We know you’ve heard of Chicken & Chips, and Fish & Chips, but it’s time to get ready for the latest combination in town; Duck & Chips. Located in the heart of London, the new French-inspired pop-up restaurant will be taking up residence in east London’s Liverpool Street for six months. Our food contributor, Esther Oluga, went along to sample the menu.
Managed by George Ryan (previously at Burger & Lobster) and fronted by Richard Humphreys, the restaurant aims to bring the food and wine of south-west France to London, with a focus on three elements central to the French dining experience: wine, duck and relaxed eating.
As we visited in the evening, we were greeted with a full house of guests. The subtle lighting helped create a warm and relaxed ambiance. When you arrive, there is clear evidence of how Humphrey conveys his notion of relaxed eating, a concept synonymous with south-west France, through the restaurant decor. You can see his vision through the seating arrangements, where there’s a long table centred at the heart of the restaurant, surrounded with wooden tables placed intimately together. If you’re looking for a relaxed meal accompanied with laughter, wine and food – this may be the spot for you.
For the starters, you can select from a range of vegetable dishes including lentils, greens with lardons (bacon) or green beans. We opted for the green beans (£4), and we never knew beans could taste so good. The beans were firm and crunchy, but what brought the dish to life was the fact that it was cooked in duck fat and garlic, which gave the beans a beautiful buttery-garlic finish. This was a simple dish executed well.
We also ordered the fries, which come in generous portion sizes. The fries are cooked well: crunchy, well-salted and not oily.
Centred around duck, the three main dishes are: Confit Duck Leg, Duck Magret Breast and the Duck Burger, which are all served with fries and a mixed leaf salad. The prices are affordable for the location, with all the mains costing £17.
Starting with the Confit Duck Leg, this was one of the best duck dishes on the menu. The meat had a salty, smoky flavour to it, and the texture was just as good – the meat was tender, contrasting with crispy skin.
We then tried the Duck Magret Breast. This is a dish we’d recommend for medium-rare meat lovers. The breast was very tender and juicy, and you could really taste the real raw flavour of the duck meat. If you’re not a fan of medium-rare, then we suggest you skip this dish.
Finally, we tried the Duck Burger, a concept you rarely come across. The burger is cooked to medium, so do let the kitchen know if you want it well-done. Overall, the burger was juicy and the creamy-tangy sauce complemented the meat very well. The sweetness from the brioche bun was delicious.
It was only right to start with a quintessential French classic, the Crème Brûlée. The crème was a good thick consistency complemented with a nice caramelised, crunchy finish.
We then moved onto the Tarte Aux Pommes (Apple pie, £6). For us, this was the highlight of the desserts. Fruit-based tarts are pretty simple to make, but they can easily be ruined if the filling is too sweet, too sour or if the pastry is soggy. This wasn’t the case for the tart, the apple filling was a good balance between tart and sweet, whilst the pastry, was soft and practically melts in your mouth. It’s the perfect winter dish.
The restaurant offers a variety of red and white wines, of course from France. You can also choose from a selection of non-alcoholic beverages also.
If you go for only one drink, choose the Apero Pousse Rapiere (an Orange Spritz). It was refreshing and sweet, and the bitter-Orange undertone made it aromatically pleasing.
Overall, we recommend that you visit this affordable new spot – the food, drinks and ambiance are a winning combo. Who needs the Eurostar when you can get great French food via the Central Line to East London?
4 Brushfield Street
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