Located in a quirky cellar venue on Lancaster Road in Preston is a restaurant that has been feeding hungry Prestonites with tapas style small plates for years now. Duk has recently relaunched as Duk Bodega, offering a mixture of tapas and pinchos dining.
Descending down the steps you are greeted by delicious smells filling the air, and I felt as if I was visiting a very tasty basement indeed. We ordered from both the tapas and the pinchos menu, the pinchos were on display in the deli counter giving us those “come hither” eyes.
From the pinchos menu, the ginger chickpeas were tangy and zesty, olives mixta were great quality olives with no bitterness, but the oven dried tomatoes, well they were in a league of their own, sweet and rich, with a delicious umami savouriness. Artichoke hearts were simple and not played about with, the bread which was served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar was burnt on the bottom, and the homemade biscuits with chutneys were to my palate inedible, sweet biscuits with bitter chutneys. Things improved with the balsamic mushrooms, which were refreshing and palate cleansing.
On the tapas menu side of things, the arancini had a crisp exterior which coated tasty risotto balls stuffed with oozing mozzarella cheese. Chorizo was heady with paprika, and the pulled chicken in a BBQ sauce amazed me that you could do that with chicken and have it stay so moist. Frito misto was mostly delicious, the plump prawn being the star, but the green lipped mussel was just mushy. Gambas pil pil featured more plump prawns in a delicately spiced sauce, the star of the show for me was the chocolate blood sausage, which unlike black pudding had a firmness, similar to chorizo, and a deep meaty flavour complemented by the chocolate in it.
There is always room for pudding, so we finished our feast (which featured doggy bags as we had eyes bigger than our bellies) with churros in cinnamon sugar with chocolate sauce. Sadly the meal didn’t end on the high we had hoped for, with the churros being gnarled, coated in way too much cinnamon, thrown onto the plate unceremoniously, and the chocolate sauce too thick to dunk our churros into, smeared up the side of the bowl with no thought to presentation.
Duk Bodega has some truly delicious things to be eaten, and has a menu that is always changing, so there is always something to try. Some dishes are a miss, but mostly they are big hits!
For more on Duk Bodega, visit: http://thetwohats.co.uk/?p=4297
For more food reviews in the northwest & further afield, visit Kris’ blog: http://grubnoshscran.wordpress.com/