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Pavlov’s Duck

Posted in Melbourne

Last updated on January 28, 2022

Pavlov’s Duck seems a quirky name twist on Pavlov’s better known dogs. It was more the menu than the name that drew us there though. It promised something beyond the standard fare, with Sri Lankan and Korean flavours featuring on the menu we scoped out before our visit.

Pavlov’s Duck is located in Fitzroy, but away from the busier stretch. Blink, and you might miss the sign over the Smith Street entrance. The tables outside are a hint to the eatery’s location though.

Once through the glass doors, we found ourselves in a warehouse-like space, with high ceilings of corrugated metal, and concrete floors. A bright mural was painted along one wall, injecting a shock of lively colour into the area. It had a mix-and-match assortment of wooden tables and chairs, with a number of longer tables that would fit 6 comfortably.

pavlov's duck inside
A look at part of the interior of Pavlov’s Duck.

Music played over the speakers, at a volume that was present but not too loud for the space. The eatery was a bit noisy when the blender was going, but otherwise it was fine. It was air-conditioned to a comfortable temperature.

pavlov's duck mural
Part of the colourful mural along the wall.

The menu was printed on a single sheet of A3 sized paper, with food items on one side and drinks on the other. A chalkboard on one of the walls explained what a hopper was – a bowl-shaped pancake/crumpet, which is a traditional Sri Lankan street food. There were a few varieties of hopper on the menu, and given that this seemed to be their specialty, we had to have a hopper dish. We also ordered a Chilli Scramble, as it came with a croffle, and who can go past a croffle? (hint: not us.)

pavlov's duck menu
The menu.

For drinks, we ordered an iced long black and a cacao smoothie. The long black had fruity notes to it.

pavlov's duck long black
The long black.
pavlov's duck long black
Another angle on the long black.

The Cacao smoothie was listed as having cinnamon, banana, chia seeds, cacao, honey, and coconut milk. It came in a handled glass, with a bamboo straw. Not just the now more commonplace plastic-replaced-by-plant-pulp type of straw, but a made from bamboo stem straw. Besides the tropical vibe infusion, it made for a different drinking experience, as it was a wider diameter than regular straws. It did suit the thicker texture of the smoothie though. The smoothie had sweetness and a definite banana flavour, with hints of cinnamon. We did want it at a more chilled temperature though, which was fixed by getting more ice to add to it.

pavlov's duck cacao smoothie
The Cacao smoothie, with bamboo straw.
pavlov's duck cacao smoothie
And some of the table decor..

The Chilli Scramble dish was listed in the menu as having croffle, chilli potato salad, gojuchang pesto sauce, chilli scrambled egg, spinach, bacon, and cheddar cheese. It was prettily presented, with the orange-hued sauce swished in an arc on the plate that was both a counterbalance and a highlight for the other components. In an inversion of the usual plating, the croffle was placed atop the scrambled egg and bacon, rather than underneath. The croffle was certainly buttery. It had a soft pull rather than being crisp though, and was a bit on the oily side. The scrambled eggs were softly folded, with a smooth, supple texture. The gojuchang pesto sauce definitely had some kick to it, but was tempered with creamy tartness. The chilli potato salad was also moreish, with hints of curry spice flavour.

pavlov's duck chilli scramble
The Chilli scramble, with croffle, chilli potato salad, gojuchang pesto sauce, bacon, spinach, and cheddar cheese.
pavlov's duck chilli scramble
Another angle on the swirl.
pavlov's duck chilli scramble
The stack of components closer up.

We had deliberated which hopper dish to have for a while, but eventually decided on the Breakfast hopper over the Traditional hopper, as the Traditional hopper dish came with the recommendation to order an extra hopper. We figured that meant the dish was less substantial for the same price, so picked the other, though we still ended up adding a hash brown on. The hopper was indeed bow-shaped, and held the beans, bacon, and cheese mix in the bottom, while the egg and rice mix curved up to make crisp sides. The egg yolk at the base was runny. It would indeed have been quite an insubstantial dish without the hash brown. The hash brown was composed of strips of potato that had been cooked down, and was soft on the inside, with a nicely crunchy exterior.

pavlov's duck hopper
The Breakfast Hopper, and hash brown.
pavlov's duck hopper
The dish closer up.
pavlov's duck hopper
At an angle to show you the height of the hopper.
pavlov's duck hopper
And a look at the inside of the hash brown.

Overall, we thought Pavlov’s Duck did deliver a different brunch from the usual. They had good flavours. We would suggest ordering the Traditional hopper over the Breakfast hopper though, if after some more interesting flavours. And you’ll probably need an extra hopper, unless you’ve already had first breakfast.

Food: 3/4
Setting: 1/2
Service: 1/2
Total: 5/8

Price point: $15 to $21.50 for items more substantial than eggs on toast. Our dishes $20.50 and $19 respectively.

Value: Variable. The Hoppers seem expensive for what you get before adding extras.

Address: 401 Smith St, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9416 4336
Website: Pavlov’s Duck

Pavlov's Duck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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