London: Duck & Rice

Earlier this year, we celebrated our friend’s 40th birthday at the newly opened Duck & Rice in London. Conceived by the Michelin star restaurateur, Alan Yau, as a “Chinese gastropub”, Duck & Rice’s menu offers classic Cantonese fare in an upscale and trendy pub setting. Having previously dined at Hakkasan and Yauatcha, two other brainchild restaurants of Alan Yau that have since been sold, I was very excited to try the newest addition to his restaurant empire.
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetTheD+R_interior_9977TheD+R_interior_0067I grew up eating Chinese food in a city with an abundance of fantastic and inexpensive Chinese food options; so am naturally predisposed to being skeptical about Asian food served in an uber trendy restaurant and charged at twice the price. To our surprise, we really enjoyed the meal. Wasabi prawns was my favourite dish; not a classic Cantonese dish but really spot on in terms of flavour and texture.
IMG_7479Some of the other dishes we particularly enjoyed included Kung Po Chicken,
1IMG_7483Jasmine Smoked Pork Ribs,
1IMG_7482and the classic Sweet and Sour Pork.
1IMG_7478We topped off the evening with a sampling of desserts. My favourite was the Mango Pomelo Sago. It reminded me of the mango, coconut and lychee sago I enjoyed from local street vendors in Hong Kong when I worked as a student intern many moons ago. As I ate the mango pomelo sago, I had a flashback of walking through the streets of Causeway Bay at night and picking up the refreshing snack for a reprieve from the unrelenting Hong Kong summer heat.
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetOn a related note, last weekend, Mr. Inspired Host and I enjoyed a double date with our neighbours at Dailo on College St. in Toronto. Dailo’s “new Asian cuisine”, inspired by traditional Chinese fare, reminded us of our night out at Duck & Rice. Similar to London, it’s great to see Toronto chefs leveraging the city’s diversity in its cuisine.

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