Although there is a delicious duck confit on the menu of this gastropub, Duck Hook is actually a golf term (for an unintended hook shot) and not a reference to what is on the menu. Yet for some reason, the restaurant walls are decorated with framed pictures of…ducks – quack, quack.
Speaking of décor, located on the right wing of the Dubai Hills Golf Club, Duck Hook is handsomely decorated with wood flooring, leather sofas and those duck paintings giving it a posh atmosphere. Its full-length bar, with no less than ten draft beer taps, is located towards the far end of the interior after which there is a pool table. The place to sit in this weather, however, is the shaded veranda overlooking the lush golf course.
We couldn’t get a table outside though. Friday lunches are busy-busy (I find it infuriating that some places will not take reservations). In fact, it took us a while to get someone – anyone – to pay us any attention. The waitress who finally offered to seat us, obviously a comedian, told me that the only table she could offer us outside was in the sun. Thank you, I said, we’ll sit inside.
A hungry table of six, we were salivating by the time our orders were taken – drinks, starters and mains all by different waiters – basically, whichever passing waiter we could latch onto. It took us half an hour from when we were seated to when we were finally able to PLACE our first order, drinks. Booze at Duck Hook is excruciatingly expensive, e.g. AED53 for a pint of Hoegaarden! So, unless you’re on some magic discount scheme (members of the golf club get 25% off), expect to pay through your nose for the experience. We ordered spicy wings and fried/battered calamari to start, either deserve more mention.
Duck Hook’s fish and chips was recommended to me by my Welsh food buddy, Bruce, a member. At AED115 it’s one of the most expensive I have had in Dubai. Bear in mind, JD’s and Maison Mathis, both known for their excellent fish and chips, are both priced under AED100. You have to go all the way up to The Eloquent Elephant at the Taj Dubai to find a more expensive version of this humble dish. And you know what? It wasn’t even good. The fish (haddock) was under seasoned, over cooked and dry, and the beer batter had turned to mush on the inside. I was bitterly disappointed.
The undisputed rock star of our table was the Duck Confit, which both my son and cousin ordered. The burger my wife ordered was good too but drier than it should be…and I bet I know why. In order to appease their arty-farty guests and also to justify their exorbitant prices, a lot of five-star kitchens cut the fat out of the meat they use for their burgers. Without fat, burgers look good, but they don’t taste good. The Veal Bangers and Mash my daughter ordered were better than I expected but at AED110, were also grossly overpriced – this is two sausages and mashed potatoes for goodness sake. A lot of five-star restaurants will serve you steak for that money.
Thankfully Duck Hook accepts Entertainer vouchers. Using all three, I was able to knock AED320 off my bill…which was still over AED1,000 (quick, pop the red nitroglycerin pill under my tongue). Minus my fish and chips, the food was good. Ambiance was okay but nothing in the same league as say, Maison Mathis. Service was disappointing but I must factor in Friday lunchtime madness. All told, I think Duck Hook deserves a Ravenous Rating of 3.5 out of 5.0. It is definitely worth a visit.
#1 Blogger on Zomato Dubai in 2018 and 2019 and beyond…
Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.