Disclosure: I attended courtesy of Taxi and Little Big Marketing.
As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Roast series, Taxi are holding a “Ducks in a Row” luncheon each Sunday in June. In case you haven’t figured out from the name, the theme is ducky duck duck, with a 5 course set menu for $85 per person.
Taxi uses free range ducks from a new producer, Great Ocean Ducks, in the Mornington Peninsula. We were told that the ducks are fed strawberries in the summer, and apples in the winter (mostly because that’s what is readily available rather than for flavour purposes). But – cute, right?
Amuse Course – Coffee smoked duck sushi, teriyaki glaze
The lunch started with a kick, particularly since I scoffed all of that lump of amazing fresh wasabi. Here we had duck sushi, made with cured duck that had been smoked over coffee beans, sugar, and green tea. It was served nigri style with a teriyaki glaze.
Warm bread rolls were served with butter topped with spicy Sriracha dust, made in-house.
Entree – spicy duck dumplings, hoi sin sauce
Dumplings were next. Two large plump dumplings were filled with red braised duck leg, that had been cooked and shredded. The dish was finished off with spicy hoi sin sauce and served with a cabbage, coriander, mushroom, and water chestnut salad.
I thought that the dumpling filling could have been a touch juicier, but the flavour was good, and so was the soft dumpling skin.
Soup – Sichuan duck soup, Thai basil and water spinach
The soup was made with roasted duck bones. Inside the bowl was Thai basil, water spinach, spring onions, crunchy water chestnuts and a slick of chilli oil.
The soup was quite sweet and very aromatic, with the herb and chilli aromas and flavours.
Main – Roasted Sichuan duck, fresh lime and sriracha salt
And then the main dish, a version of which has been on the Taxi menu for about ten years.
The duck is first steamed before being flash fried. It’s served topped with 5 spice caramel, orange segments, and a wedge of lime to squeeze over being eating. The caramel was quite sweet and strong, but a good complement to the sriracha salt sprinkled on the plate.
There’s no set wine matches for this lunch, but Taxi are happy to give recommendations for wines if desired.
Dessert – Green apple tarte tatin
And finally, dessert, which was a frankly magnificent warm apple tarte tatin, with vanilla and cinnamon ice cream and calvados caramel.
You can book in for the Ducks in a Row luncheon by calling Taxi on 9654 8808. Check out the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival website for more details.
View Off the spork in a larger map
Taxi Dining Room
Cnr of Flinders Street & Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9654 8808