Ducksoup: Tiny restaurant in Soho serving up creative plates of Modern European food
We were wandering around Soho one evening after watching Argo at the cinema. Soho has such a buzzing vibe about it - the one area in London which is packed with bars, restaurants, jazz bars, clubs and of course, some shady shops. It's rather gentrified now than it was a few years back and is home to a lot of good restaurants.
We walked past Barrafina which was busy as usual, past Koya which is on my wish list to try out the udon noodles but again the queue was ridiculous, Burger & Lobster which I wasn't really in the mood for and then ended up outside Ducksoup, a recent entrant on the Soho strip of Dean Street. I had never been there before and given that we could instantly get a seat and the menu looked interesting, we ventured forth inside.
It didn't start on a good note for me as the glass of wine I had tasted extremely acidic. I was so sure it had gone bad though my dining partner said it was drinkable. Our waiter was extremely nice and offered me another drink in exchange. However, after sampling another wine I decided to stick to beer with pink grenadine which instantly cheered me up. The waiter said all their wines were organic so perhaps I wasn't used to the taste or maybe it was just the one I tried.
We started with Hanger Steak on toast with melted bone marrow butter which was delicious. Steak perfectly cooked with a nice pinkish red centre and the addition of the bone marrow butter took it to another level. The other dish we tried was a raw thinly sliced Jerusalem artichokes with roasted hazelnuts which my dinner companion really liked. For mains, we shared Gnudi with wild mushrooms which was a rather unusual dish. Gnudi is a type of dumpling made of ricotta cheese and flour and was quite nice. We also had 7 hour cooked lamb which was really good. Served up like a stew with melt-in-your-mouth chunks of soft, tender lamb, chickpeas and carrots – it was such a tasty, comforting dish. Dessert was alright - a buttermilk pudding more like panna cotta with Rhubarb.
The restaurant is tiny and run more like cafe. Wines by the glass are written on a white board, handwritten menus, paper napkins out of a dispenser and slightly uncomfortable seating along the wall but overall there's a cosy warm atmosphere which, I suppose, is what they are aiming for with the exposed light bulbs strung along the ceiling and the vintage LP’s stacked at the entrance. Food wise, Ducksoup uses ingredients creatively and serves up simple and well-cooked dishes. I wouldn't mind going again but if there was a queue I don’t think I would have the patience to wait - there are so many more other new restaurants that I want to try out in Soho!
41 Dean Street London W1D 4PY
Tel: 0207 287 4599
Tube: Picadilly Circus/ Leicester Square