The Duck and Rice

Silver Award
££££
Chinese, Gastropub

The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
The Duck and Rice
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SquareMeal Review of The Duck and Rice

Silver Award

“Chinese food… but in a non-greasy, guilt-free way!”, this reboot of Soho’s old Endurance pub is a wonderfully atmospheric, buzzing space, where Pilsner Urquell drinkers rub shoulders with chop suey fans and the high-spec design includes gleaming beer tanks, open fires and chinoiserie-kitsch blue-and-white ceramic panels.

The upstairs dining room is calmer than the ground-floor bar, although both serve the same nostalgia-tinged one-page menu. Everyone has their personal favourites from the traditional line-up – especially the “fabulous” five-spice fried chicken, the venison puffs, the sweet-and-sour pork and (of course) the eponymous Cantonese roast duck on rice.

The kitchen is also happy to experiment, so expect to see a few more adventurous new-wave ideas among the steamed har-gau dumplings, kung-po chicken and Singapore noodles – we’re talking about curried soft-shell crab, smoked ‘mock duck’ bao buns, mooli puffs and jasmine tea-smoked ribs. Meanwhile, one hardcore fan pleads “bring back the chilli beef”!

In addition to tanks of lager and artisan beers, drinkers can also sip ale-based cocktails (anyone for an Irish Espresso with Oyster Stout?) – not forgetting a terrific list of G&Ts and a big selection of French-led wines.

There’s “fun for the whole family” here, with dim sum brunching at the weekends, a digital jukebox (aka ‘the Duckbox’) pumping out your favourite tunes and an events programme including everything from bingo nights to drag-queen quizzes. It’s pure old Soho with a modern edge.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Chinese, Gastropub
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Brunch
People
Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions

Location for The Duck and Rice

90 Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0QB

020 3277 7888

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm Sun -10pm)

Reviews of The Duck and Rice

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3 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Emma O

Great food and great drinks
22 December 2017  
The food is fabulous, they brew their own beer and have a great gin list - what else could you ever ask for!? I have been to this restaurant on numerous occasions and it is one of my favorites. I have recommended it to many friends and colleagues. Some of my personal favourite dishes are the 5 spice fried chicken, the venison puffs and of course the duck - but I must ask - bring back the chilli beef! A great chinese for a more upmarket and delicious Asian experience.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Monika S

Carlsberg of Chinese Takeaway
16 June 2015  
Alan Yau has the midas touch for eastern cuisine in London, Hakkasan, Busaba Eathai, HKK, to name a few. Duck and Rice, a Chinese gastropub in Soho central has hit the mark yet again. This is a 2 floor temple of chinese takeaway classics but done to perfection. The ground floor is more a shiny new pub, loud and sohoey but the upstairs is a buzzy boozy restaurant with a cool although slightly loud toons. Service was good with young, sparky waiters with the knowledge of the best dishes and best ales. Picture the perfect crispy duck pancake with thick plumy sauce and the crispiest,flakiest duck with light gingery saucy greens and plump prawn toasts. The star dish was the bavette short rib of beef, a big hunk of sticky steaky, caramelised beef, you could cut it with a spoon. Sweet and sour pork was the 'grill royal' of sweet and sour pork, crunchy on the outside and porky in the inside. My mouth is still watering, writing about these dishes. I have to find an excuse to go back ASAP!
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Alex G

Can Alan Yau do no wrong?
22 May 2015  
As with Jason Atherton, Alan Yau’s culinary grip over London continues to grow. From the ever-enjoyable Hakkasan through to the more mass-market Wagamama and Busaba Eathai, Yau ‘does’ Oriental/ Asian food better than most. Into the mix now comes Duck and Rice, described as Alan Yau’s ‘homage’ to the British pub. Located on the site of the former Endurance at the seedier end of Berwick Street, gone is any vestige of the former establishment. In its place is an uber-trendy pub with copper tanks on display and a list of craft beers as long as one’s arm on the ground floor, and then a Chinese casual dining-style restaurant upstairs. Amazingly, the latter can seat 70 covers and while it was full on a recent weekday evening when we visited, it certainly did not feel unpleasantly crowded despite being busy. We did, however, have the lingering sensation that we were being rushed, with the emphasis being on turning the tables rather than creating an enduring (and hence more enjoyable) experience. To take two examples, our wine was poured out before our aperitifs were even finished and, worse, our mains were squeezed onto what was already a very small table while we were only halfway through our starters. In terms of the food itself, diners are left somewhat bewildered by a lengthy and rather inexplicable menu, with certain section cryptically titled ‘heroes’, Buddha’s delight’ or ‘small chow.’ Our server suggested the two of us share three of the latter to begin and then two mains along with rice and vegetables. The starters impressed; the mains less so. To begin, sesame prawn toast was pitch-perfect, juicy, comforting and always – to my mind – a tiny bit indulgent. We also loved the salt and pepper squid, again executed perfectly, while the chilli Sichuan chicken was certainly as good as that I had sampled in China. In terms of the mains, however, our ‘wasabi’ prawns seemed to contain none of the promised wasabi, while the sweet & sour pork was distinctly average. Maybe we chose badly, but diners should certainly scrutinise the menu carefully. Beyond the (very large) choice, prices vary massively. The small chow starters range from £4 to £17, while within the home comfort section, dishes cover a £9 to £33 range. Another gripe is that the house duck dish (which you might think ought to be centrepiece in a restaurant with ‘duck’ in its title) is only available in whole (at £38) or half (£24) portions. Friends tell me that many Chinese places offer such a dish in a more accessible, and reasonable, quarter size too. Perhaps a good tip for Duck and Rice? More positively, the wine menu shows fairer pricing with some great wines by interesting producers available at quite reasonable prices. Our Franz Haas white from Italy’s Alto Adige region was a definite success. In conclusion, while I have no doubt that Duck and Rice will win over many fans, and while I probably would return, I certainly wasn’t blown away.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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