The Muddy Duck, Hethe

by Jo

Guess who’s birthday it was this weekend! (I’ll let the candles tell you the damage).

25th Birthday cake

Mr Yumdimsum made my birthday cake, his first ever go at baking! I was super impressed 🙂

The snow made it a very chilled out birthday (literally) so we spent the day hanging out and eating Chinese. Food always being at the centre of a celebration I was hoping we would be going out to dinner in the evening. My mum did throw me off a little to begin with, saying she’d, “Just popped to Tesco to get some bits to cook”. But subtlety is not my dear old mum’s forte and she gave it all away when she insisted I had to dress nicely!

So later that evening after endless pestering and everyone remaining impressively tight lipped, off I was taken on a mysterious journey down pitch black, icy tracks out in the sticks where we finally arrived at our destination: The Muddy Duck!

Jo yum dim sum muddy duck

Loved this guy!

The Muddy Duck is one of those pubs you only get to know through word of mouth; there’s no way you’ll discover it in passing with it being so hidden away in a tiny village. For months I’ve had people raving to me about how great this place is and how much I would love it so I was super excited to finally be experiencing the hype. This pub is seriously popular, we expected the snow to create many empty tables, but as we walked through the entrance we were greeted with a bustling atmosphere of happy punters who had all deemed the Muddy Duck worthy of venturing out in the snow for.

Muddy Duck Hethe restaurant

It’s a gorgeous old building, which they’ve lovingly ladened with all things duck related! Trust me, they really go to town on the duck theme.

Muddy Duck Hethe Quack

Muddy Duck Hethe menu

Excited and ravenous I was happy to see that the menu consisted of all the classics you’d expect any decent gastro pub to serve, complete of course with lots of little gourmet twists. Total crowd pleasers, for the adventurer and the traditionalist at your table!

Muddy Duck Hethe Winter menu

Mr Yumdimsum had to excuse himself from conversation to make a decision on what to have!

Mr yumdimsum Muddy Duck Hethe menu

So after much umming and aahing, here’s what we had…

Crispy squid muddy Duck Hethe starter

Crispy squid with chargrilled sausage, salsa and aioli. This was so fresh and light. Not a rubbery mouthful in sight either.

Crackling chilli jam Muddy duck nibbles Hethe

Lovely long sticks of pork crackling with chilli jam. I’ve never seen this before, such a simple and effective idea, I loved it! (Or I loved Mr Yumdimsum needing help with them I should say!)

Thyme duck Muddy Duck Hethe

My main was honey and thyme duck with parsnip puree and fig chutney. This one was a total foodgasm. It. Was. Divine. The meat was pink and juicy and tender, the block of dauphinoise was creamy and punchy all at once. The skin on the duck was sprinkled with rock salt that cracked and zinged with those soft, sweet figs. I stopped talking all together when this dish arrived, I just kept nodding my head with approval of every bite. The best duck I have ever had, which seems fitting given the location.

Sirloin steak Muddy Duck Hethe

The rest of my table had steak, which arrived looking like the perfect Englishman’s supper. Just look at those onion rings!

The portions were hearty and on putting my knife and fork together I was suddenly very aware of the top button on my jeans, but birthdays are not made for passing up dessert. So when the waiter came back to ask the final question I got a bit excited:

“Now then, can I interest you in som-”
“YES PLEASE!!”

My excitement was warranted.

Chocolate espresso tart Muddy Duck Hethe

Chocolate espresso tart with figs. Couldn’t get enough of those figs!

Apply cumble custard Muddy Duck Hethe

Mr Yumdimsum had apple crumble with ice cream and custard.

Apple cumble Muddy Duck Hethe

How delicious does that scoop look on top?

Writing a review a few days after gives you time to reflect on any bad bits once the food euphoria has worn off. But as I sit here I honestly cannot think of a single thing I would change. The presentation was stunning, from the building to the staff to the food… right down to those never ending ducks! I’ve officially joined the ranks of Muddy Duck ravers and I’m mentally planning an occasion where we can return. I think it’s fair to say, I had a ducking good time! (Sorry…)

Check them out and book here.

2 comments

Shaz January 22, 2013 - 8:28 am

That. Looks. AWESOME.

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Joy June 29, 2013 - 10:31 pm

I thoroughly recommend the pork belly – I know, I know, they’re neither your mum, nor Chinese but TRUST me, it’s soooo good! Crispy, tasty and complimented by tangy apples… and I don’t even like pork normally! Unfortunately they recently amended this dish to a “for two” option only so, unless I’m able to persuade a fellow diner to share with me, I will now be “forced” to try something different on the menu!

AND their new menu now has chocolate brownie, woohoo!

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