AU ABROAD

The Flying Duck Hotel - Prahran (Melbourne)

Late last year, Prahran’s beloved Flying Duck Hotel changed hands to property magnate Zig Inge, following a long battle by locals to prevent the development of a six-level apartment block. A range of renovations ensued, with the Inge family finally unveiling a reinvigorated hotel, which took its maiden flight amidst a flurry of media buzz early last week.

Tucked away on a leafy backstreet, the Flying Duck Hotel looks just like any other of the neighbouring buildings, though inside you will find a massive beer garden complete with shady palm trees and long wooden tables overlooking a stunning glasshouse. The essence of the pub remains unchanged but in new hands, the building has been lovingly restored. The Inge family have certainly attracted bounds of attention for their unique design, with the otherwise secluded pub being reinvented as the watering hole of choice for locals and visitors alike, whilst maintaining a comfortable, warm and inviting atmosphere.

Part of the relaxed, mellow ambience is reflected in the Flying Duck Hotel’s menu, which serves classic, fresh and accessible pub fare. Recognising its classic Aussie pub origins, Head Chef Javier Perez Gonzalez has kept things simple, serving pub classics with a bit of flair. Duck breast with polenta, wild mushrooms and rosemary jus [$34] is the order of the day, along with a number of smaller plates, such as the pulled pork sliders [$12], which are perfect for eating with a pot of beer in hand. Otherwise, skip straight to the bar snacks, choosing between porcini and hazelnut croquettes with red onion marmalade [$15] or fresh-shucked oysters [$4 pc].

If the hunger pangs are setting in, try the 250g eye fillet with pancetta and potato gratin [$34] or go all out with the 350g rib eye, beer battered onion rings and rocket salad [$36]. The usual suspects are also available, including chicken parma with chips and salad [$23] and everybody’s favourite, fish and chips [$29].

To quench your thirst, choose a glass from the impressive wine list, which features a selection of coveted Australian drops mingled with some of the best wine from France, Italy and South Africa. Otherwise splurge on the 1997 MossWood Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon [$250] straight from the Flying Duck’s own cellar. There are also several draft beers on tap, including a mix of basic favourites and more complex styles to suit everyone’s taste. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, then you can’t go past the Bloody Bendigo St [$16], featuring the Chef’s special mix of vodka, tomato juice and cracked spices.

With new owners, a fresh look and a versatile collection of rooms, the Flying Duck is a crowd favourite whether you’re having a casual get together or jolly old booze up with friends. Kick back in the shade of a palm tree, soak up the friendly backyard vibes and settle in for the afternoon. This laidback venue is the ideal place to catch some rays in the sunshine and spin a few yarns with friends.

The Flying Duck

Address: 67 Bendigo Street, Prahran, VIC
Website: http://www.flyingduckhotel.com.au
Contact: (03) 9510 8081
Hours: Sun-Wed, 12pm-11pm; Thurs-Sat, 12pm-12am.

Photos by Serena Ho for the AU Review