On Monday I had lunch at Duck Duck Goose Yum Cha and was back for dinner last night at their fine dining ‘Black Restaurant’. This is a fairly new venue in the QV building in Melbourne city that I watched being built and was intrigued by the fancy interior which you could just begin to see during construction. I was not disappointed.
The Yum Cha Silver side is very reasonably priced and the light spacious interior is welcoming but quite sparse … this is quite the yum cha antithesis of crowded, noisy, bustling venues. Granted it was fairly quiet at around 40% capacity but the tables were well spread out across the raised level overlooking the sushi bar style open-bar/food prep area at the entrance.
We shared Jasmine Dragon Pearl, one of the many teas on the extensive menu to compliment the following dishes: peking duck pancakes, handmade Shao Long Bao dumplings, spring rolls for starters. Then I had the Korean Bibimbap and my friend had the lightly battered salmon on rice. Everything was delicious and the mains were a good, filling size.
On the fine dining side the experience was equally enjoyed and offered a glamorous but not garish setting complete with water feature and stunning wine cellar on one wall. The entrance is a tunnel into a large open foyer where we were greeted by friendly staff who seated us by the water feature. It’s a square shallow pool that offers an air of serenity and I’m sure it channels zen qualities but it also kind of made me want to go to the toilet; although this is not a big deal and it brings more positives to the interior than negatives.
For drinks I had my favourite Ciroc vodka and my dining partner had a Cosmo and Sauvignon Blanc. To eat, we shared a selection of six dishes which was perhaps one too many but all enjoyed. We started with entrees: Ocean Trout Confit and duck broth with truffle and ravioli , then Saffron Pasta with oriental bisque and cuttlefish, Rangers Valley Wagyu Tartare with jerusalem artichoke and quail egg.
For main we shared the catch of the day – whiting with prawn, wrapped in cabbage with mushrooms – accompanied by crisp truffled potato and seasonal vegetables. We didn’t order dessert but were presented with a plate of petit fours with our coffees.
The staff were charming and helpful (and they had a personality!) but they were not overbearing or over-attentive. It was not terribly busy on the Melbourne Cup night but the vibe was still there.
I would recommend visiting both sides of the venue – the Yum Cha for a more casual meal and the Restaurant for something more luxurious.