2 Duck Goose
This restaurant is closed!
400 4th Avenue (7th St)
City: Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (347) 987-4808
Wednesday, Thursday 6-9PM
Friday, Saturday 6-10PM
Sunday 6-9 PM
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Ben Pope
2nd Cuisine: Chinese
The name 2 Duck Goose may be a play on a child's game, but the Cantonese-style food, based on Hong Kong's "wet" markets, at this Brooklyn restaurant is serious business. You'll find it on the corner of 7th Street on Fourth Avenue in the Gowanus section where new co-ops are giving rise to a hot new food scene. The space is simple with white-washed brick and wooden tables. We sat at a small bar that barely seats three facing a kitchen that at times appeared frenzied with servers, cooks and helpers. The chef here is Hong Kong native Ben Pope and what emerges is simply stunning.
A complimentary bowl of candied walnuts starts the meal. They're sweet and crunchy and utterly addictive. It was followed by "smacked cucumber" with hints of garlic in Chinkiang vinegar with a Sichuan peppercorn dust. A lotus root salad, sliced paper thin, is accompanied by earthy wood ear mushrooms and green chilies.
Serious eaters may want to skip the apps and head for the main event. Dishes like Roast Pork - Char Siu served three separate ways at room temperature. We opted for the "modern" and found the most delicate slices of pork atop a puree of apple, beet and ginger. The puree is electic pink but we had no problem slathering it on those wonderful slices of meat. The dish comes with a side of pickled fennel which is delicious on its own.
I love sweet-and-sour, but after tasting the "imperial" sweet and sour at 2 Duck Goose there is no going back to Chinese takeout. We tried the shrimp version. Each piece lightly battered and served with a mix of pineapple, brussel sprouts that tasted like they had been charred on the grill, and slices of bell pepper. If you're looking for something light, you might want to try the spicy pulled chicken salad with housemade pickled plums and walnuts on a thick bed of mixed greens and frisee. My only complaint would be that it was a little too light on the dressing. But the freshness of the dish could not be beat. Lastly, duck fried rice with freshly cut carrots and green peas with egg and oyster mushrooms made with a duck broth reduction. It's a dish that is not easily forgotten. We cleaned the plate chopsticks and all.
We didn't try the rotisserie duck this time around. At $60 for a half duck the price was a bit too steep. We do plan on returning for the Cantonese Roast Duck Feast which serves up to five people. For $120, you get a whole duck with four sides, including a silken tofu in a soya sauce broth and saffron rice. It must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.
One more note. We arrived at 6pm on a Saturday and the place was already booked solid. So, be sure to make reservations. You won't be disappointed. 2 Duck Goose Go!
[Update: Since the writing of this review, 2 Duck Goose informs us that they have tweaked the pricing for their quarter, and half duck, to $25 and $50 respectively and are also including several small side dishes. They also point out that preparing it is very labor intensive. We can report during our visit that it did look scrumptious!)
Review By: Thomas Rafael