Review of 'Monsieur Le Duck'

You will never guess what “Monsieur Le Duck” speciality is? Wow, well spotted! This new small restaurant in Farringdon (having previously been in Spitalfields) hits all the right notes as far as duck is concerned (specifically the food of Gascony) but as far as ambience…perhaps not so much.

Interior

Arriving on a Tuesday evening for dinner the place was quite busy and we were shown to a table behind the bar at the back. The interior is industrial (yawn) but ok. The tables are a bit close together and it had a buzz about it…that is a polite way of saying it was noisy. In fact, I had a hard time hearing our waitress most of the time and that is not (only) because of her french accent.

The menu is on a single sheet of A4 with only a limited number of options divided into Aperitifs, Starters/Petites Pieces, Mains/Plats Principaux, Desserts, and Digestifs with a few side panels for sharing plates, lunch specials and a “prix fix” option. The main prices look good (£8-£12) until you realise they come with nothing, that is, most of the time a hunk of duck on a wooden platter and that is it. So, you definitely want sides. We begin with a sampling of 3 starters (1 for £6 or 3 for £15) of “Duck Rillettes w/Bread, Cornichons, Jam” (delicious with the tangy jam, could have done with more of the tiny, thin toasted bread slices though), “Confit Duck Croquettes w/Chilli or Truffle Mayo” (delivered piping hot, crispy coating and delicious mayo though did not really stand out as “duck” – it could have been pork for all we knew), and “Spinach and Goat's Cheese Croquettes” (not my choice as I do not really enjoy the strong flavour of Goat's Cheese but this was very mild…very little flavour at all really). We also had an order of “Bread & Duck Fat Butter” (£3) but if I had not been told on the menu it was duck fat butter I could not have told the difference. Bread was firm textured and the butter adequate.

A short while after our appetisers were done we were approached by the manager who indicated that there would be a delay for our mains so offered us free drinks and bread…very much appreciated, it has to be said (later this same message was repeated by our server in a display of miscommunication between staff). Despite this the delay actually was not that bad with our dishes arriving only a short while later.

For our mains we all went for the “Magret du Canard” (£12; “Pan roasted or chargrilled Moulard duck breast 200g served medium rare”) with a side of red wine jus (£1). The pan-roasted we found had much more flavour, and was better cooked (redder) than the chargrilled which we found had very little texture (it was all soft) and tasty only faintly of chargrilling. Both were very juicy.

Duck!

For our sides we had an assortment: “Deep fried cauliflower” (£4) - Quite tasty but, again, a bit bland; “Fries” (£4 + £1 for truffle oil) which were…fries.

Sides - Fries and Colli

We also had an order of the classic “Seasonal Greens with Lardons” (£4) which were perfectly cooked and had a great, fresh flavour.

Greens

The desserts were classically French (Creme Brulee, Tarte aux Pommes, etc) but we decided to give them a miss as we were anxious to leave the noisy and, by now, very warm restaurant. The bill was eventually presented though provided a bit of confusion as they had charged us for our complementary drinks but this was quickly fixed by our very helpful and friendly waitress. The corrected bill came to £94 (including a 12.5% service charge) for the three of us which we felt was quite reasonable.

Outside

Great concept, pretty good food but shame about the crowded, noisy and warm inside. It is a shame as we were hoping for a bit more “wow” but we just got “ok”. Willing to give it another try, but perhaps later when it is not so busy with the crowd anxious to be the first to try it out.

Rating:

Review Date: 2019-06-04


Cuisine: French

Address: 27 Clerkenwell Rd, Farringdon, London EC1M 5RN ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Farringdon NRLOGO Farringdon

Location: London (England) - Farringdon

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3970 0490

URL: https://www.leduck.co.uk/