Monday, 3 January 2011

Who really was the lucky duck?

Rita is delighted to announce she has found another one of those eatery gems which make food blogging (and eating out) 100% worthwhile.

The venue: Lucky Ducks Restaurant and Café at Nubeena.

This little place impressed me on so many levels, and it’s wonderful to know that there are still places out there that adhere to my lofty requirements: food produced and sourced as locally and ethically as possible; food produced with love and care; food credibility; wonderful service.

A big call for Rita, but I would like to compare Lucky Ducks food and service to best cobber Steve Cumper’s Red Velvet Lounge, and I rejoice in finding somewhere else that I know with certainty I can relax in, knowing that all is as I would ideally wish it to be, both FOH and in the kitchen.

I honestly can’t rave too much about this place and it is my fervent hope that everyone reading this will be filled with enough curiosity to make the trek to Nubeena and eat there.

Let me set the scene for you. Rita has been languishing on her lounge, in her jamas, since leaving hospital on Xmas Eve – for a lot of reasons. Best cobber Deb called to volunteer to take me to Taste but the three diuretics I have to take every morning guarantee that if I venture out, I must have a toilet action plan for those regular 15 minute jaunts to the loo! So Taste was out of the question, as the possibility of queuing at the loos, or in a food line waiting to be served, is definitely not an option here! Instead we set off for a drive specifically to Lucky Ducks, my curiosity having been aroused by some trusted and reliable friends feedback, as well as receiving an invitation to eat there some time ago from the guys running it.

At this stage, I also need to own up to the fact that I didn’t call first and book. I would have been disappointed if they’d been closed, or full up, and I had contingency plans if that one backfired, but it wasn’t necessary. They were open, had tables free, and had enticing-looking food on hand so we were home and hosed!

We sat down at a window table, surveyed the view (both inside and outside) and took in the general ambience of the place. They have four whiteboards on the walls: one with the breakfast menu, then two lunch ones, and a dessert one, plus a drinks list near the coffee machine. All menu items were well thought-out, and I challenge anyone not to find something they liked on the menu of items all made on the premises.

In true Rita fashion, I reverted to my childhood love of Lime Spiders when I saw they had them on the menu, and instantly ordered one! I was most definitely on a roll!! These guys could do no wrong from then on!

It was, coincidentally, their first birthday, so I was glad we were present on that auspicious day. It was also their busiest day on record, so I was doubly glad about that.

The service by 16 year old local waitress Georgia was unbelievable. For someone of such tender years, she was polite, efficient, helpful, friendly, knowledgeable and thoughtful – characteristics I have grown used to not seeing demonstrated in waitstaff of that age. I was extremely impressed.

Deb had the Local blue eye, oven baked with a fresh herb pesto and salad ($23.50), with a side bowl of chips. I tasted her fish, the pesto and salad and couldn’t fault anything. The fish was moist, fresh and tasty, and they had resisted the temptation to add some overpowering sauce to it. The fresh herb pesto highlighted the delicate flavour of the fish.
I had one of their pies – the Lamb tagine with sweet potato ($8). The pastry had been housemade, so ticked another of my boxes. It was fabulous.

We each bought a loaf of their bread to take home, after I had ascertained that, in advertising that it was made by them that day, it was not one of those pre-mixes most others who advertise freshly made bread use. It wasn’t.

Our bill at the end of our glorious time there was around $70, and was well worth it.

My rating, in case you’re interested, is 5/5. I will definitely make sure I return as often as I can. It’s a small place, so if you’re going down there specially, and don’t book, don’t get cross if you arrive and they don’t have a spare table for you. Please, please, please – if you care about food, and would like to support people who are working their butts off in a business that is so obviously their passion – go there.

Lucky Ducks
Main Road
Ph: 6250 2777
Open every day (Mon to Sun), 9 am till 8 pm. (They do breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Posted on by Rita


Victor said...

So this is the secret place you were talking about. Fantastic review Rita! Great photos btw too. Did you use a different camera? ;-)

Oh, glad your taste senses are back.

Rita said...

Yes, Victor - this is the place I was referring to. The quality of my photos are is depoendent on the lighting on the day, and surrounding colours/tones etc but it's the same camera I have always used. BTW, your pics taken at Ivory were fabulous - put mine well and truly in the shade!
Also not sure my taste buds are back, but from what I tasted yesterday (and was verified by my friend for that very reason!) it was just as I experienced - fabulous.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of the Lotus Eaters - small, homemade and ethical - good on the owners for sticking to this obviously successful business.

The Hungry Boy said...

It's good that everything is sourced locally, sounds tasty too. But I think the plating doesn't look very nice, the fish dish is overcrowded and the pie plate isn't very well thought out. The cracked pepper on the side seems unnecessary and looks messy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hungry girl-who asked you? Get back to your pub waiting tables. tell you chef when he;'s dunking those parmys into the fryer that you think he need to work oh his presentation too

The Hungry Boy said...

Hey anonymous asshole it's an open blog so I’ll say what I like. I'm a student doing casual work at the pub and you know what? I love it. At least our chef is not a pretentious wanker. Our P/F fish and house made pies are far better presented so go fuck yourself. At least I'm not afraid to put my name on the blog. Hungry girl, how cute.

Anonymous said...

hungry girl-wow what an overeaction-chill & btw go fuck youself as well student plate-carrier.

sir grumpy said...

See, now, the problem is ego, really. One person makes a comment and another the opposite.
First person feels put down and reacts with a sting.
Same old, same old.
Look, both of you, we don't know who you are but take it easy.
I thought the presentation looked fine, someone had tried at least.
But food as art never was my thing, although I prefer it not being bunged on the plate with hideous disregard.
I don't like towered food either, was that an invention of our American cousins? (Build it high!).
You have to knock it over to eat it.
But then, what the heck do I know?
(Please don't answer that)
So go easy. I'm sure in a more fiesty mood I'll diregard my own advice.
It's only grub.

Anonymous said...

oh dear

New to Tassie said...

We went there twice during the Christmas weekend. It's a nice little place, we enjoyed or food both times.

Anonymous said...

What times we live in - papers - people - blogs - go eat where you like - drink coffee you can swallow and digest produce you are worthy of. Times, height, media, crap - it is about every day doing your best the best for those around you and the best for your local suppliers. Latest media sensations are lying in beds of others and so they should - that is what they do - but their are ones amongst us that have being lying in our own beds all along.
sweet dreams to those that beds real. Those who when have gone will be seen as livers and sleepers

Anonymous said...


Sieve said...

My wife and I visited Lucky Duck soon after it opened and were as impressed as Rita was. I had a fish pie which I thought was a big risk to take in a small country town but was very surprised at the quality of the pie with a moist but not over gravyed filling.

As with all things foody taste is a personal thing including presentation. I happen to like the presentation shown in Rita's photos and think it shows thoughtfulness and taste.