Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Duke - drinks review

The Duke on Creek Road is now open for business, and so a couple of nights ago the Geezer and I dropped in on our way back from an evening out in Greenwich to sample the ambience and have a beer.

If you remember the previous incarnation of the Duke, you will know that it had a rather small, unfriendly bar at the front, albeit with plenty of light from the large windows. I'm not sure if there were any rooms at the back - I was never tempted to explore - but the new Duke's interior bears no resemblance to it former state, it could be a different place altogether. (In fact the website has some interesting before and after photos as well as lots of pictures of the building work).

It is now owned by the same company that owns The Dartmouth Arms in Forest Hill and the Dolphin in Sydenham, neither of which I am familiar with.

The route to the front door leads through a fenced outdoor area, overlooking the road and the oversize dancers that are currently adorning the hoardings of the Creekside-Village-to-be.

Inside, the first thing you notice is the cavernous size of the bar - the back area has been opened up into a huge dining room, providing plenty of space for enjoying the gastro aspect of the pub. The bar has been lengthened and moved by 90 degrees so that it is against the partition wall, and the stairwell has been left drifting in the middle of the room, with access upstairs to the toilets.

The decor ticks all the gastropub boxes; the slightly shabby and unmatched chairs and dining tables; the black, white and green colour scheme; the cast iron columns; the feature wall with quirky print wallpaper; not to mention the sofas in the corner (not enough comfy chairs in my opinion, a few more would be good).

We got a friendly welcome, and I was offered a menu to look at when I asked if they were serving food yet, even though I said I wasn't going to be eating tonight. As well as a variety of lagers, they were serving three real ales; I tried the London Pride, which was as good as it should be. I can't remember what the others were, but they were fairly standard offerings.

The place was fairly busy - the clientele mostly students plus a rather lairy group at the bar whom I suspect were regulars of the old Duke. As we sat and enjoyed our drinks, the lights were dimmed and the usual tea-lights brought round for the tables. It made for a rather pleasant ambience.

Although we didn't eat, we did browse the menu in preparation for a proper return visit. One thing I should point out is that the Duke might be on Deptford's side of the Creek, but it is very much respecting its location in Greenwich borough, particularly in terms of prices! Main courses ranged from about £9 up to £14 or so - an acceptable amount to pay if the food lives up to it. One of my main complaints about the pubs in Greenwich, particularly the Greenwich Inc brand, is that the quality of food rarely matches the expectation generated by its price-tag! As well as lunch and dinner offerings, the Duke is also planning a £10.95 Sunday lunch special.

I'll be back with a food review after the Geezer's payday; he has promised to treat me!


Unknown said...

The Duke bistro is the most perfect example of great pub/bistro food. The food is good, the portions are enormous, the prices are low and the people are a great mix of subcultures and cultures, all comingling happily. The only drawback is that the Enmore Theatre is a few metres down the road; the place is packed when a big show is on.


Anonymous said...

Not quite sure what Das is referring too, as there's no theatre near Deptford's Duke!

Anyway, I went on opening night last Friday (and was the very first customer). Found the welcome friendly although the real ale had only just been delivered so had to make do with Heineken, which was cold and refreshing on a warm day.

I am sure the food will be of a very high standard having enjoyed some wonderful meals at The Dolphin in Sydenham, where my partner lives.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jonathan, nice to know that the owners have a good track record already, I'm looking forward to trying it! As for Mobin/Das, I think he/she/it is some kind of automatically-generated spam type thing which only exists to create traffic to its site.

Jake said...

Had drinks yesterday and am reserving judgement for now. The waiter who helped was genuinely warm, so it was a pity the too-stressed manager gave him such a hard time for a simple query about ringing something up on the till. And I cannot expect I will grow to like the viral green walls.

Anonymous said...

me dad used 2 own the pub there is a theatre nearby in greenwich nd it has now burnt down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!