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|Address:||41 Dean Street, London W1D 4PR|
|Tel:||020 7287 4599|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £26.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-10.30pm Sun 1-6pm|
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“I'd like to do something different this weekend,” George announced. It seems that he was bored with taking the dog out for a tramp in country. I had just been conducting a twitter chat with Jon Spiteri – he of front of house Quo Vadis fame. Apparently they had gull's eggs on the menu. Anyhow it put me in the mind of popping into QV for a glass of wine and a plate of something nice. Another food friend was persuaded to join us and we found him looking happily looked after in the bar. Quo Vadis is a lovely, lovely place and I would really like to live there. Everything about it is just right with it's elegant surroundings and joyously uncomplicated food. I was ready to settle in for the duration but Geoff had other ideas, so after a perfect crab starter and glass of wine, we decamped to the very different experience of Duck Soup just a trot away down Dean Street.
It is sparse to say the least and not really very comfy. However the three of us were in gung-ho mood having escaped more sensible weekend duties and were prepared to enjoy everything. First off this place is about wine, specialising in natural wines. The “menu” in keeping with the spartan surroundings was hand written on what looked like a bit of foolscap paper ripped from an exercise book. Difficult if your eyesight isn't great. However the dishes on offer looked like our sort of food; on trend, unfussy and seasonal. We only sampled three of the dishes as Geoff had by now decided we also needed to visit Chinatown for some dim sum. The courgette flowers were perfect, the clams were plentiful and our third dish of pickled herrings with broad bean, lemon and dill was gobbled enthusiastically by George. The broad beans turned out to be a bean version of hummus which seems to be on the menus of many trendy restaurants at the moment. We stayed just long enough to chat to owner Rory McCoy about the non-hangover credentials of natural wines, before pressing onto yet another lunchtime venue. Rory was charming and has previously worked at Mark Hix and clearly knows all about wine. Another quirk of the place is the LP player perched precariously on a shelf near the front door. The food is well executed and reasonable with good size portions. Since the menu changes daily I am sure we'll be back to sample some more tasty morsels. However it does have the air of a pop-up about it and I am not sure that it is everyone's cup of tea. I have heard tales of people having to queue to get a seat during the week so if you fancy trying it, pick your time carefully.