Ducky Restaurant (Taipei)
Less than a year old, Duck Restaurant has been growing in popularity in Taipei largely through word of mouth. I had heard about the place from several friends and decided to check it out for myself.
Located in a relatively quiet area a short walk from the Songjiang Nanjing MRT station (on the orange line), Ducky is known for its locally produced ingredients and French-inspired cuisine. The dishes at this cozy restaurant (bookings are a must) are not cheap but neither are they expensive for the type of quality food you get (the main courses range from NT$290-NT$580). They have a lunch special between Tuesday and Friday — for an extra NT$120 on top of the main course price you get a soup and beverage.
Menu is varied with anything from pork belly and beef cheek to risotto and spaghetti and even steak. Most people are also recommended to get one of the salads and a couple of side dishes, especially the french fries with garlic and rosemary. The menu I hear changes regularly, but I took a photo of the menu so you can see for yourself the type of stuff they have on offer.
We asked the waitress for recommendations and were advised to get the fries, the deep fried stuffed chicken wings and the grilled assorted seafood salad with focaccia, and for the mains we got the oyster and pesto risotto with pan roasted Amadai and the spaghettini with pan roasted shrimp. That’s a lot of food.
I’m afraid to say the food, while good, did not blow us away. The fries were indeed very nice — super crunchy on the outside and moist and steamy on the inside — but we’ve had similar fries elsewhere.
The salad was fresh with plenty of seafood and a light but tangy vinaigrette dressing, but it wasn’t a wow dish.
The fried stuffed chicken wings were awesome, but anything deep fried is awesome, and it wasn’t dissimilar to ones we’ve had at cheap Vietnamese restaurants back in Sydney.
The oyster and pesto risotto was probably the highlight but it wasn’t because the risotto was anything special — it was the spectacular pan roasted Amadai on top. I’m not usually a fan of fish when I dine out, but this one was amazing. So crisp but not oily at all.
As for the shrimp spaghettini — the shrimp tasted quite fresh but it was a little weak on the flavour with only garlic and olive oil to top it off.
We were too full for dessert by the end, but the apple creme brulee did look kinda nice.
In all it was a pleasant but over-hyped experience. The food was fresh and tasted fine, but there just wasn’t anything that made me say “I’ve definitely got to come back again.”
Address: 18-3, Jinan Rd Sec 2, Taipei (Nearest MRT: Nanjing Songjiang)
Phone: (02) 2394-8810
Website: Facebook page
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am to 10:30pm