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We wonder if Hong Kong import Duddell’s was inspired to open in London Bridge by the success of nearby Hutong, from the HK-based Aqua Group. While Duddell’s might not have Hutong’s Shard views, it has an equally celestial location in the de-consecrated St Thomas Church, its soaring interiors cleverly divided by a mezzanine level and illuminated by covetable, World of Interiors lighting. Classy Cantonese cooking is what’s on offer from a kitchen team that has spent time at the Hong Kong original. Peking duck carved tableside is no longer the novelty it once was in London but done very well here. The lusciously fatty meat is dipped in fennel sugar, or rolled up with an array of piquant condiments into thick pancakes, before being stir-fried as a second course with a choice of sauce; the arrestingly flavoured duck in Martell Cognac and black pepper sauce was the best thing we ate all evening. We also enjoyed deeply succulent smoked beef rib with red wine soy beef, and chicken encased in pliable pan-fried dumplings. Ingredients are top notch – Bresse chicken, Berkshire pork – but prices seem steep for cooking that struck us as good rather than memorable, and you’ll be hard pressed to find much below £40 on the global wine list. Lunchtime dim sum offers a cheaper way in but we suspect that, budget permitting, all-out luxury – lobster noodles, steamed turbot, wagyu with spring onion – may be the best way to get into the glamorous spirit of the place.
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