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Best Duck in Austin?

I have only recently discovered how much I really love duck when prepared well.

Recently I traveled to Birmingham, AL where I dined at Hot and Hot Fish Club where I had an excellent duck entree:

Oven Roasted Duck Breast and Crispy Confit with Dirty Rice, Haricot Vert, and Red Eye Gravy

What restaurants in Austin do excellent duck?

(I'm actually salivating as I type)

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  1. Ahhh,Hot and Hot is still terrific? Is Chris Hastings still the chef?Love that joint.Hereabouts my fave Duck source is Din Ho.Grab a whole Duck from the case to the left as you enter the space.Their other roasted meats are good too but the Duck?Oh man,it's good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: scrumptiouschef

      I agree that the Chinese places do it the best.

      No one really seems to do even a decent duck confit.

      1. re: Mersenne twister

        I'm actually partial to the confit at Chez Nous...but, then again, I love just about any preparation of what a friend refers to as "flying bacon."

      2. re: scrumptiouschef

        It was our first trip to Hot and Hot - but everyone's food was outstanding. Chris Hastings is still the chef.

      3. I had a nice duck breast recently at Starlite and reviewed it in this thread:(http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407115).

        1. I don't believe that they have it on the menu all the time, but when they do, Zoot makes a great duck. It's been awhile since I had it, so I don't remember the details of this dish. I just remember really enjoying it. If you are every in Vegas, you must try the Peking duck at Wolfgang Puck's Postrio. It's the best I have ever had.

          1. I recently had a very good tea smoked duck breast at Mars. A bit pricey, but delicious. I second the comments on the Chinese roast duck at Din Ho, but would also suggest the same at First BBQ in Chinatown Center on North Lamar. It's very good too.

            1. A couple of other ideas for duck:
              * Sea Dragon (the original) has a great dish of smoked duck with leeks and ginger. sometimes the duck is a tad dry, but it almost always satisfies and I've probably eaten it 25 times since 1987...ok, maybe 30 times....
              * Asia Cafe had Sichuan smoked duck...also sometimes dry, but also almost always tasty and quite a bargain at about 8-9 bucks for a plate of yummy quacker
              * Ray Tatum at Backstage Steakhouse used to be at Jefferies where he had a deft hand at roasted duck...i didn't see it on the Backstage menu today, but it might pop up from time to time...worth calling to investigate...bet he'd make it with a call ahead to reserve....
              * travel to a near suburb of Austin and visit Brigtsen's where Frank does an amazing roasted duck in which he debones a duck half and roasts it and the skin separately, then places the crisp sheet of skin over the duck to plate it...oh, the suburb is New Orleans!

              1 Reply
              1. re: sambamaster

                You know, Roaring Fork does a very credible roast duck, and sided with their mac & cheese, it's a plate that's hard to top in town.

              2. Din Ho is the way to go. Theirs is a consistently excellent duck, nicely seasoned and perfectly cooked.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: pankofish

                    Dude, Din Ho is so freaking good.

                    I used to live in L.A. as a teenager, in the South Pasadena area, where it was about 50% Chinese. I loved getting invited over for dinner by my friends. The food was freaking awesome, and nothing like what I had tried at Chinese restaurants.

                    Din Ho is the only place I've eaten at in Austin that reminds me of that Chinese home cooking. And Din Ho's "duck tacos" are so freaking good they can kick me into feeding frenzy mode.

                    I haven't made it over to this Asia Cafe place folks are raving about. Din Ho is such a jam that if I'm up north and craving Chinese, this is the only place I go.

                    1. re: tom in austin

                      I doubt there is any duck preparation at Asia Cafe that is good as a roasted duck from Din Ho or First Chinese. They simply don't have the roasting facilities. I had the tea-smoked or Szechuan duck there and it was quite dry and bland.

                      1. re: Mersenne twister

                        I can verify that......not that Asia Cafe isn't good, but it isn't the same.

                        For some really cheap and tasty roast duck, quick, I often get the "roast duck flat rice noodle soup" at Wok and Roll. I order extra duck and it costs about $10 for enough for two people. They get their duck from someone who does the roasting, then they flash fry in the deep fryer to heat it up. The skin comes out super crispy. That's the only thing that I ever get there any more.

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          I have to say that I'm not nearly as impressed with Din Ho now that we have First Chinese. The duck at First Chinese is consistently flavorful and juicy, where I've had duck at Din Ho that was way too dry.

                          Two weeks ago, I had a duck breast entree at Uchi that was pretty good. I can't remember how it was cooked (a 2.5 hour wait led me to get a little tipsy on my favorite Ridge Three Valleys), but it was a medium-rare breast, sliced and fanned out on a miso sauce and served with a sweet corn relish and white asparagus. The combinations of the flavors were really good. I would have thought it would all be too sweet, but somehow, it worked.

                          Or else I was really drunk. Could have been either.

                1. Din Ho is definitely it. Not as good as it used to be but it is authentic Cantonese style bbq duck. The bbq pork is great too, but not as tasty as the duck. Very succulent.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rqangel

                    Isn't bbq duck more of a northern style than Cantonese?

                    1. re: Mersenne twister

                      Not necessary. There are Cantonese style, Beijing style, .... In fact, for duck, there are tons and tons of dishes in Chinese cooking. We see only few here. Too bad. Duck is my favorite.

                  2. Din Ho. First Chinese is good, but Din Ho is still superior.

                    1. I recently took my sweetie out to South Congress Cafe to celebrate my new job. I'm a vegetarian, so I didn't taste it myself, but he had the gumbo (which contains duck) and the smoked duck breast. He didn't seem to notice the duck in the gumbo, so that clearly wasn't memorable, but the smoked duck was a hit. You have a choice of glazes, and he picked the honey glazed with apple habanero salsa, which was apparently fantastic.

                      1. how about the ginger duck at suzi's on s. lamar!

                        1. Not trying to hi-jack your thread, but since were on the subject of Duck. What are the sources in Austin to purchase whole duck? I've been wanting to do my own confit, but Duck isn't something I see in the butcher's shelf

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: foodputa

                            It's also always available at Fiesta and many HEBs.

                            1. re: renz

                              Also at MT Supermarket in the Chinatown Center on North Lamar.

                              Now, can I please have some locally raised duck? It's got to be somewhere in the area.

                              1. re: foodiegal71

                                Sebastian Bonneu of Countryside Farm Products ("custom processed farm raised meats") has been at the downtown Farmers Market for almost a year. He sells chickens, ducks, and roosters. I don't know if he has all varieties each week, or if he goes to the Triangle market, but I've definitely had my eye on the duck and am waiting for a reason to splurge. The number on his card is 512-363-2310.

                                1. re: storefronteats

                                  As a follow-up, I roasted two of Sebastian's ducks for separate occasions over the holidays. I roasted them very simply with salt and pepper as he recommended and they were fanTAStic. Perfectly cooked and everyone agreed they were delicious.

                                  1. re: storefronteats

                                    Just wondering....does he also have goose?

                          2. wink typically is spot on, much more so than chez nous that has been gore for the last two years. wait till winter, of course, and many of the higher end restaurants will rotate great duck dishes into their menu. watch for the driskell, zoot, aquarelle and if all else fails suck it up and drive to houston.