Duck & Rice — London, UK
Restaurateur Alan Yau said Berwick Street’s much-loved Endurance pub caught his eye when he launched Yauatcha round the corner – so he bought it and transformed the place into his take on a cosy local. The concept – a casual bar and dining room serving Chinese comfort food and heritage beer – has been given its Asian stamp by Istanbul designers Autoban. Their choice of motifs and materials (oak, marble, handmade tiles, brass and bronze) create an evocative atmosphere, with the oriental look borne out most strikingly in the geometric exterior. In the bar and restaurant upstairs, screens, wood fires and clever seating provide plenty of nooks for savouring ‘small chow’ such as sesame prawn toast, some dim sum or heartier Cantonese roast duck. As for drinks, four copper tanks at the entrance hold the unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell that’s offered on tap, along with premium British brews. In homage to the locale, Soho’s onetime ‘Golden Mile of Vinyl’, the Duckbox is an interactive playlist that patrons can select from their smart phones.