It was a Friday afternoon and we decided to try a different restaurant in the Gasworks precinct. We settled on The Defiant Duck, an American restaurant.
The indoor dining area gives off a casual, cool vibe.
This spacious restaurant is adorned with wooden furniture, white tiles, a few pool tables and lots of lights. Wooden topped high tables and bar stools occupy most of the indoor dining area giving it a bar feel in a contemporary setting. Their alfresco area feels more like a cafe with views overlooking the grassy area. And then there is another dining area towards the back of the restaurant. With a mixture of shared and individual seating the diner gives off a casual, cool vibe.
We would've liked to sit in the alfresco area, but many tables were already taken up by post-work drinks. As we had a sleeping baby in a pram, we went to the back of the restaurant, where it was quieter, air-conditioned, more child-friendly and the music wasn't too loud.
A quieter dining area towards the back of the restaurant.
The menu screams comfort food (except for the salad section). There are starters and snacks should you choose to graze. Wings, crab cakes and croquettes are on offer here. Or if you're after the non-fried variety, opt for the duck salad, mini corn dogs or tacos. Their burger range consists of cheeseburger, beef, chicken, Reuben sandwich, duck hot dog or the classic chilli dog. For something more substantial, pick one of their 'big plates' - ribs (beef and pork), chicken and steak. And if you're after something sweet to seal the deal there's pecan pie, brownie, sundae and cheesecake.
My favourite dish of the day - charcoal wings with hot sauce.
The drinks menu is a pretty good one with 24 craft and local beers on tap, and plenty of cocktails and wines on offer.
We had been craving fried food, so we went all out, ordering charcoal wings, crab cakes, charcoal chicken, beef burger with fries, and onion rings. It was also happy hour so we took advantage and ordered a jug of Sangria for $15.
Our starters came quickly. I was quite impressed with the charcoal wings. There was plenty of hot sauce and tasted awesome when accompanied by the well-balanced Roquefort dressing. My husband licked every last drop of the hot sauce up with his fingers. And then proceeded to finish the dressing as well. I guess he really enjoyed the dish!
On the other hand, the panko-crumbed Maryland crab cakes were pretty average. They really tasted like potato cakes with little bits of crab. There was no sweetness that you normally taste with crab and the chipotle mayo was bland.
Maryland crab cakes with pickled fennel and chipotle mayo.
We waited more than half an hour for our mains to come. Luckily we had a jug of tasty sangria to keep us occupied. My husband was happy with his beef burger and the fries were well seasoned and crispy. On the contrary the charcoal chicken was disappointing. The chicken pieces were dry and could do with more seasoning. Thanks to their house-made ketchup though, the chicken tasted a little better. The onion rings were good and went well with their pickle dip.
Beef burger with fries.
All in all, the food was pretty ordinary and the service was non-existent. There was no one around to seat us. As first timers we didn't know whether it was table or counter service and there was no staff around to ask unless you walk up to the bar. The only interaction we had with the staff was when we ordered our meals at the counter and when they brought us our food.
Charcoal chicken with salad.
The music got progressively louder as time went on. We finished our meals at around 4.30pm and by that time the whole place was quite noisy.
Negatives aside, The Defiant Duck does have a fantastic atmosphere for drinks. It is vibrant and lively and I'm keen to head back for their Sunday sessions. Lots of people gathered here from local businesses after work and they all seemed to have a great time. There were people playing pool, taking selfies, chattering away happily, taking advantage of happy hour, grazing on calorie loaded food while sipping refreshments from their rather impressive drinks menu. Perhaps next time we're child-free and looking for a venue to catch up with our friends over a beverage, this is the place we'll pick.