S recommended this to me in an offhand way, ‘O if you are about Soho, I have been meaning to go to Duck and Rice. It’s new. Meant to be good.’
Doing a bit more research, I found out it is styled on a ‘Chinese Gastropub’, whatever that means. Then stumbled upon the fact that it is the new venture by Alan Yau, the genius behind Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Busaba Eathai (their thai calamari is the best I have ever had) aaaandddd… WAGAMAMA.
That was it, I had to go. I grabbed G and we headed into Soho one Friday night.
It is located the scruffy end of Berwick Street but don’t worry, it is easy to find! The outside looks like a combination of a science museum, brass factory and planetarium but its pretty fancy!
(It is very cool outside so I felt a bit silly snapping pictures!)
The downstairs is a buzzy heaving bar but we (carefully!) journeyed up via the spiral staircase to the restaurant upstairs. With no reservation, we crossed our fingers and managed to get the last couple of seats near the kitchen. If you are going, especially on a Friday night, I would definitely advise booking. We were told we were very lucky!
The cocktails aren’t that great but there are three brilliant twists on the classic Gin and Tonic – we both plumped for the ‘Hayman London Dry’, which came with lashings of elderflower cordial and sprinkling of raspberries and blueberries.
After poring over the menu, we ended up ordering a smattering of all the favourites to share.
Prawn toast and gyoza – everyone’s favourite and they didn’t disappoint.
Salt and pepper squid… obviously. Not as good as Busaba but still pretty damn tasty.
Jasmine smoked ribs – these were unbelievable! We were um-ing and aah-ing about these and the waitress insisted we order them. Best decision of the year! Perfectly cooked juicy tender meat that fell off the bone, covered in a smoky sticky glaze that left you licking your fingers, wishing there was more!
We also tucked into cloud like char sui buns that disappeared before I had a chance to snap them and finished with the crowning glory of the Crispy Peking Duck. Resulting in two very full and sticky, but incredibly satisfied girls.
The pros? The food and drinks are awesome, the staff charming and friendly and the service is quick.
The cons? It is expensive and you could probably find the same dishes of the same quality somewhere cheaper. Apart from the ribs. The ribs will blow your mind.