The Real Wine Drinking Guide: Ducksoup
Natural wine bar Ducksoup opened in 2011, espousing the virtues of intimacy, simplicity and seasonality in food, washed down by wines from a 100% natural selection - of over a hundred references. The restaurant is split between two floors, with two bars where you can perch and eat, small tables on the ground floor for walk-ins, and larger ones in the basement that may be reserved.
The menu is hand-written daily and changes weekly, comprising small and large plates, which arrive when ready. The accent is Mediterranean, with influences from their travels, incorporating elements and ingredients from Italy and the Middle East, invariably seasonal, and always featuring plenty of vegetables.
A current menu has small plates of cured lamb fillet & salted turnip; roasted cauliflower & chickpeas, burnt chilli butter & coriander; braised radicchio, farro, gorgonzola dolce & hazelnuts, whereas main courses include roast hake, mussels, leeks & tarragon; grilled pork rump steak, roast fennel, anchovy & rosemary, and there are wholesome-sounding desserts of blood orange & almond galette, creme fraiche and spiced apple & rye cake, date ice cream & walnuts.
Ducksoup projects a small cosy feel with a vintage record player and collection of vinyl, which is available to browse and select from. All this is very much in the democratic spirit of how they like to do things.
The Duck People seek out characterful wines, working with a small number of suppliers who themselves source well-made, honest natural and biodynamic wines from producers whose wine-making practices are carried out with love and care. The by-the-glass selection changes as frequently as the food menu. The whole list is written on a big board behind the bar.
Producers we love: Philippe Bornard, Francois Ecot, Benoit Courault, Podere Pradarolo, Macea, Colombaia, Vinci, Olivier Lemasson, Sky, Olivier Cousin, Simon Busser, JC Garnier.
Look out for the lesser-spotted: A small rack of older vintages of various sweet wines “that someone should start drinking.”
We really like: IN DUCK WE TRUST – “an undisclosed special wine that we choose for you and you can then try guess what it is.”
Do: Choose a record to play
Key wine person(s) on site: Pete Dorman, Benedict Clancy
41 DEAN STREET | SOHO | W1D 4PY