On a Friday night, J and I decided to go out for dinner somewhere North-side. I picked the Ducks Nuts in Dickson (mainly because they have Peking duck fries!) which opened a few months ago replacing the old O’Neil’s pub on the main street. We got there at about 7pm and the place was chockers. We were advised to hang around and get a drink to wait for the next available table. Luckily there was only a 15 minute wait before our waiter found us and showed us to our table in the main dining area near the kitchen.
The menu has pub classics – steaks, schnitty, fish and chips, and pasta. The starters looked interesting with some unique dishes that I wanted to try. The special that night was a $25 Butler steak (which I later found out was wagyu) which sounded good but then J suggested we try a few of the starters instead and ditch the mains. I was happy with that as all I really wanted were the Peking duck fries! After ordering at the bar, we were provided with a buzzer to collect our goodies from the kitchen. Everything was ready at the same time and our waiter helped bring all the dishes to the table. The Peking duck fries ($13) were a much larger serving than expected. It was piled high with chips and topped with a very generous amount of duck meat, hoisin sauce, melted cheese, shallots and coriander (which J picked off – something about the devil’s food). I loved the sweet taste of hoisin sauce against the salty fries. The duck was soft and plentiful. The addition of cheese was quite nice and there was also a bit of mayonnaise. Due to the portion size (we didn’t finish it), I’d say it could be shared between 4 people. I do wonder if the duck was bought from one of the Chinese BBQ eateries down the road 🙂 A great combination of flavours.
The chorizo and mozzarella croquettes ($12) were filled with an almost cream-like texture of whipped ingredients. The crispy coating fell apart easily due to the soft oozy filling. I was expecting chunky chorizo bits but sadly didn’t taste any. We both found the filling quite rich and had had enough after two pieces.
The roast duck tortilla ($16) came in a serve of 2. Filled with thinly sliced peaches, pork crackling, cucumber and hoisin sauce, these were very tasty morsels! The crackling was J’s favourite part which made these tortillas stand out from the pack. There was plenty of duck meat and the addition of sweet peaches gave it a nice fresh taste along with the crunchy cucumber. We would order these again.
The Ducks Nuts Board for 2 ($19) came with three types of cured meats, olives, pickles, almonds, a cream cheese dip and French onion dip, and grilled bread. The cured meats were thickly sliced. We found the bresaola to be quite tough increasing the mastication process. I would have preferred some more bread to go with the dips but all in all, this was pretty good value.
J wanted the jalapeno poppers ($14) filled with cheese and accompanied by hot sauce. I didn’t try the jalapeno since I don’t like them, but I did try the battered crumb which was crunchy and warm with melted fetta inside. I could taste a hint of the jalapeno on the batter too.
For dessert, we shared the smashed chocolate brownie sundae with salted caramel popcorn ($14). This was more of a salted caramel dish rather than a chocolate dessert. The brownie didn’t have the gooey chocolate fudgeness that I was expecting from a brownie. It was more of a light sponge cake. The flavour of chocolate had been overpowered by the salted caramel drizzled on the plate and the caramel ice cream. This is a good dessert if you like salted caramel, but since I’m more of a chocolate lover, it just wasn’t for me.
We were seated right by the exit so it was a little annoying having people walking in and out, and letting in the cold breeze! The typical pub atmosphere meant that it got very loud inside but everyone was enjoying themselves on that Friday night. The food took about 20 minutes to reach us, which is pretty good timing considering the place was packed out. I think this was because we only ordered starters. The wait time for steaks and other mains might be longer. I’d be interested to try the Peking duck nuts burger next time and a steak.
The Ducks Nuts Bar & Grill is located on Woolley Street at the Dickson shops. Open seven days a week form 11am until late.
Value for money 6.5/10
FPJ score 21/30
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