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“Small restaurant big on flavours”
Review of Duende

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Price range: US$16 - US$35
Restaurant details
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

We just loved this. Small restaurant in a small town, middle of nowhere. Service was relaxed but charming. The food was the best I’ve had outside of London. Scallops perfectly cooked, lamb was gorgeous. My partner had chicken livers (divine) and the duck - wow. between the six of us we tried practically everything on the small (short) menu. The pot au creme with lava small is amazing. Portion sizes were good too, we left stuffed and happy. We’ll come this way again. Thank you!

2  Thank MissDollyMixture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 28 March 2018

Being a local I so wanted to enjoy dining here but sadly that was not the case as there was more to be disappointed then pleased with our visit. On arrival we were met by a waitress who seemed a bit lacking in how to welcome paying customers and was the same throughout the meal not even saying goodbye or acknowledging our departure which we found a bit rude after paying nearly £100 with tip (which upon reflection was not deserved ) maybe a bit of training wouldn't go amiss as when we ordered a bottle of wine she just brought it to the table and without even showing me the bottle just poured it out in both our glasses and departed. The first course was Scallops for my wife and the Asparagus for me which was flavourful but not hot enough and small portions. The second course was the roasted veg for my wife and the lamb for me. My wife enjoyed her veg but the lamb was way to pink for me with blood coming out ( I was not asked how I would like it when I ordered it ) so could not eat it all and again the food was not hot enough and not massive portions so we had to have Dessert to fill us up. My wife had The pot au crème which seems to have been brought in rather than made by the chef and I had the cheese board which was ok but I've had better selection and more of it. So all in all not a great experience and more akin to eating in a pub then a restaurant. The front of staff need to be trained in meet and greet and how to serve the customers as this could make or break a restaurant. I don't think we will be returning

    • Value
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Thank Gary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tim Z, Owner at Duende, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2018

Hi Gary, we were obviously disappointed with your review as much of it is factually incorrect. For example, the pot au creme is made here by myself, the chef and owner. It is served in a glass ramekin with a screw on lid, which may have led you to to suppose it was bought in.

Having checked back through the bill system for that night we can see that you paid £84.50 for 3 courses for two people and a bottle of wine. and you paid with a card with no card gratuity. I am puzzled that you say you left a tip bringing the cost up to £100, why would you have chosen to leave a tip of 20% if the service was so bad? We don’t automatically charge service, so you would have had to decide to leave that amount in cash. It doesn’t make sense.

There were only 3 tables in that Thursday, and our front of house lady remembers serving you, showing you the wine bottle, and asking if everything was alright with your food during your meal. She also noted that no food was left in your plate. She would always mention it to the chef if there was an issue with food being left. The lamb is served pink, but would not have had blood coming out of it. You didn’t mention a problem with your lamb when asked if everything was OK with your food.

I don’t know why you would consider the food not hot - it is plated at the pass under lights which ensure it stays hot. The front of house person would not have omitted saying goodbye - unless you left while she was in the kitchen getting food for another customer perhaps? All in all a very puzzling review.

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Reviewed 25 March 2018 via mobile

The snow fell gently outside the window but inside we were transported to the warmth of Southern European sunshine. What was once a pop up restaurant has taken permanent, and very welcome, residence in Wiveliscombe.

When we arrived I think we had the appetite for two courses but after the delicious starters of scallops and asparagus, followed by mains of duck and lamb the temptation of dessert was too great.

The only niggle was an outdated website, which should be easily rectified. Otherwise, I hope the pop up has found a long term home. Highly recommended.

1  Thank kbp61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 March 2018

We had a lovely meal here: each of our three courses was equally delicious and the combination of flavours chosen was outstanding. The wine was also perfect, although they had run out of prosecco, which was my first choice.
The problem was that after strolling home, we still felt hungry, having paid more than average for our meal. There was no bread offered with the first two courses and the quantities of each dish were small: two scallops for example seemed a little mean, in my opinion, given that they were quite small and definitely not "king-sized" as described. The chocolate torte was nice but was hardly bigger in size than the one scoop of ice cream it was served with. Although we are delighted that such a lovely restaurant has opened in Wivey, I think they should consider their local clientele, who may not wish to break out the crisps when they get home next time, given the amount of money that has exchanged hands. I would also say that we were disappointed that the chef came out to speak to two reviewers who were at the restaurant that evening, but did not feel the need to speak to anyone else: it is so nice when the owners/managers of a restaurant go to the trouble of asking their customers for feedback.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank onthevirg99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tim Z, Owner at Duende, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2018

Hi Virginia, I’m sorry you were disappointed that Tim didn’t come out to speak to you. He would certainly have come out to talk to you had you made staff aware that you wanted to speak to him. (He cooks every dish himself, so wouldn’t be able to come out until after service is finished, though.)

The night you visited Duende the reviewer specifically asked him to com out to say hello. We do feel that it would be somewhat creepy to have the chef turning up at all tables uninvited - guests have come to enjoy a meal with the company they are with, not to have the chef intruding on their evening.

The hand dived king scallops (a King Scallop is the variety from Scotland - we do not describe them as ‘king sized’) vary in size depending on the catch, on that night they were large and plump, thats why two were served. Sometimes they are smaller and three or four are served. Some restaurants use scallops that have been soaked to make them larger, but that reduces the flavour, so we don’t do that.

Not sure what you mean by ‘having paid more than average’ - Duende’s prices are on a par with other restaurants in the local area.

We’re so disappointed you rated your new local Wivey restaurant as only ‘average’ when you say the food was delicious and flavours outstanding. That’s the same rating you gave to the place that you said served you overcooked kofta and uninspiring food.

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Reviewed 18 March 2018 via mobile

We went with another couple of close friends and enjoyed the most delicious meal. The portions were just right, and the flavours, texture and combinations of ingredients were a complete delight. Highlights for me were the beautifully cooked scallops and a very special pot au creme with maple syrup and delicious little crunchy salt flecks. Fantastic. Top notch cooking and friendly, quietly attentive service. Couldn’t fault it.

1  Thank Lisa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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