Ducksoup is my new favourite perfectly put together flirt for food venue: too cool for school waiters, jazzy music, smooth lighting and an incredible selection of share friendly food and wine. A friend and I fussed through Soho to Dean Street on a Saturday afternoon and on entering Ducksoup, were whisked into a relaxed, sparsely decorated room with one long counter leading to the small but bustling kitchen.For a Saturday afternoon, it was pretty quiet. I had booked two seats on one of the downstairs tables but there was no need to use it, we sat straight by the bar and didn’t budge for another 2 and a half hours with only a few couples coming in and out in that time. We tasted a couple of wines and Binner’s Les Saveurs Alsace 2009 was our choice, a gentle introduction to the ‘natural’ wine list, cloudy, easy to drink and full of flavour.
The well thought out daily hand-scrawled food menus offered great choice with prices ranging from £3.50 a dish to £14. We decided to order in stages, starting with a bowl of aromatic Arbequina Olives and shavings of incredible melt in the mouth Jesus de Lyon. Appetites whetted, we ordered Cockles, Fideo & Fino, and Hanger Steak, Toast. They arrived after a welcome wait and although a slightly odd combo for sharing, they were both beautiful dishes.
The cockles were our favourite, a light broth with a hint of dry sherry, heaps of beautiful olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt all lightened by a healthy dose of parsley. The raw Hanger Steak was so so tender with subtle tangy flavours from delicately chopped capers and pickles.
We moved onto a less inspiring portion of courgette salad that was so minty it tasted a bit clinical, then finished with Shallots and Goats Cheese, which was actually Goats Curd and amazing goats curd at that. It complimented the soft, charred shallots perfectly and was lifted with a simple grate of lemon zest and fresh mint.
This final dish really represented what I interpreted Ducksoup’s ethos to be, brilliant ingredients put together carefully, thoughtfully but so simply so that they all sing. Our bill came to £63 inc service, £30 very well spent for a whole afternoon of delicious food, beautiful wine and relaxed surroundings.