I realised a short term dream recently. It was my birthday and my girlfriend and I decided to book a table at 3 Blue Ducks on Bronte Rd. The hype surrounding this place has been huge over the last year or so, and it had been on my hit list for quite some time. The whisperings of “this is the best restaurant in the East” were aplenty and the story behind the guys that opened the place (and cook there every day) was just as impressive.
The story involves five guys, world travel, surfing and enjoying life. These elements all came together to create what 3 Blue Ducks is today. With experience as chefs in some of Sydney and Europe’s best restaurants (including Tetsuyas) it is little wonder the food is a hit. Another characteristic that sets 3 Blue Ducks apart from the rest is the fact that they grow many of their own vegetables and herbs on site in a small garden out the back.
A few months ago, we tried to get a table for breakfast and had little success as the line was out the door and the footpath was packed with hungry patrons (they only accept dinner bookings). At the time we had to settle for takeaway coffee and lemon meringue pie.
This time around, we had a table booked so there was no chance of missing out. By the time we arrived, I had worked myself up into a food-fuelled state of anticipation. The only remedy for which was a bottle of the Mountain Goat Organic Steam Ale. While enjoying drinks, the friendly, relaxed staff chatted to us about the options on the menu and suggested some good combinations. The 3 Blue Ducks idea is basic: every dish on the menu is $17.
We decided to go with the 4-course degustation. After much deliberation, we ordered:
- Oysters; and Snapper ceviche
- Mussels, Pipis and Lemongrass; and Parsnips, Artichokes and Almond
- Pressed Pork and Greens; and Duck, Rhubarb and Licorice
- Lemon, Meringue and Celery
I will be honest, the duck, rhubarb and licorice was pushing the boundaries but I was willing (forced) to give it a go.
What was to follow was not just food, it was art. Each dish was perfectly proportioned and arranged so that we would get the most from each mouthful. My favourites were the Parsnips, Artichoke and Almond and also the Duck, Rhubarb and Licorice (surprise, surprise). The food, the wine and the furniture and artwork, that has been especially designed to invoke a chilled vibe, set the scene for what has been the best meal I’ve had all year, hands down!
Definite highlights: Pressed Pork and Greens; and Duck, Rhubarb and Licorice
Verdict: If you have not visited 3 Blue Ducks yet, do yourself a favour and do it! I can personally attest to the dinner experience but all reports I’ve heard from friends is that the breakfast and lunch menu is just as good. If you are hesitant about pushing your taste boundaries, it is time to put your trust in the guys from 3 Blue Ducks and just enjoy the gourmet ride. You will not be disappointed.