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The latest venture from ever-creative Alan Yau – founder of Wagamama, Busaba Eathai and Hakkasan – is described as a homage to the British pub, pairing skilful renditions of classic Cantonese dishes with top European brews. So, you can enjoy a plate of dumplings while drinking a pint of Pilsner Urquell’s unpasteurised Tankovna beer in the ground-floor bar, or sample main-course options in the “buzzy, boozy” restaurant upstairs. The former Endurance gastropub now looks very much like a destination drinking and eating venue. Past gleaming pilsner tanks at the entrance and up a spiral staircase, the dining room is cramped but easy on the eye – decorative panels of blue and white china matched with dark woods and metals. The confusing menu is split into abstract sections such as ‘Home Comfort’, ‘Heroes’ or ‘Buddha’s Delight’, but clued-up staff guided us to Chinese delights: sweet, fatty Cantonese roast duck, fall-apart, almost creamy-fleshed barbecue beef short rib, and ginger-packed bavette steak – also “the star dish” of a reader’s meal. Prices can be vertiginously high, but chow mein options provide affordable alternatives. Mango and pomelo sago makes a fragrant and refreshing dessert, while dozens of Euro-led wines by the glass (including a 70ml sampling option) offer supreme oenophile fun. This gleaming temple on tatty Berwick Street is an engaging option for choice Chinese eats – from pricey dim sum to slap-up noodles. With the recent addition of alfresco tables, it’s set to be a hot ticket all summer.
Blanch and Shock is a trio who have been cooking and catering for over four year and recently as part of the food spectrum initiative, they have been given a temporary residency at The Endurance, Berwick Street, Soho. Using only the best seasonal ingredients often sourced from small scale producer and sustainable source, the menu changes regularly according to the availability of the produce. After hearing good things about them from a friend, I've decided to pay them a visit with the very same friend as my lunching companion...
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Located on the permanent building site that is Berwick Street in Soho (will they ever finish digging up that road?) this is Alan Yau’s latest restaurant. You know Alan Yau, the chap who created Wagamama and sold it for millions then did the same with Yauatcha and Hakkasan.There’s a downstairs bar/pub and a restaurant upstairs at the top of a rather tiny spiral staircase. The dining room was cramped to say the least; I felt like I had to move my chair in and apologise for being in the way every time someone walked past, which never makes for a relaxing lunch...
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Scrumming my way off Leicester Square, through Chinatown (carefully avoiding my favourite char siu bao pitstop), and into Soho, I realise I've walked straight into an entirely different calamity. It's 18 April and a sea of moustache-twiddling craft ale supping hipsters have descended upon Berwick Street and are seeping through the arteries of Soho for Record Store Day 2015. It may well have been the worst day to visit the newly opened Duck & Rice then, but I was committed now and I'm no quitter!Char Shui Bun (£4.50) Brought to us by the stick of dynamite underneath modern Japanese monster-chain,...
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Soho is changing. The redevelopment of what was once one of London’s most bohemian (and most seedy) areas is showing no signs of slowing down. This restaurant reviews website isn’t the best place to talk about the myriad issues surrounding urban regeneration, but it’s difficult not to have this pressing, emotive issue in mind when writing about The Duck and Rice. Situated in the premises that used to be home to The Endurance, an old, slightly grungy pub that also hosted several pop-up restaurants, this Chinese gastropub is the latest venture from famed restauranteur Alan Yau.The Duck and Rice couldn’t be...
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