On my birthday, all I wanted to do was chill out. I had always planned on both K and I taking the day off work, and I had envisaged a sleep in, a relaxed long lunch somewhere nice but casual, and then an afternoon roaming the shops picking things for our baby room. The night before my birthday, K and I were about to fall asleep when he suggested Three Blue Ducks for lunch - and in the morning, when I saw how bright and beautiful the day was, I readily agreed - and it was the perfect choice!
We had heard that the place was always busy, but considering we were lunching on a Tuesday we were confident that we'd be ok. All I have to say is, why is everyone in Bronte not working and at Three Blue Ducks?!!? We were lucky that we arrived just before lunch service, so we were able to snap up one of the remaining tables - not a coveted outdoor one though, they were well guarded by locals. Sitting down inside however, gave me an appreciation for what the chefs are working with - a really quite small space for them to bundle about, and when you then see what comes out of that kitchen, it becomes even more impressive.
K and I perused our menu and two things immediately stood out to us - the chilli octopus and kipfler potato salad, and the crispy skin salmon. However, when we went to order, the waitress told us that the crispy skin salmon wasn't available that day, but it was replaced with a citrus cured salmon, with a wakame salad, garnished with puffed black rice. That, if possible, sounded even more delightful than the crispy skin salmon, and so we happily ordered this instead - and boy, it did not disappoint as K was VERY happy with his dish! He said it was light, tart with the citrus and that the wakame salad was fantastic. I was fascinated by the puffed black rice - if the waitress hadn't told us what it was, I probably would have been a bit concerned, as they did almost resemble bugs!
My chilli octopus and kipfler potato salad was not presented as prettily as K's dish, but it didn't disappoint when it came to taste and flavour. The chilli was a mild heat, but the octopus a stand out - cut helpfully into bite size bits, they were incredibly tender. The salad was very generous in terms of serving size and I was very happy to see that they were equally generous with the octopus, and that it wasn't just a few bits supplemented by lots of greenery. I loved the addition of the corn kernels as they provided a nice crunch and sweetness against the heat of the chilli dressing.
Alongside these dishes we ordered some freshly squeezed juices - I think I had the 378 and K had the one with ginger. Both were fantastic, and we finished our meals walking out of Three Blue Ducks feeling full and satisfied, but still light and healthy - a great balance!
I was very impressed with Three Blue Ducks - for such a quintessentially casual cafe, on an unassuming little strip of stores, the tiny kitchen was definitely producing some top quality dishes. The salmon was a stand out for us - that dish could have come out at any other white-table-clothed city restaurant with a heftier price tag attached, and no one would have blinked an eye.
This was a great place for a relaxed lunch on a sunny Sydney's day - and I'm glad we ate there on my chilled out birthday! I will definitely be coming back to Three Blue Ducks - and hopefully next time I'll score a seat in the cool lane way!
Three Blue Ducks