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Virgin Duck.....

A Virgin Duck!

Virgin Duck is almost a normal name in this land of weird restaurant titles. It is quite a surprising little place, rustic in design using bare brick and re-cycled wood throughout, its front garden courtyard open to the passing Jln. Raya Puputan, in Renon. The homemade ceiling lights are papered piglet baskets, a strange choice in this Halal, no Babi, restaurant!

As the name suggests the house specialty is duck and it appears in all courses except that of the desserts [In Australia a famous very cheap wine is called Cold Duck, they could have made a sorbet out of that!].

Breakfast begins the morning at 7.00 every day [and is then served all day and night] and you can have a Bubur Bebek, a version of that Indonesian copy of the Chinese Congee, rice porridge. The more original Bubur Ayam is also available. Offerings also exist such as The Breakfast Omelette [mushroom, peppers, onion, tomato and cheese], Banana in pancakes or as the ever popular Pisang Goreng.

All day snacks include Duck Tortilla, a pair of cold small tortillas wrapped around lettuce, strips of roasted red, green and yellow capsicum and slivers of cold tender duck meat, overall is a sprinkling of 1000 Island dressing. This dish seems to be rotated, alternate weeks, with Duck Tacos which were advertised at front but not so far available for me to try on any of my visits.

The excellent Vegetarian Spring Rolls are Indonesian style [3 for a low Rp.15,000], the thin casing very crisp and bubbly, the dip a sweet and sour with a bite. The Toasted Sandwich is filled with egg, lettuce and tomato.

The Duck Caesar is a version of that traditional American salad with duck meat added. Alternatively there is a Crispy Duck Salad with cucumber, tomato, paprika, chilli and an orange dressing. The Potato Salad also has duck meat as well as egg, spring onions, lettuce all tossed with mayonnaise.

Main courses feature a serve of a half duckling done one of four different ways. Bebek Goreng is deep-fried and Bebek Panggang is grilled. With either of these selections you can choose your sambal from the Balinese Sambal Matah [finely chopped raw red onion, chilli, garlic and lemongrass], Sambal Goreng [the same ingredients as for Sambal Matah but deep-fried], Lengkuas [greater galangal], Black Pepper or just simple Spicy [chopped garlic and chilli mixed with kecap manis, sweet soy].

The other two Duck mains are the traditional Balinese Bebek Betutu [steamed in a myriad of herbs and spices including garlic, chilli, lime leaves, lemongrass, shallots, kencur [lesser galangal], ginger, turmeric, etc] and that special of Yogykarta, Kalasan, a product of the village of the same name, the home of one of the many famous Buddhist temples of this area. For all of that Bebek Kalasan is also an adopted ?Balinese? dish, the duck is braised in turmeric and coconut milk, the resultant flesh is soft and tender falling off the bone with fork alone.

All four of these main courses can also be ordered with Ayam [chicken] instead of duck if you prefer the softer chicken taste. Either way the flesh of both duck and chicken is perfectly tender and never overcooked. They all come with a small bowl of broth with either duck or chicken meat, depending on which dish is ordered. Even finger bowls are provided, how unusual in a local warung-style restaurant.

Pizzas are thin, crispy and very good with almost a crunchy biscuit-like base. They are made in a traditional wood-fired oven at the side of the restaurant. Normal Italian style are the Napoletana [the basic tomato paste and cheese], Margarita [as originally made for Queen Magharita of Italy back in the19th century, the colours of the Italian flag; red tomato, green basil and white mozzarella], Verdura [ricotta, mushrooms and roasted peppers] and Marinara [seafood] pizzas.

Something ?ducky? with shredded duck meat are the Hawaiian [with pineapple] and the Al Romana Pizzas [with onions, mixed peppers and mushroom]. Both are very good with the duck meat remaining soft, tender and tasty, not dry as I had expected. Very good pizzas!

Nasi Goreng is with duck meat and the Nasi Campur is with a quarter of crispy duck covered with the Spicy Sambal, half a boiled egg with a different sambal and Balinese vegetables. Spaghetti dishes can be Carbonara [without the ham], Seafood or a Duck Bolognese.

Desserts are basic, Banana Split or Fritters, Banana or Orange Pancakes and a choice of pie, apple or salak. Many fresh juices, shakes and mocktails but the only alcohol sold is draught or bottled beers.

The south-western side of this Renon road, leading to Denpasar, is lined with small local restaurants, and this is one of the best of them. Virgin Duck is a relaxing, friendly spot that is already becoming popular with the local expat community [which demonstrates its good value!]. I enjoy it very much, one of the ?Cheap Eats? finds of the year!.

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QUICK REVIEW
Virgin Duck
Address:
Jln. Raya Puputan 68,
Renon, Denpasar.
Phone:
213.9339
Open:
7.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m., daily.
Bookings:
Advisable
Parking:
Street only.
Price:
Rp. 180,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards:
- None
Food:
Duck, every which way!
Wine:
None
Service:
Friendly.
Atmosphere:
Rustic.
Overall:
Interesting concept, good value.
Last Reviewed:
April 2011
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