The Duke of Sussex is an inviting gastropub serving up an array of modern British cuisine with a few unusual dishes thrown in.
Situated on South Parade, close to Chiswick High Street, the location of the Duke of Sussex is a little off the beaten track but is well worth the trek. Presented in a solid building with a striking main dining room, the decor features art deco glass chandeliers, curved arches leading up to an impressive skylight adorned with cherub images, and tasteful art with a Chiswick focus.
Neighbouring business parks and companies take full advantage of the location of the Duke of Sussex and make up a large portion of the clientele. However, this is a good place to make a point of visiting for a swift half, just to soak up the ambiance.
The Head Chef brings a wealth of experience from the well known St Johns gastropub in Archway. For starters, there’s an attractive looking beetroot soup finished off with a dollop of creme fraiche and a beetroot, spring onion, red cabbage and chervil salad. The soup’s colour is a powerful, deep red with a thick consistency, which is only let down by being a little on the peppery side. Meanwhile, the beetroot salad is a sexy, more upmarket version of a Russian salad. Crunchy vegetables mix together well with creme fraiche with just the right amount of bite. Other dishes include homemade crabcakes, beer battered prawns with tartare sauce and the more unusual brawn with gherkins and toast and, better still, crispy pig’s ear with celeriac, andives and capers.
Mains feature such dishes as a well cooked and soft dover sole served with a caper butter, which gives the fish an intense flavour, and al dente green beans; Galician fish stew, including squid and other treats from the ocean; and a tender 28-day Angus sirloin served with chips and a pepper sauce. All the meat comes from a local farm in Somerset, enhancing this gastropub’s reputation for quality produce.
Desserts include a hearty blackberry and apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. This does not suffer from too much sweetness in the pastry and has enough natural sugar from the fruit to give it a good taste. Try the strawberry fool with homemade shortbread. Creamy and not too heavy and served in a small glass this is more than enough to cater for those with a sweet tooth. The honeycomb ice cream is fresh and has a clean taste and is served with almonds.
The Duke of Sussex boasts an eclectic wine list with over 10 reds and whites by the carafe. Try the crisp French Muscat Sec, Mas La Perre or the fragrant and flowery Viognier Domaine Vaubois, which are served by the half carafe. Red wines by the carafe include a Portuguese Palestra Tinto 2003 and a Tuscan Morellino di Scansano 2004, which has a clean finish.
The Last Word
With an interesting, eclectic menu coupled with modern British dishes and an unusual, well thought out wine selection, the Duke of Sussex will continue to grow in stature and popularity as the months go by.