Dukes Brew and Que

Friday, 21 February 2014

Dinner club has begun.

Me and the girls decided to start a dinner club, on the 3rd Thursday of every month we will meet up to eat at a chosen restaurant (taking it in turns), that none of us have eaten at before. Last night was the first of our "organised fun" nights out, and I was the lucky gal who got the ball rolling.

My choice: Dukes Brew and Que.

Dukes has been on my ever growing list of London restaurants that I want to eat at since it featured in Time Out for its Beef Rib. It seemed the perfect choice, as I’m now a Hackney girl (working, not living), to show off the local offerings to the girls. Especially after all my whinging and whining to them about the lack of a Pret at lunch time!

Dukes is in a strange location, close to Haggerston overground but not much else. As I approached I felt the fear that I’d chosen the wrong Hackney based restaurant, this was going to be a complete disaster! We hurried inside to escape the chilly night and were immediately welcomed by a team of very happy, eager to please staff. Maybe I had made the right decision after all!

The restaurant is within an old pub and feels as trendy as you’d expect for an East London joint. Lots of bare brick walls and random décor like a pram, antlers hanging on the walls and a pair of retro rollerskates. Thankfully you can actually book Dukes, which doesn't seem to be the case with most restaurants in London recently. And it seems that if you want to eat here then that's exactly what you need to do - Dukes was near empty when we arrived at 6pm but it quickly filled up over the next half an hour and by the time we left it was packed to the rafters.

First question, what to drink?

It was pretty dark in the restaurant which made reading the menu a struggle so rather than straining to see we just agreed to a round of the special cocktail of the night: Sailor’s Plum. A pink girly drink combination of Havana 3 yr, spiced plum syrup and fresh lemon. Yummy but lethal!

Dukes is famous for its ribs but shockingly none of us actually had them! It was another round of the special of the night for us, but this time it was half a BBQ chicken cooked for 6 hours served with creamy coleslaw, beans (mixed with pulled pork) and fries.

The chicken was juicy and the BBQ sauce provided a fruity flavour. The beans made us all very happy as it was packed full of pulled pork. It could have been a meal on its own. The portions are huge at Dukes but prices seem slightly higher than you'd expect considering the location. Especially in comparison to Foxlow, which has a cheaper Beef Rib on offer.

It seemed a very popular joint with guys, not surprising considering its a meaty packed menu and wide range of keg and cask beers on offer. Enough to please the most distinguished of caveman! I'm sure most girls would enjoy Dukes too though (maybe not the veggy types!), especially if they keep a girly cocktail available on the specials menu.

Service throughout the meal was attentive and friendly, with a never ending supply of water much to Liz’s pleasure! We were all happy with our food choices and we were stuffed by the time we had cleared our plates so no desserts for us, just lots of gossiping instead. Our waiter happily left us chatting even though the restaurant was packed and they probably desperately wanted us out!

Once we were all caught up on work, relationships and random gossip, we scurried off into the cold night with full bellies in search of a night cap.

A good start to dinner club. It’s Jazz’s turn next so I’ll let you know where she takes us.  

Dukes Brew and Que -
Cost: £25 p/head for main course with cocktail
Food: Meaty
Address: 33 Downham Road, De Beauvoir Town, Hackney, N1 5AA
Type: Date Night / Dinner with friends

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Little London Girl x


  1. Can't believe you didn't mention the amazing sinks with the pedal and perfectly heated water :) it's all about the water for me... Love your blog as always x

    1. I'm sorry, I should have mentioned the toilets but I thought the blog might be too water focused! ;-) Thanks for reading! x


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