The Duck & Rice x London

IMG_2881I love when people ask me “what’s your favorite Chinese restaurant in {fill in foreign city}.” My answer is almost always a consistent “I don’t eat Chinese food outside of China…”

The reason for this is because truthfully, the food I eat at home is nothing like Chinese food abroad. That’s right, we don’t eat fried questionable meat covered in sweet & sour sauce. Sorry to all the Panda Express lovers ūüėú ¬†But nevertheless I find myself craving Asian food more often than not and while I am all for the Chinatown adventures of cheap, quick eats accompanied by subpar service, I also love finding more upscale Chinese dining appropriate for a night out.

Food: The iconic¬†dish of my city is Peking duck – fat juicy duck served with a thick crisp layer of skin, carved and wrapped in a thin pancake with scallions, cucumbers and sweet bean sauce. If you live in London, you’re in luck, because this hip Alan Yau joint offers the delicacy in an array of different dishes from salad to wrap to rice. While their chefs don’t roll out a cart with the whole roasted duck to be subsequently carved with a 20 inch blade in front of your eyes (China-style) and the duck doesn’t seem to have quite the same crisp layer of fat, the options are still worth drooling over. The menu is extensive and covers a wide range of dishes including traditional dim sum but also spreads into other Asian cuisines including Japanese Katsu and Singaporean Laksa. Usually, I am not a fan of menus that lack focus, but if you know what to order here, chances are you’ll have a great meal. The key here is not to mix and match too many variations and flavors.

Ambience: Importantly, the restaurant’s Soho location and beautiful decor elevate the overall experience – think Yauatcha & Hakkasan. If you want to pop by just for drinks for small nibbles, there’s also the option of the downstairs upscale pub. But if you’re coming for a full meal, make sure to ask for a seat by the “windows” which are actually open air and ideal for a summer night in London.

IMG_2880Traditional Har Gau Dim Sum | Someone once told me this dish is what dim sum chefs are judged on. If so, the chef’s doing alright here.

IMG_2879 Venison Puff | Delicious flakey outside with a sweet & salty inside

IMG_2876 Scallop Shu Mai | Fancier version of Pork & Shrimp Shu Mai, but roughly the same taste. Good option for vegetarians!

IMG_2875 Sesame Prawn Toast | One of the few non-steamed items I like

IMG_2872 Crispy Aromatic Duck (1/2 portion) | For 3 girls this was plenty so if it’s only 2 of you, consider a 1/4 portion

IMG_2892 IMG_2870 IMG_2869¬†Crispy Duck Salad | This dish was the only one I’d say we didn’t enjoy. The version at Hakkasan is much better.

IMG_2874 Steamed Aubergine with Mui Choi | Surprisingly delicious as a side dish, full of flavor and tender

IMG_2890 IMG_2888Corner seat by the window with a perfect breeze and people watching views


The Duck & Rice
+44 (0)20 3327 7888
90 Berwick Street, Soho London W1F 0QB

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