Vanessa: In a city that is overwhelmed with an abundance of food choices, having a point of difference is key and Grand Duk in Sydney’s CBD has just that. With a focus on Vietnamese cuisine with a French twist, Grank Duk is shaking things up from the norm when it comes to their menu options. You won’t find a pho here but what you will find is a seasonal menu that uses local, high quality produce to create a unique menu that pays homage to the culture of the cuisine.
Located at Grosvenor Place, this all day eatery offers al fresco dining and is set back from the bustle of George Street. With a choice of healthy breakfast and lunch choices, Grand Duk is an ideal place for CBD workers to dine at an affordable price.
We were recently invited to an event that focussed on showcasing a range of dishes that highlight unique offerings at Grand Duk.
Event though we dined at lunch time we were presented with two of the breakfast items to try. Firstly the Trifle($12) , a large bowl full of layered muesli, berries coconut makes for a healthy start to the day. Nothing particularly French or Vietnamese about the dish, but I enjoyed it none the less!
The breakfast bowl ($13) is tantamount to a salad with copious amounts of green leaves, almonds, seeds, avocado, pickles and poached eggs – personally I felt this would be more suited to lunch than breakfast and the green leaf ratio outweighed the other elements of the breakfast bowl.
Next up were the rice paper rolls ($4 each), a range of Sichuan duck, tiger prawn and 5 spice tofu – a very light choice and well paired with the hoisin peanut dip.
The salt & pepper squid ($16) was absolutely delicious with its crispy, salty exterior and accompanied by a green papaya salad with a chilli and lemon. I think I could have ordered a separate bowl of the salad it was just bursting with citrus flavour and perfect match for the squid – highly recommend giving this dish a try.
We were then brought a number of main dishes that were equally as impressive as the entrees. Vietnamese rolls (bahn mi) are a popular item and Grand Duk has adopted the french bread of choice for its duck meatball baguette ($12). The baguette was bursting with duck meatballs, salted cucumber, carrot, green onion, chilli, coriander, kewpie and maggie. Full of fresh flavours this is one substantial roll that would make for a satisfying working lunch!
The Ginger Baked King Salmon ($25) was one of my favourite dishes. Served with brocollini, snow peas, wombok and pho duck broth this is a beautifully presented dish and full of flavour.
The 5 spice tofu salad ($16) was served with bean sprouts, picked, enoki, snow peas, water chestnuts, peanuts and sesame vinaigrette is light but was slightly lacking in distinct flavour. The salad worked well but the tofu could have done with a greater douse of seasoning to intensify the flavour.
Lemongrass pork belly ($25) served with egg fried brown rice, green papaya salad and homemade xo sauce makes for a heavier lunch choice if you have a larger appetite. The lemongrass flavour is strong which I loved as its favourite of mine!
Although we were being presented with three different dessert options, unfortunately work commitments were calling and I was only able to try one. Thankfully, it set a very high standard for the dessert on offer at Grand Duk. The Chilled Mango ($11) pudding is absolutely delicious and full of fresh fruit flavours. Lychee, ginger sago and kaffir lime caramel work really well with mango and this makes for a very refreshing dessert.
If you are a CBD worker looking for a different lunch/breakfast choice, pop the Grank Duk on your list. Excellent value for money, al fresco dining and tasteful, flavoursome dishes reflective of Vietnamese culture…you can’t go wrong!
*For Foods Sake dined as guests of the Grand Duk, all opinions however, are our own and independent.