An innovative twist to Cantonese, Malaysian and Korean classics, in addition to duck specialities at Caesars Palace Dubai.
As Dubai often moves in trends, it’s not surprising to see a new modern Chinese restaurant, Demon Duck, take up residence at the lavish Caesars Palace Dubai. The restaurant from acclaimed Chef Alvin Leung sits comfortably next to another celebrity chef fronted restaurant in the resort’s Palace Tower – Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Dubai.
Demon Duck is a playful concept showcased through the food and beverages to the vibrant decor. A cocktail is served within glassware shaped like a bird, chopstick holders have webbed feet, and a statue of a horned duck stands proudly at the restaurant entrance. It’s quirky, fun and perfectly befitting Alvin Leung’s culinary ethos. Harnessing three distinct spaces, Demon Duck features an intimate dining room where depictions of duck art by Hong Kong-based photographer Mark Chung line the walls, and a steam-filled show kitchen brings a theatricality to proceedings. There’s also a charming outdoor garden terrace and a stylish speakeasy bar.
With the Michelin Guide recently announcing its first foray into the Middle East, there couldn’t be a better time for Alvin Leung, who is affectionately referred to as the ‘Demon Chef’, to open a restaurant in Dubai, having already secured three of the coveted stars across his rapidly expanding restaurant empire.
Having long been the enfant terrible of Asian gastronomy, Alvin Leung earned a reputation for his distinct culinary style that he refers to as “X-Treme Chinese”. At Demon Duck, diners can enjoy a creative twist to Chinese and Asian classics through signature highlights, including Slow Roasted Peking Duck (AED 625), which had already sold out when we arrived for an 8pm reservation on a Tuesday evening (pre-ordering the dish ahead of time is advised). Elsewhere diners can expect reimagined versions of classics like Wasabi Shrimp On Toast (AED 120), the rich and decadent Pan Seared Duck Dumpling (AED 85) served with a glorious foie gras sauce, and Duck Lettuce Wraps (from AED 70) in a range of international flavours, including Arabic, Korean, French and Singaporean.
Dishes are divided under playful menu subheadings such as chills to begin (cold starters), temptations from the furnace (hot starters), the cauldron (soups), demon delights (signature dishes) and angels from the masters (desserts). However, nothing on the menu is quite as audacious as the chef’s controversial ‘on the beach’ dish created back in 2015. Instead, Dubai diners are treated to tasty Chinese food and a duck heavy menu that features the Duck Journey (AED 920 for two people) – a tasting menu entirely dedicated to the poultry.
We indulge in the Black & White Dover Sole (AED 180), an alluring dish of delicate fish presented upon a marbling of white cream and black seaweed sauce that resembles an edible artwork. The delightful Short Ribs Shish (AED 115) features lacquered beef skewers with a Singapore crunch, pickled pear and Kimchi, whilst the Cumin Crispy Duck (AED 235) with house made pancakes and spicy pineapple sauce makes for a worthy substitute for the aforementioned sold-out signature.
Desserts are where Demon Duck excels, offering an inventive sweet twist on a Middle Eastern staple with aromatic Pineapple Shawarma (AED 85). The Coconut Creme Brûlée (AED 75) with sour cherry ice cream is easily enough for four people to share, and the Toffee Apple (AED AED 65) offers teeth-chattering sweet banana beignets coated is sticky toffee, topped with candy floss and served with a generous dollop of peanut butter ice cream.
While Demon Duck isn’t breaking any new ground with its modern Chinese cuisine presented on Monica Tsang-designed crockery, the experience remains fun and frivolous. Competent service holds the dining experience together and while the price point is high, it’s precisely what you’d expect from a celebrity chef fronted restaurant at Caesars Palace Dubai.
While the Demon Chef was nowhere to be seen during our visit, we hope that he takes a hands-on approach to this new Dubai eatery rather than being just a name above the door. Time will tell, but until then, enjoy the signature Peking duck which is flamed tableside. That is, if you managed to pre-order it ahead of time!