Review: Demon Duck by Alvin Leung at Caesars Palace Dubai
It’s all about the Peking duck at this new Caesars Palace destination…
Alvin Leung (nicknamed the demon chef) is known for what he calls ‘X-treme Chinese’. His x-rated dishes are known to provide a shock value that is far too naughty to grace the pages of What’s On (just run a quick Google search and you’ll soon see what we’re talking about).
However, Leung’s other restaurants – in Hong Kong and London – have garnered a constellation of Michelin stars, meaning that his dishes shock in a more positive sense, too.
At Demon Duck, his newest restaurant located in Caesars Palace Dubai, Leung’s cuisine remains in the realm of the Far East, with riffs off Cantonese, Malaysian and Korean classics. But the star of the show is the Peking duck.
For those who’ve only ventured as far as the crispy aromatic duck from your local Chinese, best be prepared for a more ritualistic experience here. Peking duck is aromatic duck’s regal aunt. Rather than being met with a deep fat fryer, Peking duck is steamed or plunged into boiling water, dried, and left to hang for a day, before being roasted so that the skin becomes like amber glass. But it is costly. Here it’s Dhs625 for a whole bird, with no options for smaller portions. Ouch. It’s a huge, shimmering beauty of a bird, though. The staff bring shredded cucumber and hoisin sauce alongside bamboo steamers of buns infused with calamansi – a Philippine lime. The duck arrives on two huge plates, one with sliced duck, and the other with pieces on the bone. It’s enough to feed an army, but goodness is it delicious: soft meat, juicy fat and crispy skin with the soy and caramel kick of the hoisin, all cradled within a pillowy bun. Come with a group early evening (lest the duck be sold out), and enjoy.
Other highlights on the menu should you have space: the soft-shell crab spring roll with xo sauce (Dhs135) is an elevated dish that doesn’t scrimp on the crab. Equally luxurious is the wasabi shrimp on toast, that promises a lovely slick crunch with a whisper of wasabi heat, while the black and white Dover sole with white cream sauce and black seaweed, is a reimagined classic that looks heavy on the plate but instead has a warm comforting flavour.
For our visit, we sat in the restaurant’s lovely, zen-like garden, but with soaring temperatures, a spot inside next to the massive sculpture of a duck with horns might be best. Thankfully, the bustling kitchen and the sound of sizzling ensure the atmosphere doesn’t get staid. Come early with a group, order the duck, and you’ll have an unflappable dining experience.
Caesars Palace Dubai, daily 6pm to 12am. Tel: (0)4 5566666. @demonduckdubai