Duck Soup is thoroughly a trendy, soho, bar type of restaurant. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think of a small bar counter with 5 tables around it. Why is it packed? Because it only has 5 tables and a 7 people (estimated) bar. So if you just went shopping and have some bags or are in a large group (by that I mean more than 3 people), or dislike waiting in a queue, go somewhere else. If you love this kind of thing, then expect delicious starters from £4 and mains from £14, all scribbled on a hand written menu updated on a daily basis (also available on their website blog).
The best table is the one by the window, the only one with a space on its own. The others would all end up brushing your neighbour’s back, nice if she/he is hot, but date wise, it’d be awkwardly uncomfortable. The mood was surprisingly chilled after you settle down into the compact space, dimmed candle light with the vinyl record player working in the background. It’s a good place to just walk in for a drink, even better if you can make a late lunch to avoid the crowd and have this space to your own.
Duck Soup is a big fan of hand scribbled menus (very neat hand writing), doable when it only has a dozen of dishes. The left wall of the bar was kitchen tiled, allowing the wine menu to be scribbled on the wall and I’m guessing, easily wiped off. It’s good if you sat close to it, otherwise you’ll need to walk there just to choose a wine.
Grilled chicken wings, curry leaves
Extra charred yet still juicy and tender, perfect wings I’d say (don’t bother with knife and fork!).
Broad beans, pancetta, ricotta
It was perfect when I assembled all the layers, salty, oily, crunchy with a hint of sweetness from the ricotta.
Pork belly, arrocina beans
The pork belly was tender, succulent and the skin was crunchy but not too tough. Nothing to fault but it’d be better if the beans had more flavour.
Turbot, smoked cod roe
I really liked the sauce on the turbot, slightly salty but very buttery. Another good dish.
Honey and almond tart
The whole tart (unsliced) was just next to us at the bar so we asked for a slice. Compared to the starters and mains, it was on the average side with minimal flavour and a bit dry. The drip feed coffee was great though.
Verdict - 3/5
Food (very good) - I really enjoyed the food at Duck Soup, especially the extra charred chicken wings. Actually, all of the dishes were great, but they weren’t particular memorable. It’s a restaurant to casually walk in and dine, rather than one to wow or to impress.
Service (casual) - very casual place with the vinyl record player setting a relaxing mood.
Cost (46pp) - two of us billed £92, including a carafe of wine at £24.50.
40-41 Dean Street, W1