Review: The Duck Truck, Cambridge
The firmly established food truck, which offers a fine selection of duck-related delights, opened at The Grafton centre yesterday (Saturday, November 16).
As the newest Food Social addition at The Grafton, this is the first time the award-winning Duck Truck - a street food and festival staple - is operating from a shopping centre.
The Duck Truck was founded in 2012 by Ed Farrell, who is from Bury St Edmunds, and for those who don’t like duck, the Cambridge branch of Ed's business also offers chicken, halloumi, and a 100 per cent plant-based burger.
After operating from the Old Spitalfields Market in London for the past four years, Ed is now extending across the UK.
In September, The Duck Truck was crowned as London’s best street food concept at Harden’s definitive 2019 London Restaurant Awards night at a ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Langham.
Visiting the restaurant on Sunday, November 17, I was immediately impressed by the layout.
With lights strewn across the generous space and a leafy foliage, the bar where the food is made and the snazzy truck where one places one's order help to create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
The menu offers burgers wraps and boxes - duck, chicken, a plant burger and halloumi are the main options.
There is also a selection of sauces, including hoisin, garlic mayo and siracha, and extras and sides, ranging from duck fat frites to Asian slaw.
I opted for the duck poutine, which was duck in a box with chips, gravy, cheese and spring onion - and it was delicious.
Duck is a favourite dish of mine (this helping boasted prime cuts) and I always enjoy chips with gravy, while spring onions and cheese will always brighten up any meal.
I also liked the fact that one can help oneself to hoisin sauce - that gorgeously sweet and thick sauce that combines beautifully with duck, of course.
My wife had a crispy duck wrap with hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion and a side of duck fat frites.
Price-wise, it's pretty much what one would expect to pay and, although £4 for a side of chips may seem a bit expensive, they are wonderfully-tasting frites - the rosemary in which they are cooked adding real flavour.
We didn't have pudding, but the options are ice-cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt, with the option of adding sprinkles and stroopwaffle.
In an effort to do their bit for the environment, the business doesn't use any plastics, recycles cans, composts, and tries to send as little as possible to refuse sites.
After the meal, I sat down with Ed, who is taking the Duck Truck to the Bury St Edmunds Christmas fair next week, for a bit of a chat.
"We started as a food truck, we still are a food truck, and we still want to be 'street food' food, rather than restaurant food," he explained.
"We're very much a casual dining, street food kind of style, so that's why we have the truck in the restaurant."
He added: "There's been a lot of social media interest [in the Cambridge restaurant], and we invited a few social media fans down last week to give us a go, and that went really well.
"So so far, so good. Very early days but we're really pleased and we're really excited about the future."
More by this authorAdrian Peel