Just a few hours after arriving in London I had developed an insatiable desire for barbecue. Unfortunately, my British friends told me barbecue is somewhat elusive in Britain. Challenge accepted, fellas.
After a bit of research I found Duke’s Brew & Que just 1 mile from my flat. We headed out with low expectations and a fistful of pound sterlings to find some British barbecue.
From the outside Duke’s looked like…a British pub. The staff was incredibly friendly with Nick, a young, fashionable and incredibly attentive server taking care of us. We grabbed our seat outside and studied the menu.
Duke’s specializes in beef ribs, pork ribs and pulled pork. I ordered the Duke’s Special that came with all three meats, a whole grain mustard sauce, a tomato based sauce that was a tad bland and a piece of Texas Toast with cheese.
The beef rib was smoked for 16 hours with mesquite and was top notch. It had a slightly sweet, crusty bark that was absolutely loaded with umami flavor. The beef was from the Midlands (literally the middle of the UK) and has a unique flavor; extremely different from what we get in Texas. If this rib was served in Austin it would be undoubtedly well received.
The pork rib, though ever so slightly tougher than I like, was excellent. Similar to the beef rib, the pork rib had a sweet umami bark. If the fat was rendered down just a bit more it would have been amazing. I see major potential for this pork rib. Like, top of the charts with just minimal tweaks.
The pulled pork had cooled off a bit but had excellent flavor and texture. Combined with the mustard sauce it was freaking excellent.
I also have to mention the beer I drank. It was a bottle conditioned IPA, brewed in London, called The Kernel. Folks, this beer was amazing. I would choose The Kernel over basically every other IPA I’ve ever had.
Duke’s proves that one can easily find high quality barbecue right in the middle of London. Color me impressed.