With the launch of Southbank Place in a few years’ time, Waterloo is the place to look out for in terms of being a destination of choice for restaurant diners. The area already hosts extremely popular and successful gastropubs like Anchor and Hope and restaurants and bars like Cubana. A venue to add to this coveted list is The Duke of Sussex, which is just across the road from Cubana.
It is a local community gastropub with no pretensions; on what is supposedly a quiet Monday night when we visited, the venue was filled wth joyous guests ready to take part in a quiz night. They have an extremely spacious and popular terrace area at the front whilst the interior is decked with a classic British pub look which is sprinkled with modernity such as vibrant paintings of fresh market produce.
The food menu here is brimming with seasonality and changes on a daily basis. Vegetarians are well-catered for here, as I tried a slightly smoky-tasting grilled aubergine, which was well matched with the melt-in-the-mouth creamy texture of goat curd and the acidity from the pickled mushrooms. My only gripe would be the labelling on the menu, with a large chunk of the vegetarian options missing the (v) symbol.
BBQ hand-dived scallop was a picture of beauty, presented in its shell and came with edible flowers. It was carefully prepared to make sure the scallop meat wasn’t overcooked and flavoured expertly with butter, bacon and peas. This is the kind of dish that wouldn’t look out of place in a fine-dining establishment.
For main courses, we tried a hearty portion of rolled lamb belly, which isn’t a dish that makes a regular appearance on restaurant menus. The meat was extremely tender, although there were excess amounts of fat we had to trim off. It was flavoured with oregano and came with a generous amount of butter bean ragout.
Diet-conscious diners could opt for their classy looking chargrilled hake. It was a meaty looking fish served on a bed of peas and baby gem. It had a flavoursome layer of salsa verde on top to make this a popular choice with their diners.
For desserts, we shared a Yorkshire rhubarb pannacotta. This was the only dish lacking in presentation, as it was presented with no garnishes in a frosted cup. However, the rhubarb-infused flavours went extremely well with the creamy texture of the dessert.
The Duke of Sussex is without a doubt one of the best gastropubs in this part of town and well worth a visit.