Sunday October 14, 2012
In French, this is "Le Canard", and in Wellington, this is a little restaurant near New World Thorndon. Last Saturday, Jo and Alice (who were down for World of Wearable Art) booked a table for the three of us.
Though the day had started off with some brilliant sunshine, it was typically Wellington by dinnertime - cold, wet, windy. Somehow this did not deter the group of protesters who had gathered outside Le Canard to voice their disdain at the foie gras on the menu. According to the waiter there, they're quite regular. I was tempted to try it just out of morbid curiosity, but instead we chose the less controversial escargot for one starter, and the crab cake and crayfish jelly with smoked softboiled egg for the other. Though the escargot were delicious, they do not compare to the garlic and herb-smothered escargot from St Tropez, formerly in Parnell, Auckland, currently closed. The snails were served in a crispy potato chimney with spinach foam, spinach puree and bacon bits; the egg sat atop the crab cake rather ornately - a rich, golden interior with all the familiar sea flavours from the seafood underneath.
For mains, I chose the "platter of pig": pork crackling on lentils, pork belly, mince pork croquette, and black pudding wrapped in bacon. The dish was hearty and filling - the crackling so light and fluffy it was like popcorn; the black pudding was deliciously rich and wrapped in tasty bacon. Alice had the duck confit and Jo (still recovering from a bout of food poisoning) had the venison.
Finally for dessert, we decided to share the assorted platter: creme brulee, rhubarb meringue and profiteroles. Though each was exquisite in its own way, the rhubarb meringue was my favourite. I thought that the creme brulee from Boulcott St Bistro was better though. The profiteroles were masterfully structured to match the restaurant's name - an ice cream base to give a solid foundation, then cream and choux pastry in the shape of a duck. Deliciously cute.
All in all, an excellent meal, made much more affordable with the Entertainment Gold Card. They get bonus points for complementing my French speaking skills. Would definitely eat there again. Maybe I should try that foie gras...