Sunday afternoon and after two flat tires on my way to West London, I decided that fate wanted me to stay central. I was hungry and the dilemma was obvious; go safe or go Apposite? With endless possibilities on my mind, I headed to a destination that has been on the Apposite radar for a long time, Ducksoup.
This tiny restaurant is located in Soho, most probably the most challenging food scene in the country. With neighbours like Burger and Lobster, the Groucho Club and Quo Vadis, how do you tackle trendsetters, classy acts and British culinary ambassadors? By being yourself.
Ducksoup is original, inventive and tasty. Their menus are written in pen, on a white A4 paper, the place is so small that the man behind the bar pops out to take your order – and the food is simply genius.
Soho is one of those places whose beauty can only be lived and never recreated. No picture or painting can make it justice, you have to be there and listen, breathe and taste it. So I sat outside and listened, breathed and waited to taste. The barman handed me the menu and I started reading through it.
I ordered the bread, samphire with lemon and oil, grilled chicken wings with curry leaves and tahini yogurt and the grilled turmeric poussin with garlic yogurt. Why so much chicken you might think? The answer is quite simple. When you really want to test a restaurant, a chef and menu, just order the chicken. This humble source of protein unmasks the true character of a place. It can be easily overcooked and it takes real flair to make meat that blunt, taste good.
With neighbours like Burger and Lobster, the Groucho Club and Quo Vadis, how do you tackle trendsetters, classy acts and British culinary ambassadors? By being yourself.
And boy did it taste good. The wings were oriental and zingy and mouthwatering whilst the baby chicken had tons of flavour infused throughout and an imposing aroma. What struck me in all of the dishes was simplicity. Few ingredients handled with care and precision giving out layers and layers of bold flavour. I would have never imagined that samphire with a little bit of oil and lemon could be that tasty.
I promised my self that in a city with so many gastronomic choices I would always visit a new place. Ducksoup made me second-guess my self. It’s one of those places that will always be on my A-list choices for food that makes you close your eyes when you taste it.
As I walked towards the rest room to wash my hands I could see the chef preparing a plate through the open kitchen door. He smiled at me kindly as if he knew why I ordered the chicken; as if he knew who I was and what I was doing there. I smiled back and he went on with his craft.
As I washed my hands I could already visualise the first sentence of my Ducksoup entry. ‘Sunday afternoon and after two flat tires on my way to West London…’
41 Dean Street
W1D 4PY – London
phone: 020 7287 4599