17 Feb A night of ethical eating at Lucky Duck Birmingham
Ramen, Bao Buns and ethical eating come to the Jewellery Quarter
Ethical eating is tipped to be one of the biggest trends of 2018, and for sustainably-minded residents of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter it just got a lot easier.
Tonight I was invited to attend the soft launch of the Quarter’s newest restaurant – eco-friendly noodle shop Lucky Duck, which officially opens tomorrow (Saturday 17th February 2018).
I was excited for several reasons – number one being the most obvious. Noodles, duh. But also because it’s ethically conscious and I’ve been talking about it for weeks as I’ve been helping out with some pre-launch marketing, PR, social media and website building advice. Plus I’m a very lucky duck myself to consider Head Chef Dominic and his business partner Rose close friends of mine – and it’s amazing to see them chasing their dream and heading up this new venture.
Dominic and Rose have over 10 years’ experience working in many high profile restaurants across the city. They’re big advocates for the independent food and arts scene (Rose is a practicing artist herself which is how we met!) and it’s exciting to see Lucky Duck become part of it.
A couple of weeks ago I peered through the window of the former hairdressers on Caroline Street with Rose, looking at a very basic shell of a space. They’ve worked night and day to transform it into a modern, cosy and welcoming space that matches the relaxed dining experience they want to provide.
On the menu are popular Asian-style broths and steamed buns. Fresh ingredients are the focus and ethically-minded diners can enjoy delicious vegetarian/vegan options too.
Being a newly converted vegetarian myself, I went for the aubergine, peanut and chilli Bao Bun (which was so good I went back for seconds!) and the miso broth with chickpeas. Both options are also suitable for vegans. The noodles were so fresh and delicious that I’m already dreaming of when I can go back for more!
Dominic’s chocolate brownie recipe is a bit of a legend (and a closely guarded secret) so I was thrilled to see these make an appearance on the menu – obviously I had to have one!
I know from vegan friends that finding decent desserts can be a challenge and although they can’t sample the brownie, there is a vegan meringue and roasted pineapple pudding on offer. Vegan meringues are made with chickpea water and have a more gooey texture than you may be used to, but I did manage to sample some and it was a deliciously refreshing way to end the meal (but for me you just can’t beat the chocolate brownie!)
Ethically conscious sourcing is really important to the Lucky Duck team. At a time when many high street chains are enjoying the publicity of moving away from plastic straws in light of recent headlines about plastic pollution in the ocean, Lucky Duck have build ethical and sustainable practices into the heart of how they do business.
You won’t find throwaway chopsticks or plastic straws anywhere to be seen. Customers will be rewarded for bringing their own takeaway cups and containers (perfect if you want to make your lunchtime noodle run more Earth-friendly) and the team are focusing on supporting local businesses by supplying a range of Fairtrade and locally sourced drinks.
They’re also planning to support several artist friends by displaying their work around the restaurant too. Even the table decorations are a handcrafted, sustainable work of art. Instead of opting for fresh flowers, they have had some beautiful paper flowers made for them by The Heirbloom Design Co – matching their brand colours and echoing the Asian style that comes through the menu.
Rose says, “It is important to us to encourage ethical responsibility and promote awareness of environmentally friendly products. We hope that the community will enjoy and support our plans and feel involved.”
If you’re looking for delicious local dining that matches your ethical values then I can highly recommend Lucky Duck!
Lucky Duck officially launches tomorrow and will be open Tuesdays – Saturdays. You can find them at 21 Caroline Street, Birmingham, B3 1UE.