197 Richmond Road E8 3NJ
0208 986 6534
AKA: The one that rose from the ashes
The deal: Rawduck - sister restaurant to Ducksoup in Soho - originally opened in June 2013 in a cute little venue on Amhurst Road, offering small, seasonal tasty plates. Then the building collapsed. No, really. Five months after the launch, just as the restaurant had started to make a name for itself, the terraced building it was housed in had to be evacuated and demolished. Which wasn't exactly part of the business plan. However, in what actually turned out to be rather fortuitous, Rawduck then took over a much bigger, better space on Richmond Road, opening in April 2014. Now with huge sharing benches and an industrial chic look it means an increased menu (bonus) and wine list (double bonus). Open most days for breakfast, brunch and dinner, its casual, drop-in vibe is perfect for groups of friends to congregate and dig into some shared plates. And with no risk at all of the walls caving in, either (we hope).
The food: The restaurant says it takes a "healthier approach" to its cooking, but don't worry, this isn't a mung bean and kelp smoothie sort of joint. Instead, it's delicious, sharing plates cooked with the freshest ingredients, including a few you'll definitely need the friendly waiting staff to explain. We couldn't resist splashing out on the braised rabbit, courgette and orzo dish (£12) a hearty bowl full of rich flavours that will have you lapping up the last of the juices. The charred asparagus and salted ricotta (£6) is a good shout and it's worth dipping in to their middle-eastern inspired dishes too, like the cold roast lamb, labneh, broad beans and za'atar (£12). They've got a good line in cured meats and cheeses too, to pair with all those biodynamic wines, which everyone knows you don't get a hangover from. Perhaps.
The signature dish: The clue's in the title. Chopped raw duck, tropea onion, green chilli and indo crackers (£8).
The chef: Tom Hill
When to dine: Mid-week dinners and long, lazy brunches at the weekend
Damage to pocket: Plates vary from £6-£12, so with a glass of wine and a few friends to split some plates with, it'll be about £30 a head
File under: Date night, Great with mates, Mid-week munches, brunching