Updated Sept 2020
March 2019 – My First Visit to Duck and Rice
I have a team of friends that have known for over 2 decades ( yes…it’s hard to believe seeing how young we look ) and every so often we meet up for copious amounts of food and drinks. To our amazement we all happened to be off work on a sunny Friday afternoon in March , so we decided to make a day of it by meeting up for a few drinks at Aqua spirit roof top bar around 3pm , followed by a quick stroll to place serving the best Cantonese roast duck dishes in London’s Soho area, the duck and rice gastropub on 90 Berwick street. The duck and rice gastropub was an easy pick for many reasons
1) I simply love duck. For those of you that follow my blog , I’m sure you’ve noticed my love for everything duck on my Dubai and Paris travel blog posts, amongst others ( Michel Roux’s restaurant comes to mind ).
2) We were guaranteed tasty food because the gastropub was founded by head chef, Alan Yau. He also founded Yauatcha ( which is just next door ) and Hakkasan, two very impressive restaurants.
3) Jay Rayners glowing review a few years ago. The Guardian article made me place the restaurant on my list of foodie places to visit.
On entering the gastropub there are two floors, the ground floor pub has an eye catching array of bright copper tanks dispensing Czech Pilsner urquell beer, whilst the actual restaurant serving the delicious Chinese food was on the top floor. Just before we sat down at our table, they told us it was a 2 hour seating and that was totally fine because there was no way we were going to last longer thanks to all the drinks we had earlier. Well that and the fact everyone was pretty much starving so this was going to be like that dinner table scene in Fantastic Mr fox.
We kicked off by ordering a bottle of Champagne …because we can and because we don’t believe Brexit will actually happen ( reading this comment in September 2020 makes me think I might be right)
This was quickly followed by a selection of starters and mains perfected and refined by Head Chef Hoong. The menu was filled with a wide variety of Chinese and Asian dishes. The grilled chicken skewers melted in our mouths at every bite, the spinach dim sum was hot and moerish, the squid was crispy and yum, although we all agreed with the exception of Taiwo ( who probably can’t taste salt due to the epic salt levels in Nigerian dishes) that squid needs just a bit less salt. That said , we finished it and even attempted to eat all the garlic on the plate. The pan fried pork, gyoza and premium light soy sauce was also a nice starter.
Starters or as they call it : Small Chow
Yakitori : Grilled chicken skewers
Goji berry and baby spinach dumpling
Pan fried pork and Chinese leaves gyoza
Salt and pepper squid
For the mains , we had a few Cantonese roast duck dishes . The skin of the Cantonese duck was perfectly crispy with every bite delivering a satisfying crunch. The duck meats ever soo fragrant , juicy and succulent. The ducks were hand reared at a family owned Silver Hill farm in Ireland to deliver tons of flavour and all I just want to do right now is take a pilgrimage to Ireland to congratulate the family and ducks for a job well done . The crispy fried duck rice paired with their Kung Po chicken was a joy to behold. Have never tasted rice that good ( except my Nigerian Jollof of course ) and the others agreed it was a triumph as well. We also ordered an Assam chilli cod fish dish and a chilli prawn dish however they had us at mouth watering duck.
Mains : Show me the duck
Crispy duck fried rice
Kung Po chicken
Cantonese Roast duck ( Half )
Assam chilli silver cod
And chilli prawns
Here’s a minute video have put together about the evening
I really enjoyed my evening at the duck and rice. If you’re craving the best Cantonese roast duck dishes in London’s Soho area, then this is the best place to visit without a doubt. The bill for the food and drinks came up to about £195 for the 4 of us. That’s not bad considering it’s the price of one of the cheaper bottles of champagne at Aqua spirit’s roof top. I definitely recommend spending 2 wonderful hours in the duck and rice gastropub. I for one will go back for one of their duck clay pots as I didn’t have enough space on this visit.
September 2020 visit – Eat out to Help out
The Duck and rice subscribed to the governments Eat out Help to Out Scheme . This meant a 50% discount on all food and soft drinks up to £10 per person on select days during the months of August and September 2020. I went for their Sichuan vegetable dumplings this time and loved it. The very aromatic sauce was the star of this dish.
We also ordered the duck and rice of course. After all, dinner wouldn’t be the same without their signature dish.
Let me know if you have other places serving succulent duck dishes in mind on the comments section and I”ll definitely check it out.