Ducksoup is the type of restaurant I’m a sucker for – independent, trendy and all about the food. Because of this, the hype, and generally favourable reviews, I thought I would love it, but sadly my instincts were wrong. Instead, I left feeling disappointed as for me, Ducksoup wasn’t as good as it should, or could, have been.
In keeping with the rustic interior of striped wooden floors and white washed walls, our menu was handwritten on a piece of paper. This did feel a tiny bit pretentious, but is necessary to accommodate the ever-changing menu. Clearly the poor person that has to write the menu each day is either incredibly slow, or suffers from hand cramps, as there was only enough for one between three of us.
As we gathered around the menu, we felt excited by the variety of dishes, so quickly ordered a few to share. Starting with a couple of snacks ‘from the bar’, we choose courgette, chilli and mint…
….and Mozzarella with Calvo Nero, a dark green, loose leaved cabbage from Tuscany.
Despite my earlier comments, the courgette had a very pleasant flavour and, even though I wished it hadn’t come from the giant bowl sitting on the counter, I would try the combination of flavours at home. Sadly the same cannot be said for the Mozzarella and Clavo Nero as even though the concept appealed, it was doused in so much cardamom that even someone that craves the flavour in their sleep would find it overpowering. Next, we moved onto Scallop & Mussel Risotto…
….and A Plate of Wild Mushrooms.
Any dish that includes scallops, mussels or mushrooms is usually a winner for me but, when it came to the risotto, the rice was undercooked and the scallops had been sliced so thinly they got lost in the mixture. As for the mushrooms, they did have a lovely earthy flavour, but the heavy handed chef had overdone the garlic.
Without wishing to dwell on the negative, the star of the meal was definitely dessert – a Brillat-Savarin & Rhubarb Cheesecake.
I hadn’t tried, or even heard of, Brillat-Savarin before, but now know it’s a soft, white crusted cows milk cheese named after the 18th Century French gourmet and political figure, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. The look of our pudding reminded me of Eton Mess, as it was though someone had dropped a cheesecake on the floor, scooped it up and ladled it into a glass tumbler. Whether this was intended or not, the effect was pleasing to my greedy eye and the delicious cream cheese, with sweet crunchy biscuit and slightly sour rhubarb, was pleasing to my greedy stomach.
Perhaps I was feeling overly critical when I went to Ducksoup, but I almost want someone to give the restaurant a shake as a few simple tweaks could improve it immeasurably.
Ducksoup, 41 Dean Street, London W1D 4PY