Review: Duke of Cambridge, Battersea


The pub serves up a fun dining experience


The Duke of Cambridge is a public house heptathlete. It boasts a large bar, comfy seats, warm beer garden and restaurant. It welcomes private parties, couples, yuppies and the rowdy kind. It’s most promising characteristic, however, is the food.
Pubs have had to accept that if you don’t serve food you won’t be in business long. The Duke has embraced this ideal – transforming part of its large drinking space into a restaurant fit for purpose.
The pub does everything but in turn risks colliding different drinking experiences. You don’t want two tanked-up blokes talking loudly about football when walking past to the toilet – especially if you’re about to tuck into the soup of the day.
However, forgetting the walkway between restaurant and bar, The Duke serves up a fun dining experience.
An extensive wine list and three real beers on tap means both my partner and I were satisfied with the drinks order. A scan at the menu and, although a tad over the £10-index, the range available is promising.
For starters I chose a ham hock terrine while my partner went for that old staple – smoked salmon and cream.
Getting the moisture balance right in a terrine is extremely difficult. Too much meat and the ham and/or chicken dries out to leave a crumbly mess on the plate and in the mouth. Too little and the jelly used to pack the terrine takes over, causing a slop.
Thankfully, the chef at The Duke gets his spot on, for the surprise injection of jelly ensures the correct ratio of meat and moisture. Although it looks like a slice of Spam and comes accompanied with aggressive piccalilli, the terrine is certainly worth a try.
Meanwhile, across the table, the smoked salmon was raising eyebrows. The menu said fresh smoked salmon and that’s certainly what she got, but in an uncharacteristic and charming fishcake held together with sour cream. A little too much of the cream maybe, but it was nevertheless as delicious as an open platter.
Onto the mains and while my partner tucked into a medium lamb leg, topped with green beans and potatoes, I attacked a bowl of wild mushrooms and gnocchi. The meal proved why vegetarian dishes shouldn’t be marked as ‘also ran’ – a perception many of us meat eaters unconsciously have when scanning the menu.
Buttered gnocchi sprinkled with parmesan was the pick of the meal and at no point was I left bemoaning the lack of chopped bacon or sliced chicken.
A shared cheese board with frozen grapes (interesting) and celery (not so) rounded off our night as the volume from the bar cranked up a notch. If you’re a fan of ‘90s pop classics you’ll love the atmosphere in The Duke of Cambridge – as did we.
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