Dec 18 2012

Ducksoup

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I was a bit disappointed by this recently opened place that has been generating big publicity and got good reviews by the FT and evening standard and the concept of cool, european type tapas in Soho is great, but there were a few problems: 1) there was no room in the restaurant, it is cute to have small places but this was so small, and the tables put together so close, I had no place where to put my bags and I could not move, 2) the concept of the food is good - european cool tapas (see menu in the picture), but for some strange reason a lot of the dishes just did not work … octopus and lamb chops that I had were amazing, but the meatballs, mozzarella, mushrooms and papardelle pasta with beef ragu were a bit tasteless. I give this place 3 Ms.

Date: 03/02/12

My second visit to Ducksoup almost a year later
I liked Ducksoup so much more on my second visit, which I guess just proves you have to visit a restaurant twice before you make up your mind. I got to Ducksoup on a Tuesday evening at 6, worried that if I came afterwards it would be full. When I got there the restaurant was empty, but within an hour it had filled up. Ducksoup still has the problem that the tables and chairs are super close together, so you can either take a view that this is romantic (romantic atmosphere also helped by the nice candles on the table and the dimly lit room) or you can either take a view that this is inconvenient and a bit hard to be cramped like this for a whole dinner. You can see attached the hand written menu that I was offered on Tuesday and I loved how the variety of dishes was so wide there, you could have fresh seafood, dishes from the alps, loads of vegetables, it is great to have so many different things in one restaurant, and the best thing about this visit was that everything they served was actually very delicious and well executed. First we decided to share a whole crab with aioli, and they brought you a large crab, which seemed extremely fresh, just like crabs you would get in specialising fish restaurants. It was a bit inconvenient to eat it on that small table, because as you know getting the meat out of a crab requires a lot of effort and hand movement which is difficult in a small confined space, but it added to the interesting vibe of the place, and as I said the crab was great and the aioli was delicious. We also had some kale with chili and lemon to go with our crab, deep fried Jerusalem artichokes served with aioli, as well as pink radicchio served with orange and salted ricotta. Kale is not the usual side dish you can order in restaurants, and it is quite nice and probably can be used more, so it was interesting to see Ducksoup offer this as a side, and it was tasty. I also very much enjoyed the artichokes, the batter was super tasty and they were extremely soft and nice inside. I also found the pink radicchio dish interesting, the radicchio was very bitter and it was nicely balanced by the sweet orange and salted ricotta, so I think taste wise it was extremely smart to put these three things together, as it was an interesting combination I have not seen before and it worked, showing how right Ducksoup can get their dishes, but for me personally I am not a huge fan of bitter radicchio, still I ate it. As by this time we had had very little food (just vegetables and a bit of crab) we were left hungry and we ordered the cuttle fish risotto, which once again was absolutely brilliant, the rice was tender soft, full of flavour and there were pieces of cuttlefish in the risotto. My dinner buddy said this was one of the best risottos he has ever had. As the risotto was a starter portion we were still left hungry after this and wanted to order one last dish. My dinner buddy did not meat any meat or poultry so we decided to go for “vacherin, pink potetoes and cornichons” ad Vacherin was a type of cheese, and we got a traditional thing people get in the Alps, like fondue or raclette, a whole pot of melted cheese to go with potatoes and cornichons. The cheese had melted perfectly when it arrived (the waiter warned us that we would have to wait around 30 minutes for this dish) and there were pieces of fresh thyme in the cheese. It was delicious and it was extremely nice to eat the potatoes with the cornichons with the cheese. This is not the type of dish you have every day as your body will definitely not appreciate it, but once in a while it is great, and Ducksoup did a great job of serving this classical Alpine dish. Needless to say we were full afterwards. The first time I went to Ducksoup I also loved the creativity of the menu, but I had a problem with execution, as I did not think they had done a great job with the dishes, but this time Ducksoup totally blew me away, so if previously I gave it MMM ranking now I am raising it to MMMM. It is very rare to find a restaurant that is creative, makes dishes that actually work and are not just bizarre and can also do as many different things well.
 
Price for 2 including alcohol: £120
Date: 18/12/12
Location: Soho

Ducksoup on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Ducksoup
41 Dean Street W1D 4PY
London
United Kingdom
GB
Ducksoup Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4