Confit as duck

Published June 23, 2022, 3:30 PM

by Sandy Daza

The best duck legs in Mandaluyong can be found in this casual French bistro at Shangri-La

It was a lunch courtesy of my usual host. Every afternoon, my friend goes to “school” and played poker at the casino. Most times, he wins. Not much, but enough to invite us for lunch.

His first invite was a place somewhere in Greenhills. When he invites us to eat, we would joke with him and end up insulting his choice since, more often than not, it would be nothing to write about. I suggested a place in Shangri-La Plaza that specializes in duck.

When I lived in Paris, we had a dish in our restaurant called Pato Binondo. It was roasted barbarie duck rubbed with seasoning and served with a combination of adobo sauce and hoisin. It was a hit. Every time that roast came out of the oven, I waited for one thing: the duck tail. It was crispy, oily, tasty, and oh, so good. Full of fat, it was so good. It was also in Paris where I learned to appreciate duck confit, crispy duck legs baked to a crisp and served with potatoes stir-fried in duck fat. Delicious!

Today, duck confit can be bought in cans of four or eight pieces that are just as good as fresh ones. A friend, Annie Carmona, imports some and I buy from her. Just lay it on a tray and bake until crisp. Get the white fat and fry the potatoes with a little seasoning in the same pan.

The half duck was more than enough to sate the three of us. It was crispy, almost dry, as it should be, and meaty on the breast side.

Going back to that Shangri-La restaurant, Duck & Buvette (D&B) has been around for a long time. Manolet did not trust Joey to order, so they waited for me. When I arrived, they already had a platter of Fennel Wild Mushrooms, an appetizer of shrimp, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil. It was delicious! I also love their bread. I only eat the sides. With that, I ordered grilled octopus over salad and pomelo. Also very good. The winners were the specialty half duck confit with sticky rice, the tender eight-hour Angus beef brisket, and the slow-braised beef burgundy. The duck was crispy, almost dry, as it should be, and meaty on the breast side. I prefer the thigh part where I find the meat more flavorful. We were not able to finish the food so we had a lot to take home. The half duck was more than enough to sate the three of us. The place was packed and I’m sure all of the diners were happy like we were. I am told by a foodie, Juancho Sy, that D&B’s pizzas are also very good.

I still have cans of duck confit from Petit Quenault and I’m saving it. My kids don’t really appreciate it yet, but one day they will. I’ll order more from Annie before I consume this.

Check them out.

Duck & Buvette is at unit 206, Main Wing Shangri-La Plaza, EDSA, Corner Shaw Blvd, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 1550

Happy eating!

The author has organized a Hokkaido food tour from July 11 to 17, when the lavender fields of the prefecture are in full bloom. The travel agency will assist in giving special visas just for the trip. There are, however, no more slots available for the coming tour. The next will be in the cooler months of September and October. [email protected]