”The roast duck at Pacific House in Melbourne is definitely comparable to some of the best that Sydney has to offer.”
~ Chopinand, co-author of ChopinandMysaucepan
Everytime I make a trip to Melbourne, I know in the back of my mind that good and honest food abound in this elegant city.
There are so many cafes around trendy suburbs like Brunswick, St Kilda and Brighton to name a few. Today, we are checking out Pacific Seafood BBQ House in Richmond where its main thoroughfare Victoria street is dotted with casual Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants.
I have been told by a Melbourne food blogger the roast duck at Pacific House, serving the usual Chinese BBQ and roast meats, is arguably the best in the city. A pretty bold claim so I am eager to find out for myself.
Chopping up a soy sauce chicken
The sight of all the Chinese roast duck, BBQ pork and soy sauce chicken hanging on display is a great way to whet the appetite. We are here at 2.30pm on a Friday and though it’s past lunch hour, the restaurant seems to be quite busy with a younger crowd.
Apart from the usual roast and BBQ meats, the menu seems to be pretty expansive and specials are plastered all over the restaurant walls.
I am getting some good vibes about this place when two bowls of complimentary watercress and pork ribs soup arrive before our meal.
This is a nice touch as it is usually the larger restaurants that serve complimentary soup and I do not know of any Chinese BBQ restaurants in Sydney that does it. I find this soup comforting especially on a cold day.
A roast duck and roast pork with steamed rice comes in a generous portion. The pork is tender and importantly the rind is light and crispy.
A quarter soy sauce chicken is moist, tender and very tasty albeit a little on the salty side but still thoroughly brilliant when mixed with some wanton noodles or steamed rice.
The saltiness could be due in part to the ginger and shallots sauce which was ladled on top of the chicken. This is among the very few times that apart from fried or BBQ chicken that I would eat the chicken skin as well.
Since we are in Victoria, we sip on a 2011 Argyle Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula.
Although light and plummy, I taste some spiced fruits on the palette and it has a medium finish. Not too bold and this wine would complement the duck which has yet to arrive.
My order of roast duck with wanton egg noodles comes in separate dishes and this totally gets the thumbs up from me as this is not common in Sydney.
A quarter roast duck is tender, succulent and juicy. The skin is crisp and delicate and this roast duck can truly rival the best that Sydney can offer.
The wanton noodles are tossed with a special light soy sauce that brings the noodles to life and makes it so much more tasty.
I know the next time I’m in Melbourne, I would be ordering one whole roast duck at Pacific House with a good bottle of Pinot.
The nice thing about this restaurant is that it also didn’t charge corkage for wine glasses today.
I notice a guy on the table next to ours tucking into a giant plate of chilli crabs on his own – fingers, hands and all. He is also armed with his pack of six cold beers and looks like he’s onto his third beer.
Now, that’s another idea for our next visit here and I hope it won’t be too long from now.
So dear readers, do you have a favourite Chinese roast duck restaurant in Melbourne or Sydney to share with us?
Pacific Seafood BBQ House
8 / 240 Victoria street
Tel: +61 3 9427 6225
Business hours: Open 7 days lunch and dinner