My Sunday badminton group is composed of nine men. It has observed a tradition in which a birthday celebrator is treated by the rest in a restaurant of his choice.
We have been to Niu, the higher-end version of Vikings; and Vask, the Spanish restaurant, among others.
A lot of times, I don’t agree with the group’s restaurant of choice, but I keep my sentiments to myself and just go along. I have been mistaken a few times, and I’m glad I kept those thoughts to myself.
Recently it was my turn to be treated to my overdue birthday celebration. You see, we are still catching up on the blowouts of last year.
When it comes to choosing a restaurant, I love to surprise myself with something new. I also rely on tips from friends or relatives whose tastes are similar to mine.
Among the suggestions, I chose Duck & Buvette at Shangri-La Plaza that used to be called Provencal. It changed its menu and name to focus on Duck Confit, a French specialty that I love.
Most of my friends told me the servings were big enough for two diners, but I wondered if I could finish a whole order by myself.
Just a few months back we were in Bali, and one of the must-try and popular restaurants is called Dirty Duck. I saw a number of branches, and all were full-packed. That was a good sign.
Its duck was overcooked and deep-fried, served with rice. The duck was so crunchy and a bit moist so that even the tiny bones could be chewed. It was so good we had to eat there another time before leaving.
So, duck was still on my mind when I had my birthday treat.
At Duck & Buvette we ordered the most popular appetizers: Candied Bacon Strips; Crispy Potato Pave and Salty Duck Eggs; and Truffle Roasted Cauliflower. The sourdough bread came with French butter—warm and crusty, with a moist middle.
The duck was served with rice, some sauce and whole grain mustard. One look at the baby, I knew I could devour one order. At first bite, I knew I was right.
The entire duck was almost crispy. It was slightly salty, just the way a confit should be, and went very well with the white rice. I guess salty and bland balance each other. I didn’t need the sauce.
Two other items worth trying are the Beef Bourguignon, or Beef Burgundy, and the eight-hour Angus Beef Brisket with gravy over mashed potatoes.
Both were melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a rich gravy. Best eaten with the freshly baked bread, of course.
I know a confit or dirty duck is overcooked. But between a medium-cooked duck breast with gravy and a confit, and dirty duck, I’d have the latter anytime.
One of the items I want to go back for is the Duck a l’Orange. This is a dish I grew up with at Au Bon Vivant. One of my comfort foods.
If you like duck, check this place out. Prices are quite reasonable.
Duck & Buvette is at 2/F, Shangri-La Plaza; tel. 6310675. Follow the author on Instagram sandydaza77; sandydaza.blogspot.com; and Twitter @sandydaza.