Review of 'Duke of Sussex'

The “Duke of Sussex” is a slightly up-scale pub in the back streets of Chiswick on a busy South Parade roundabout. We have passed by countless times but have never visited. Truth be told it is not exactly close to where we live and we only ever pass through the area but it has always looked pleasant enough from the outside with it's quite grand exterior and the front room dominated by a large wood bar. We were given some Pub Tokens and they were about to expire and since the Duke was on the list of places that accepted them we decided it was time to finally visit and, to boot, we would try the traditional Sunday roast.

It was a snowy Sunday when we made our way to the pub. We had booked ahead which was just as well as, at 1 pm, it was quite busy with a number of families and large groups. The interior is very “old school” pub but thankfully without the seedier side of things (no smell of, er, wee). After a few minutes waiting at the bar we were shown to a table in the back room which had many more seats. The room itself had several nostalgic old pictures of the area as well as a high ceiling with elaborate chandoliers and a large skylight. The back doors opened onto a terrace which, for some reason, was not being used (see my previous comment about the weather).

The fairly substantial menu appears to be changed daily and was on the single side of an A4 piece of paper. There were also several specials advertised on the walls including their “Sharing Menu” featuring things like “Whole Roast Suckling Pig” and “Lobster Paella” for, obviously, larger groups of people (such as the rather boisterous group of young men at a long table beside ours). We gave all of the starters a miss given that we were going to have, for us, a rather large lunch. The roast options were “Roast Rib-Eye, Greens, Horseradish” (£17), “Roast Pork Belly, Braised Red Cabbage, Apple Sauce” (£15), and “Spinach, Squash & Lentil Wellington” (£12.50), all of which came with carrot puree, roast parsnips, Yorkshire pudding & gravy. For us it was a no-brainer: If we were having a roast it would be the roast beef. A good choice, it turns out.

After a short wait during which my companion tried the mulled wine (£4.40 and very nice, she said, not too strong) and I sipped on my sparkling water (very nice, Strathmore sparkling at £3.35 for a big bottle) our meals eventually arrived. The first impressions were very good: A massive Yorkshire pudding perched on top of several large (though thin) slices of perfectly pink roast beef (we were not asked how we wanted it cooked) and several large chips of parsnip peeking out from underneath with a small, but rather thin, lake of “gravy”. We could not see the carrot as that was under the beef. From the top down: The Yorkshire pud was ok - crunchy but quite tasteless (a bit of seasoning would help); the beef was very juicy and quite flavoursome; the parsnips were not crunchy but tasty nonetheless - slightly al-dente, the way I like them; The carrot puree was only slightly sweet but added a nice flavour to the dish; The gravy, as I mentioned, was quite thin and added not a lot of flavour (it would have been better a lot thicker, with a bit more seasoning and served in a much large quantity in a gravy boat). The horseradish we asked for on the side was the highlight of the meal for me - Deliciously creamy with a slight hit of heat rather than a furnace so it complimented rather than dominated the meat.

Roast Beef

The service was Ok but they were busy and it take some time to get their attention but they were very relaxed and easy going when we did talk to them. A 12.5% service charge was added to the bill automatically.

At £46.97 for the two of us for lunch (with no dessert and only the two drinks) it was quite expensive made much more bearable by the pub tokens but I am not sure if we would be willing to pay that much on a regular basis. It was an OK meal but not, I feel, outstanding. The other options on the menu may be a better choice with a focus on quality rather than basic pub grub with a particular slant towards the Spanish end of the spectrum - “Jamon Croquetas”, “Seafood Paella”, “Chipirones”…? Ok, they did have “Beef Battered Fish & Home Cut Chips”…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2017-12-10

Cuisine: Pub

Address: 75 South Parade Chiswick London W4 5LF United Kingdom

Public Transport: TUBE Chiswick Park

Location: London (England) - Chiswick



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