As most of you readers will know, I’m not a vegetarian, so why did I recently find myself in Camden’s Pan-Asian paradise Gilgamesh devouring ‘Mock Duck’? And more to the point, what the hell is ‘Mock Duck’?
Made from wheat gluten, ‘Mock Duck’ is high in protein and imitates the look and texture of shredded duck to offer a credible alternative to the traditional bird.
Unbenownst to much of the general public, the Gilgamesh kitchen has devised a menu of interesting dishes for you to experience with your prawn quackers (sorry).
I took along my firmly carnivorous boyfriend and got ready to try out this under-the-radar non-meat feast while watching the trains rumble by.
Based on some of the signature dishes from the a la carte menu, first up, there’s the Spring Rolls. Served with cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce they are every bit as tasty and satisfying as their meat equivalent.
My boyfriend, who, to be fair, took the news of our meat-free dining date quite well, quietly approved, although he did also remark, “they would have been even better if they had been duck.”
Duck and Watermelon salad was flavoursome and complimented by cashew nuts, mint and Thai basil, plus huge chunks of watermelon. It’s a little one-dimensional though and I hope you’re hungry because it’s also rather large.
Finally, Shredded Duck and Pancakes was to me, the most successful of the three dishes. The way this is prepared, shredded and served with cucumber, homemade pancakes and the ubiquitous hoisin sauce will easily fool you into thinking it’s the real deal.
If you’re a veggie or simply a red meat avoider, I don’t recommend that you order all three dishes as by the end you’ll almost certainly be ‘ducked-out’ and you’ll definitely need to save room for the divine banana and green tea cake with coconut ice cream.
Don’t forget to have a cocktail or two, something which Gilgamesh is rather good at. And if you don’t have any dietary restrictions, may I also suggest you try the prawn tempura and black cod dumplings, both of which are totally awesome.
The Mock Duck menu is available on request daily from 12pm until 12am.
Gilgamesh, Camden Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH.