Beachy chic at Three Blue Ducks

Another restaurant I happily got to tick off my always long list of places to try in Sydney when my mother visited was Three Blue Ducks, which can only be described as an extremely upscale version of a beach cafe.  It’s located in Bronte Beach, which is the lesser known (and far more relaxed / frequented by locals) sister of Bondi, and is far enough away from the actual beachfront that it is much more of a locals’ favourite spot than a tourist destination.  Naturally, I love places like this as I like to fancy myself a native Sydneysider.  (This impression is of course immediately destroyed upon hearing me speak.) It started out as a fairly humble cafe known for its breakfasts and lunches, and now it’s turned into a one hatted destination with cutting edge modern Australian food.  The menu is quite small, with just a few options for each course, some of which are a bit daring, and all of which are very foodie-centric.

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Snapper ceviche – I ate a whole lot of ceviche over the couple of weeks my mother was visiting, and this ranks near the top (although Chin Chin’s is still the best ever).  The fresh herbs and tangy sauce were refreshing and the perfect way to start the meal.

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Calamari and smoked corn.  This definitely tasted a bit fishy – I’ve never had calamari cooked like this before (it wasn’t grilled or fried so to be honest I’m not quite sure what they did with it), but I loved the smokiness of the corn that permeated the dish, although there was a bit too much creamy sauce for my taste.

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In the foreground is mussels with lemongrass and in the background is mushrooms and grains.  I have developed quite the taste for mussels in the past couple years and am used to the standard preparation with white wine, so this was pleasantly surprising with its Asian influence – I love lemongrass!  The simply named mushrooms and grains was just that and absolutely delicious, with a variety of mushrooms making the dish quite meaty.

Naturally, I then forgot to photograph our third course in my excitement to eat it.  I still have some things to learn as a restaurant blogger…whoops.  I think the second course was the best though – third course was duck (which was average) and pork and greens, which was also Asian inspired and delicious.

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Naturally, I enjoyed the fantastic de-constructed dessert perhaps the most- mandarin, chocolate, and sea lettuce.  Sea lettuce you say?  Yes indeed, although I couldn’t really taste it.  The chocolate came in at least 4 different forms – mousse, hard, powdered, and there were dehydrated pieces of mandarin orange and orange jelly dispersed over the plate as well that really popped in your mouth.  This was a surprising dessert where every bite tasted different, which was incredible – definitely one of the more impressive culinary dessert feats I’ve seen thus far in Sydney.  (Ms. G’s does an amazing job, and of course Quay wins on all fronts.)

So, would I go back?  It’s a bit overpriced for dinner I think (very few restaurants in Sydney aren’t, though), but I’d like to try one of their casually upscale breakfast or lunch dishes the next time I am in the area.  I loved the ambiance and the inventive food, so it’s definitely another win on the Sydney restaurant scene in my opinion.

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