Kaisern Ching wants to change the perception of Chinese roast duck. His casual, fusion-driven roast-duck diner in Chippendale serves up traditional, tasty Chinese barbeque but in a more inviting setting.
The vibe here is far from the plain white walls and laminated menus of Chinatown. Ching worked with Giant Design on a fit-out that reflects both the origins of the building and fusion-led concept. The walls are bare bricks and the furniture minimal. The logo is enormous, lit up by bare light bulbs and accompanied by a giant duck mural.
The experimental recipes have been developed with Cyrus So, a Hong Kongese chef who’s recently been working in executive positions in Chinese chains. The most traditional thing, at least in appearance, is the roast duck. It’s prepared Peking style and served with pancakes, but that’s where the tradition ends. There are pickles instead of fresh onion and cucumber, and rather than hoisin there’s orange hoisin, spring-onion pesto and a green-apple-and-sake sauce. The main burger brings a few of those things together between two doughy, semi-brioche-style buns.
It’s not all duck though. Pork jowl is marinated in a mix of salted plums, sesame paste, hoisin and ground beans, then roasted and blowtorched to form a strangely granular and sweet crust. It’s then served over rice with pickles or sandwiched in a burger with apple chutney and coriander relish. Popcorn chicken is fried and slung into a burger with slaw and a sriracha-and-lemon mayo.
The menu will change seasonally with experimental combinations from the forward-thinking kitchen.