If you can’t get enough of duck, Tan Bee Hong suggests you head for Duck n’ Such
SHARIFAH Nur Diyana had her first bite of Chinese roast duck in, of all places, London, and fell... in love. She was studying in the UK then and when she came back to Malaysia, she told her mum, Datin Nazneen Abdullah, about her new found enthusiasm for duck.
As there was a severe lack of restaurants that served halal duck dishes, Diyana as she is better known, thought she’d open one here.
Never one to do things in half measures, she and her mum flew to Beijing, China, to learn to roast duck. Along the way, they picked up a few other recipes too.
Finally, in July, Duck n’ Such opened with an impressive menu of ducky dishes that ran the gamut from Chinese to Malay and Western-style offerings.
NO QUACK JOB
I love the duck satay (RM20 for six). Skewers of well-marinated duck breast are offered with a delectable peanut dip. I usually avoid the dip, especially if the meat is well marinated but at Duck n’ Such, I make an exception as the sauce is fragrant with spices rather than being just sweet and peanut-y. So good in fact, I finish it up with the sides of ketupat, cucumber and onion.
Mexican quesadilla (RM15) comprises two tortillas stuffed with shredded duck, tomato slices, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato salsa and lots of cheese. The quesadilla is grilled and served hot, with the melting cheese just oozing out enticingly. Bite into it. Bite into the softness of the tortilla, then the crunch of lettuce and the richness of the duck.
Nazneen’s favourite is cheeky chilli con carne (RM18), a huge bowl of minced duck with onion, peppers and tomato with a pinch of cumin and whole kidney beans. Have fun scooping this on nacho chips.
There are three duck soups (RM12), including tom yam and salted vegetable, and a mushroom soup in the menu. Sichuan duck soup is a hot and sour offering with Sichuan vegetable, tofu and shredded duck breast. Hearty and satisfying.
Oriental herbal duck delight (RM16) is not listed under soup but a soup it is and deliciously nourishing. The chunks of duck are simmered slowly with herbs and mushroom.
ALL WRAPPED UP
Duck n’ Such offers two ducklicious wraps (RM42 for half duck). Diyana is proudest of her signature Peking duck wraps. She gives the dish a local twist with roti jala instead of flour pancakes. I place a piece of roti jala on a lettuce leaf and add thick slices of roast duck, scallion and cucumber. Top this with any or all of three sauces — sweet sambal, plum or hoisin — provided, for a satisfying munch.
Her mum prefers crispy aromatic duck wraps. These come with a variety of condiments, from raw garlic cloves and green chilli to lettuce and the three sauces as in Peking duck. While Peking duck is soft and tender, aromatic duck is shredded and crispy. Hard to decide which I like better.
But I notice a duck burger on the menu and halfway through the meal, I am surreptitiously planning a second visit.
HEARTY AND HEAVENLY
As Duck n’ Such has Western options, pasta is a good pick, with choices of tagliatelle, spaghetti and risotto. Tagliatelle alla carbonara (RM35) is spinach pasta coated in a rich, very creamy sauce (made with duck eggs), and topped with slices of roasted duck breast.
Or have rice with local duck dishes such as nyonya duck (or prawn) rendang (RM32). The rendang is served with rice, half a salted egg, fish crackers and a very sexy, fruity salsa with lots of pineapple and dragonfruit in it. But if you are expecting the usual rendang with kerisik in it, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, it’s more like a dry duck curry, sans kerisik. Flavoursome but not quite the rendang I am looking forward to.
There is also a red curry and a green curry, made with duck, of course.
If you think you’ve had enough of duck or are the only one in the group of family and friends who hate duck, don’t quack out. There are a number of chicken dishes, beef goulash, a rather tender NZ lamb shank with mashed potato and seafood such as pan-seared salmon fillet and squid stuffed with cheese and rice seasoned with herbs.
There are lunchtime specials of a starter, main course and dessert, with special prices for students and seniors.
Duck n’ Such
Ground floor, Hartamas Shopping Centre
Tel 03-6143 2286
10.30am to 10pm
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
Sri Hartamas, KL
Duck, duck and duck
Duck satay and Peking duck wraps
About RM20-RM25 per person
Shopping centre toilet