Walking in off Berwick Street in London’s Soho you are hit by four gleaming copper tanks of Pilsner Urquell. This is no ordinary pub.
Duck & Rice is restaurateur Alan Yau’s newly opened joint. You initially can’t work out whether it is a pub, a bar, a high class hotel toilet (with its marble effect walls) or a Chinese restaurant.
He calls it a Chinese gastropub. On the first floor is the restaurant proper. While on the ground is the interesting mish-mash pubby environment. On the whole it’s pretty likeable. Certainly the tank-fresh PU is a big draw – helped by it being served in frozen branded glassware and an acceptable £5.30 a pint.
Less impressive was the fact only three of the five cask pumps were in use – so no Bath Gem Ale or Magic Rock High Wire. London Pride and Tribute were available.
Focusing on the good points about Duck & Rice – a well curated bottle list includes Duchesse de Bourgogne – that ticks a big box. And showing proper attention to detail is the inclusion of a foot rest running along the bar and coat/bag hooks.
The only thing missing is bar stools but then the PU tanks take so much space that there is insufficient room for them.
Bar stools or tank fresh PU? I’m fine taking the latter thanks.