THE ELE and The Chef Restaurant Collection are at it again, introducing Savannah to another Asian inspired restaurant, Little Duck Diner.
As restaurateurs in Savannah for over a decade, Ele Tran and Chef Sean outdid themselves this year, opening Current in July and now this retro-chic diner off Ellis Square at 150 St. Julian Street.
As their restaurant dynasty evolves, the twosome continue to develop spaces and concepts that have an overriding theme, making each stand apart from the others.
Little Duck Diner is unlike anything that this restaurant collection has produced before; in fact, its approach is distinct in the Savannah food scene.
This vintage diner, with its marquee reader board broadcasting milkshake flavors and bar stools cozying up to an open kitchen counter, evokes a 1950’s vibe.
On the other hand, while Oldies may play in the background, brass accents, marble countertops and tufted camel leather booths modernize the joint, radiating an upscale ambiance.
Little Duck Diner was inspired by Ele and the Chef’s three children—their little ducklings. From the golden duck logo and the drawing of three ducks on the menu to yellow rubber ducks placed about and duck dishes served, the motif is imbued throughout the establishment.
Like any tried and true diner, Little Duck is an all day affair, remaining open until midnight on the weekends. Breakfast staples, like waffles and pancakes, are offered all day in addition to lunch, dinner and dessert.
The menu contains a variation of traditional diner food like biscuits and gravy, omelettes and burgers, each with upgraded ingredients that set it apart from any basic chain diner. Rise and shine to the Risotto Stacker, a disk of seared cheesy risotto crowned with a house-made pork sausage patty and a runny cage-free egg. Indulge in homemade flaky biscuits with salty brown smoked sausage gravy in the early hours or even in a late night intoxicated state.
For lunch, dig in to a Chicken Waffle Cone, where crispy fried chicken and spicy Sriracha syrup overflow from a fresh made cone. Munch on an array of Gourmet Grilled Cheeses, crammed with cheeses like Gruyere and Havarti and other ingredients like duck, Norwegian smoked salmon and oven roasted tomato.
Sink your teeth into burgers and sandwiches like Avocado Toast with goat cheese or the Little Piggy Went to Market, a slider with house-made pork sausage, fried egg, cheese and apple wood bacon.
Treat yourself to locally made confections from Back in the Day Bakery, such as the seasonal Bourbon Pecan Pie, and perk up with La Colombe coffee, served steamy or over ice.
While all of these diner delights are worth a drop by, it would not be an Ele and The Chef restaurant if Asian cuisine did not grace the menu. This factor alone distinguishes Little Duck Diner from any diner-esque eatery in town.
Nibble on Korean Beef Egg Rolls, served to golden perfection and topped with homemade kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables. Dunk them into sweet and sour duck sauce to seal the deal.
Nosh on one of Little Duck’s bowls of Asian comfort—Bi Bim Bop, Asian Pork or Duck Dynasty. The Duck Dynasty Bowl comes layered with Japanese rice, BBQ duck, daikon, pickled carrots, ginger pineapple sauce and spicy kimchi.
Soon meals can be enjoyed with an adult beverage, as Little Duck Diner has been approved to serve alcohol and is currently waiting on state licensing.
As this collection continues to expand, exceeding expectations with every new establishment, one cannot help but wonder, “What’s next on the menu?”