Duck has been the unsung jewel in a poultry’s crown. Mostly, conspicuous by its absence in mainstream menus, it shines brightly when put in celebration fare across cuisines. Diners rhapsodise about the duck often, not least because it comes with a delicate gamey flavour and dark meat. Brilliant when roasted, confited or braised, the bird can take centre stage in any meal, at any time of the day. So, allow it to take a bow, even as it finds its home at both fine dining establishments and hipster hotspots.
Even as Varq, Taj Mahal, New Delhi’s modern Indian fine dining restaurant completes a decade in business, a new menu celebrating seasonality and healthfulness has been launched. Making its dramatic presence felt here is the Duck Confit, its unctuous flavours pairing beautifully with the nippy weather. The dish is served as a five-spiced duck leg, glistening golden on a white platter, and accompanied with pan-seared breast with caramelised onion-quinoa pulao.
Duck Confit - Price: INR 2550, plus taxes
At AnnaMaya, in Andaz, duck salvation comes to you as Pulled Duck Salad. However, even if the star ingredient is a duck, it shines in the company of refreshing grapefruit, greens from Tijara Organic Farm and mixed cashew nuts.
Pulled Duck Salad - Price: Rs 780
Imagination and execution are married on the table at Olive Bar & Kitchen, where the Peking Duck Leg Pithivier is just the thing to order. It is pulled confit duck leg baked in a crispy puff and is served with spice-crusted rendered duck breast, a garnish of parsnip puree, pickled parsnips and fermented kale syrup in jus.
Peking Duck Leg Pithivier - Price: Rs 1500, plus taxes
Sorrento, which has been the toast of the capital’s diners for its meticulous iterations of Italian cuisine, has paid homage to the duck through the Skillet Roasted Mallard Duck Breast. The bird is served with heirloom parsnips, raisin mostarda (fruit relish) and chestnut puree.
Skillet Roasted Mallard Duck Breast - Price: Rs 2295, plus taxes
Duck literacy is heightened at the Fatty Bao with duck spring rolls where crispy rolls are stuffed to the brim with slow-cooked duck, plum and hoisin sauces, as well as shreds of carrots and coriander. There is more in store in the form of the Fatty Bao Duck Pizza where roasted duck comes to you on a crispy tortilla base, along with iceberg lettuce, ponzu and spicy mayonnaise.
Duck Spring Rolls - Price: INR 425, plus taxes
Fatty Bao Duck Pizza - Price: INR 495, plus taxes
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.
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