It’s hard to miss the electric crimson frontage of North Hobart’s Mandarin duck restaurant and takeaway.
You’d be forgiven for expecting a lukewarm bain marie as fresh as yesterday’s leftovers, yet Mandarin Duck gracefully elevates itself above such suburbanality.
The menu is an interesting assortment, presenting their food in four different ways.
First is the vanilla, offering your typical South East Asian dishes such as Singapore noodles, beef in blackbean sauce and Mongolian lamb. No thank you.
Second is the odd, comprising a selection of Japanese dishes. Again, nothing unusual (other than the fact we’re in a Chinese restaurant!), with teriyaki chicken, tempura prawns and agedashi tofu on offer. Nope.
Third is the unexpectedly interesting, with a small yet diverse range of dishes pasted up on the wall for your edification. Braised coral trout, ‘Three Cup’ chicken, lamb stew claypot and a great little selection of yum cha!
The scallop dumplings were the pick of the yum cha. Delicately steamed, the scallop, complete with roe, was fresh and delicious. A combination I haven’t tried previously, but very satisfying.
We did find the dumpling wrappers to be inconsistent in their consistency, finding those for the scallop dumplings and the dim sims to be excellent, yet those for the pan fried pork to be slightly stodgy.
Overall it was a nice selection, and I’d return to try some of their other yum cha options such as snow pea dumplings, chicken feet, and shrimp caviar siu mai.
Last of all? The duck. Glorious, fatty, crispy, succulent duck. Duck for the ages. Goosebump inducing duck. Duck that make you go hmmm…
At $24.50 for a half it isn’t cheap, but neither is the very same duck in the raw from your local Woollies. What you do get that for that $24.50 is delicious, well cooked duck, roughly chopped for ease of finger-licking nibbling!
Takeaway food is never quite as good after a 25 minute ride in the car, but the young bird held up nicely!
The keen of eye will note that we received a complimentary serving of the steamed dim sims. Unexpected yet most welcome; as was the glass and bottle of water provided while I waited, as it was an unseasonably warm evening. Both gestures were reflective of the excellent service on offer, providing that little bit extra that sometimes makes all the difference.
Duck is truly a gift from the gods, and the team behind Mandarin Duck know how to treat their produce with the respect it deserves.
With the duck alone I would have been happy, yet to find such a satisfying range of dumplings and other small dishes on offer was a welcome surprise, and reason enough to return.
Are they the best dumplings in town? No. Me Wah is still number one, but second place would be tight race between Mandarin Duck, Dumpling Express and Castle Zayee.
Are they the best duck in town? I haven’t tried the equivalent from either Me Wah or The Bund, so as its the only one I’ve tried in Hobart it’s got to be a yes!
Mandarin Duck are located right in the heart of the North Hobart strip, adjacent to the roundabout. Just look for the garish awning signage!
For more information drop by their website here – Mandarin Duck
Alternatively, you can find them on Facebook here – Mandarin Duck on Facebook
We did notice that the menus on both Facebook and their website didn’t quite align with what was in store, so keep your options open.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am – 8:30pm