Bar review: The Drunken Duck in SoHo serves great beer and pub food with an Asian twist
Gastropub puts the emphasis on good food and, of course, beer
The vibe: The Drunken Duck is bustling yet relaxed and, spread over two floors, pleasantly spacious with solid wooden tables and chairs. A wall of window panes rising from ground to mezzanine level gives an open feel and a sense of connection to what’s going on outside on Staunton Street. Described as a “tavern” the place has a twin focus – gastro-pub food with an Asian twist from British chef David Tamlyn and the drinks to go with it (or imbibe on their own). The name comes from the establishment’s signature dish – spiced duck soaked in beer before cooking.
The drinks: the prime attraction, as you’d expect in a tavern, is the beer. An impressive array of seven draught and 25 bottled beers from 11 different countries offers something for every taste, along with a choice of fruit-flavoured beers and ciders.
Star of the show was the Rogue Dead Guy Ale from the USA (HK$63). Rich, full-bodied and bursting with hops this is a serious beer with 6.5 per cent alcohol (and it has an uber-cool label, too).
Fuller’s Honey Dew from England (HK$68), made with organic honey, has a golden colour and wheaty taste that reminded us of cornflakes.
Also from England, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (HK$58) is for chocolate lovers only, tasting like tiramisu mixed with Guinness. We also tried Hill’s Pear Cider from Australia (HK$63), which was fresh and dry although the pear flavour was a little thin.
The wine list is equally imaginative with the accent on lesser-known names and regions: the sparkling is Chapel Down from the UK and the sauvignon blanc comes from the Loire instead of New Zealand. There’s a reasonable choice of wines by the glass although the premium pinot noir selection (the ideal accompaniment to duck, as the wine list rightly says) is only available by the bottle.
The verdict: a good place to chill out, especially for expats who miss the gastro-pub scene in their home countries. Some great finds for beer lovers, good options for those who prefer wine and those who want something more substantial than bar snacks to tuck into when they’re drinking will be happy with chef Tamlyn’s menu.
The Drunken Duck 44 Staunton Street, SoHo, tel: 2803 0050
Open: noon-1am. Happy hour: 3pm-8pm