Master of the 5 Ds – duck, dips, dining, drinks & duck…

When Banyan Tree took over from Caesars, we had to say farewell to a few popular restaurants. Fortunately for Dubai’s dining public, fan favourite Demon Duck by Chef Alvin Leung, remains. But does its brunch still pack a punch, or has it quacked under the pressure of a new stewardship? We went along to find out…

Under the canopy

While the interiors of the venue are quirky with scattered duck-themed prints, the outdoor seating is where to position yourself while there’s still bearable weather. Underneath a canopy of trees, on the grass, the ocean lulling in the background just above the hedges – it’s a starkly different setting than the dimly lit but equally vibey restaurant.

The Duck 

We’re taking an express tour through the starters because the main event is a dish that belongs in the all-time Dubai dining Hall of Fame. Get the wagyu dumplings – juicily unruly scrappy little gems.

The crispy duck hummus is a surprisingly deft twist on a regional classic. And the sweet and sour notes of the scallop ceviche helped it win out as the table’s favourite entrée. But then ‘it’ arrived, and nothing else seemed to matter. Alvin Leung’s slow-roasted, 14-day-aged duck is a masterpiece (so good it’s mentioned twice in our intro).

The fat is rendered to an immaculate crisp and paired with the hoisin and calamansi sauce on the spongy bao bun, that interplay of textures and taste notes is so beautifully orchestrated, eating it is just unadulterated joy. It’s worth noting that the duck carries a Dhs400 supplementary charge, but it’s good for four people at least, carved tableside, divided between diners, and beyond worth the indulgent splurge.

Ducking and diving

A collection of Demon Ducks’ finest desserts were brought to the table, framed by a cartoonishly dramatic chocolate rubber duck filled with lychee foam. Like chef Leung himself, its playful exterior hides a soul that means business.

I’m not usually one for all the theatrics and foam. However, this particular froth is one that I was not prepared to blow off my plate.

What’s On Verdict: A great Dubai brunch made even better by the optional inclusion of the roast duck. And you should absolutely order the duck…

Banyan Tree Dubai, Bluewaters, Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm, Dhs288 soft, Dhs388 house, Dhs488 Prosecco. Tel: (0) 556 6466. @demonduckdubai

Images: Supplied