hangover Set, a special menu arrangement in which 8 classic Chinese dishes, mostly Shanghainese, are prepared using a curated selection of wines, several of which are also paired for drinking.

Tucked away in the basement of Lee Garden Three, a plush shopping complex, Duckee’s décor is Chinese contemporary, trendy and comfortable. Guests enter from the ground floor and descend into a spacious basement area that offers both a public dining section and private rooms. The restaurant’s ambience is friendly and welcoming – ideal for a social or family gathering.

Duckee serves mostly Shanghainese cuisine, with a contemporary twist. For its special tasting dinner, each of the meal’s eight courses is infused with a different quality Chinese wine, Chinese liquor or whisky. Some of the drinks are also paired with their respective courses.

The meal started with Sliced Duck Skin, Kaoliang (Sorghum) Osmanthus Pudding. Kaoliang, or sorghum, is a popular Chinese distilled liquor, consumed mostly in northern China, and Taiwan. Kaoliang is strong, with an alcohol content of between 38% and over 60%. The deep fried duck skin is crispy and tasty, and the modest infusion of kaoliang helps add a pleasant bite to the pudding. Drunken Whole Abalone came next and was a real treat.

Before cooking, the whole, succulent abalone is steeped in 20-year-old Huadiao, or Shaoxing wine, one of China’s best-known yellow wines, popular in the Jiangnan or lower Yangtze River area. The tenderised abalone meat tastes excellent, its flavour lightly sweetened by the huadiao wine.

Fried Prawns with Sweet Rice Wine is another triumph. It features large, succulent prawns, deep-fried in wine made from glutinous rice, another popular Chinese tipple. Two main courses arrived: Beer Duck, paired with Suntory Beer and Flaming Braised Pork Belly with Whisky, paired with Chita Single Grain Whisky. Both are classic Shanghainese dishes. The duck dish, in which chunks of juicy duck meat and garnish are braised in soy sauce and beer and served in a clay pot, is aromatic and flavourful. The braised pork belly is another old stalwart, renowned for its uber tender skin and fat layer that practically melts in your mouth. The Japanese malt whisky is always an excellent choice to accompany this pork specialty.

Sauteed Indian Lettuce & Egg came next, the stir fried vegetable, again lightly infused with Kaoliang, is subtle and refreshing. We wrapped up our meal with the ever-popular and delicious Xiao Long Bao, Huadiao Wine and Guo Jiao Sweet Osmanthus Cakes, a light and delightful dessert.

The special Hangover Set ($1,952 for 4 persons) also comes with Tea-based Sharing Cocktails (two pots).

The meal at Duckee, artfully blending alcohol and quality food, is a delicious and fun experience. We thoroughly enjoyed it and we are sure you will too. So, if you are in the mood for a happy gathering with quality food and excellent wines, be sure to give Duckee a try.■


 

Shop B01-B10, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Street,

 

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