After hearing that the minds behind the excellent Gerard's bar and Bistro had created a new venue with 24 beer taps and casual American style cuisine in Newstead's Gasworks I knew I had to check out The Defiant Duck!
I however think that maybe my expectations were too high and apologise in advance if this post comes across as too negative, it's not meant to be anything other than my opinion, experiences and hopefully some valid suggestions for improvement.
Lets start with the beer, you'd be forgiven for assuming that a venue with 24 taps would have some local beer but unfortunately it looks like all of taps are contracted which in some ways is understandable (cost saving, maintenance etc). However I would like to have seen some good Australian Craft on tap or at the very least some local craft with two excellent Brisbane breweries within 1km of the venue..
What get's weirder is they seem to do a 'happy hour' that's suggests that you can get local beer at local prices but I'm not really sure what's considered local, Australian beer maybe?
That said you can get some bottled beer from local and Australian breweries which is in essence a good starting point and at least with 24 taps I was able to find a couple of decent beers from Creatures in the form of Dog Day's and Creature's IPA which both went down well on a warm as fuck day.
Let's move on to the food, the menu consists of American style food with corn dogs, crab cakes and wings filling up the snacks portion and burgers, beef ribs and fried chicken taking up the mains.
It's a balanced menu with arguably something for everyone which is great and with a pretty solid amount of gluten free options as well which was excellent for one of my lunch crew.
The main difference to other venues in this medium-ish price range that's doing this type of food is something called The Josper Oven which seems to essentially be like a charcoal oven/gril that's used to cook a lot of the protein on the menu and can be pointed out by the big JO symbol next to the item.
I started out with a serve of wings which came with a slightly vinegary, almost buffalo style sauce and a dressing and plenty of great tasting char but for $10 is verging a bit on the expensive side for five small wings but they were pretty good!
We also shared some gluten free mini corn dogs which were really delicious with what seemed like a maize flour and turmeric batter which was nice and crunchy encasing a small kranksy style sausage.
Then came the 'Classic Cheeseburger' which is what I was honestly really excited to try because Gerard's bar does a freaking incredible double patty cheese burger that puts many to shame and comes out juicy and medium.
Defiant Duck's version however was neither juicy, medium or really all that enjoyable with an incredibly spongie bun that tasted like it had too much bi-carb in it and a patty that definitely had that charcoal flavour but that was all it had as it was super dry and without enough sauce to carry it through.
The Duck is a fairly new venue and may still be finding it's feet, webbed as they may be..
There is a couple of things still left on the menu I would like to try mainly the mac n cheese croquettes and the toasted reuben sandwhich so I will likely go back a couple more times but as far as first impressions go I've had better.