Yes, you’ve got a lot of time on your hands at home. But even with the six hours it takes to make this iconic dish, there’s no way you’re going to achieve the results they get at Otto’s. The Clerkenwell restaurant has been making a name for itself in foodie circles since it launched in 2011 with its very French menu and the suitably charming style of service that comes with it. But, of course, it’s Otto’s pressed duck – canard a la presse, if you’re being all fancy – that has gained the most attention.
Using an old-school mechanical press that looks like some form of Medieval torture device, the eponymous restaurateur presses morsels of duck before your very eyes, the likes of which he claims were à la mode on the tables of Paris’s rich and famous, enjoyed by French royalty, heads of state and long-time gout sufferers. And now, you can have a taste of it in lockdown, with Otto’s launching an at-home menu.
It’s part of a duck-heavy three-course French menu that costs, deep breath... £180 in total. But chances are that if you like the sound of pressed duck, you’ve probably got expensive tastes. And the profits from each delivery are going towards feeding NHS staff – Otto’s is currently supplying St Thomas’ Hospital’s ICU workers with nutritious meals as they continue their good work.
On a menu described by the restaurant as ‘decadent, exclusive and unique’ is duck liver in duck sauce (no, seriously), followed by that pressed duck breast with pommes soufflés, and with a third course chaser of confit duck leg with foie gras and black truffle. There’s no denying that the tableside theatre is absent with this at-home experience. But you can do a very nice thing that will only facilitate eating like you’re Louis XIV in lockdown.