I have a confession to make. I’m not a big fan of duck. I don’t like Chinese roast duck and I would never order duck if I saw it on the menu at a restaurant. The only kind of duck I would choose to eat is Peking duck. And only because it is mostly crispy skin and comes wrapped in a nice pancake with hoisin sauce!
So you might be wondering how I ended up at a duck dinner?! Well, I was contacted by Carlos from Match Bar & Grill and invited to go along to their ‘Duck & Not Pinot’ dinner. My first reaction was to say no, but I liked their concept of matching different alcoholic beverages with different duck courses. Also, the dinner was not something I would have gone to and perhaps five courses of duck might change my mind!
The entrance of Match Bar & Grill
Match Bar & Grill is located off Little Lonsdale Street, just near the corner of Swanston Street. It is divided into a bar on one side, and the restaurant on the other. I had been to the bar before – it’s got a nice atmosphere for an after work drink – but never to the restaurant.
Inside Match Bar & Grill
Menus were presented to us with the five courses with matched drinks to look forward to. I like that they left the menu with us so we would know what we were eating and drinking.
Duck dinner menu
We started off with canapés of duck rillettes matched with NV Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne. The duck rillettes were shredded confit duck with ginger and white pepper, spread on a thin, crisp slice of bread, and topped with a cornichon. The duck was tender and well salted and together with the champagne, was a great start to the dinner.
Duck rillettes canapés – Matched with NV Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne
The second course was a duck liver parfait with shiraz jelly. The sweetness of the shiraz jelly went really well with the creaminess of the duck liver parfait. It was probably the best duck liver parfait I’ve ever had! It didn’t have the strong liver taste which I don’t like. It was served with the same, perfectly baked, crispy slices of bread as the rillettes, providing a nice contrast of crunchy texture with the deliciously smooth and creamy parfait.
The matched beverage was a Kumeu River Pinot Gris from New Zealand. Pinot Gris is one of my wines of choice and this one was full of fruit flavour, slightly sweet, with a nice zingy finish.
Duck liver parfait with Shiraz jelly – Matched with Kumeu River Pinot Gris, NZ
The third course was a house cured duck prosciutto with a celeriac remoulade. I’ve never had duck prosciutto so I don’t have a point of comparison, but my oh my, this duck prosciutto was AMAZING!! I want to know where I can get some more! The duck prosciutto was thinly sliced and tender, and the flavour was not overly salty or strong as pork prosciutto. It was served with more of our favourite crunchy bread slices, and a delicious salad of shredded celeriac in horseradish dressing. It was a winning flavour combination of the saltiness of the prosciutto, crunchiness of the bread slices and creaminess and slight heat of the horseradish celeriac. The matched beverage for this course was a White Rabbit dark ale.
House cured duck prosciutto with a celeriac remoulade – Matched with White Rabbit dark ale
The fourth and main course was a five spiced duck breast on top of Kaiser fleisch (like bacon) and black cabbage, as well as a confit duck leg, served with a creamy mash potato. The confit duck leg had a very crisp skin but the meat was still moist. The duck breast looked completely cooked through, but was still surprisingly tender. The skin and layer of fat was too chewy though. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the black cabbage which brought out the flavour of the duck breast. The matched beverage was a Vistalba Corte C Malbec/Cabernet from Mendoza in Argentina which was a red wine.
Five spiced duck breast, confit leg with Kaiser Fleisch & black cabbage – Matched with 2009 Vistalba Corte C Malbec/Cabernet, Mendoza, Argentina
The final course was dessert, which was a duck egg white pavlova, sitting on top of a passionfruit mousse, drizzled with passionfruit curd and served with melon balls and candied orange. The dessert tasted as luscious as it sounds! It was a fantastic way to end the night.
The matched beverage was ‘The Waddle’ which is a cocktail made from two parts gin, bitters, passionfruit syrup and duck egg whites. It may have been because we already had a quite a few drinks, but the cocktail tasted really strong. I thought maybe that was the story behind the name of the cocktail… it’s so potent you have to ‘waddle’ home!!
Duck egg pavlova with passionfruit mousse & melon – Matched with ‘The Waddle’ cocktail
By the end of the dinner, I was in love with all the dishes I had eaten, despite not being a fan of duck to begin with! In fact it was one of the best meals hubby and I have had in a while. I would definitely eat duck more often if all duck dishes could taste as good as the ones we had at Match Bar & Grill.
Inside Match Bar & Grill
You can check out the Match Bar & Grill website to find out about any future dinners they are holding.
Over & Out, April xx
April and hubby dined at the Duck & Not Pinot Dinner as guests of Match Bar & Grill.