At a glance, Deer Duck Bistro looks like the entertaining parlour of an eccentric great-aunt with a fondness for fine wine and antique furniture. And if your great-aunt's place is this good, I'll be coming over to raid her liquor cabinet.
Since opening in late 2011, Deer Duck Bistro has been receiving rave reviews from every which way, and received the Dan Murphy's award for BYO Restaurant of the Year in 2012. It has proved a much-needed addition to an otherwise low key Auchenflower dining scene, bringing charm and elegance to the shop front that formerly housed Cava Cava Italian restaurant. Its unassuming location on busy Milton Road makes it easy to miss when driving, so keep your eyes peeled.
The menu blends European and Modern Australian cuisines with molecular gastronomy methods, while the antiques, oil paintings and Persian rugs recall another era. Put simply, to cross the threshold is to leave your everyday life behind for a short time and embrace a candlelit, otherworldly alternate reality where old and new come together.
Current on offer from the Deer Duck kitchen are 5 and 8 course Chef's Menus. Priced at $75 per person, or $110 per person with matching wines, the 5 course menu includes a beautifully refreshing crab dish with tomato, avocado, lemon snow, jamon and salmon roe; sweet and sticky Chinese pork belly with prawn, cured sausage and asparagus; lamb with chilli tomato jam and vegetables; and a delicious ash goat chevre cheese with honey, apple and lavosh. The final course features seven textures of chocolate with orange marshmallow and is an appropriately sinful finish to a decadent meal, and includes a divine aerated chocolate so light you can almost pretend it's not naughty.
With the 8 course dinner ($110 per person or $175 per person with matching wines), you'll also get the tuna with pesto, white fungus, edible sand and sea shell; Balinese duck breast; and nitro banana with salted caramel, peanut butter ice cream and coconut biscuit.
BYO wine is available with a $10 corkage charge. The private dining room upstairs is perfect for functions, and in the leadup to Christmas, Deer Duck is offering set menus for groups of 10 or more at $80 per head.