After two of its restaurants sadly closed last year, Enoteca Group has returned with a brand new concept on Staunton Street called The Drunken Duck. Whilst still maintaining the sharing ethos, The Drunken Duck offers British gastropub-style food with an Asian twist.
With stripped interiors, exposed columns, worn leather and lots of wood, the space is meant to resemble a tavern where travellers gather to eat and drink. It has a shabby-chic, comfortable look and feel to it where you can easily while away hours on end.
Heading the kitchen team is British chef David Tamlyn, whose background includes working at several Michelin-starred restaurants including Pied à Terre and The Square in London. His menu offers the sort of dishes you’d expect to find in a traditional British pub, such as pork pies, scotch eggs and apple crumble, yet each with a notable Asian influence.
Whilst browsing the menu, we nibbled on some caramelised popcorn with chilli flakes and bacon bits that set the meal up nicely and went very well with a refreshing glass of cider. Annoyingly, however, Hong Kong’s humidity meant that, although the popcorn started nice and crunchy, by the time we reached the bottom of the bag, it was already a little stale.
The Drunken Duck terrine consisted of duck and char siu pressed together to form a delicious yet crumbly terrine, paired with Zhenjiang black vinegar onion chutney that went down an absolute treat.
Scotch eggs are not something I eat very often, yet when I see them on a menu I am always drawn to them. Here, the ‘Thai Thai’ scotch egg might actually be one of the best I’ve ever had. Instead of the usual layer of sausage meat, this one had a scrumptious Thai-style minced pork with lemongrass and spices, similar to what you get on one of those Thai pork sugarcane skewers. To top it all off, the egg was perfectly cooked with a nice runny yolk.
The roasted lamb and mint dumplings can either be steamed or fried – we were recommended to have them steamed, as they are similar to xiao long bao. If you enjoyed the lamb dumplings at Cicada, these are even better, served with a tasty roasted vine tomato momo dip.
We couldn’t go to The Drunken Duck without sampling the Drunken Duck! So we ordered a quarter between the two of us, which was actually a pretty generous amount. Having been marinated in five spice, and then roasted with a can of Tsing Tao beer (hence the name) in a traditional duck roasting oven, it had an unusual yet satisfying flavour. In fact, I prefered the duck on its own to with the hoisin sauce, which was overpoweringly sweet. My only complaints, however, are firstly that the skin wasn’t particularly crispy, and secondly that the pancakes were cut into quarters, which made them quite awkward to wrap.
For dessert, we sampled the caramelised banana tart, which proved to be a kind of love-it-or-hate-it dessert – thankfully I was the lover and I enjoyed the sticky sweetness of it all, paired with even sweeter condensed milk.
Feedback from friends who visited the same night we did, is that we seem to have ordered well, as apparently not all traditional pub dishes work with an Asian twist. The ones we tried, however, were mostly delicious, the service was excellent and prices were pretty reasonable (we paid $1000 total including three rounds of drinks). I’ve always liked the Enoteca Group restaurants and found The Drunken Duck to be a welcome addition to Soho. Next time I’m going back for the Thai red curry pie!
P.S. rumour has it Cicada is reopening soon… $30 lychee bellinis anyone?!
The Drunken Duck
G/F, 44 Staunton Street
Tel: +852 2803 0050