Al Duca

4.3
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1217 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
Al Duca was opened by leading restaurateur Claudio Pulze in 1999. As part of Pulze’s 'Cuisine Collection' restaurant group, Al Duca remains one of the most popular restaurants in the St. James area of the capital with a loyal clientele of diners. Serving modern Italian cuisine, Al Duca focuses heavily on bringing out the very best elements of what is one of the most acclaimed gastronomic regions of the world. The menu at Al Duca emphasises the use of simple fresh ingredients, skilfully combined to bring out the best of a wide range of traditional dishes offered both in classic style and with a new twist, all following Pulze’s ethos to offer reasonably priced good Italian food.
What 1217 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
San Francisco
106 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience2

This is conveniently located in a adjacent busy street of St James neighborhood.
The environment is a bit sad, the light a bit gloomy, decor not very engaging.
The staff is nice and active, they check regularly to process your meal and drinks.
Now the food: this is the part that is problematic, it is not interesting nor any good.
I had the special, pasta with white truffle, it was cooked in water with olive oil and shaved white truffle.
Nothing else, not bad but not pleasant. My diagnose is that the cook is incompetent .
The osso buco was a small piece of meat dry inside, tasteless and the sauce looked like out of a can of peeled tomato, not pleasant. The best white wine by the glass was acidic and sour. The desert was a very gooey chocolate cake, it fell on my stomach like a brick... A very unpleasant meal and I fell super heavy, border line sick immediately afterward. I do not recommend this place, there are many other restaurants much better nearby.
I paid a hundred pounds for this meal, that is what I would pay for a delicious lunch in a one star Michelin...

KS
London
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and very imaginative menu ideas or presentations of classic dishes.

M
London
10 reviews
Dined on 23 November 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The food was very nice, but slightly on the bland side. Two of the fish dishes, cod and salmon (special), were without a sauce and slightly on the dry and somewhat minimal side. Things needed a little spicing up in some manner. The swordfish was better, but still slightly unimaginative. On the other hand, the mussel and clam soup starter was fantastic. The atmosphere was great and the service was excellent.

TB
London
7 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Al Duca is a "go-to" restaurant for a good value lunch with charming staff and a good Italian menu. You can be quick in-and-out. Difficult to beat for an informal business lunch. The location is absolutely perfect, between St. James's Square and Jermyn Street. Not too noisy.

MH
London
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We met old friends for lunch. The pasta was excellent, especially the seasonal game and mushroom sauces. One gluten-intolerant diner was very pleased with the choice of gluten-free pasta. Desserts were also delicious and the service was attentive and courteous. We have eaten at Al Duca a number of times and never been disappointed.

TL
1 review
Dined on 29 October 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Hey is was perfectly nice, good service and friendly, but the food was a bit ponsie - small portions, vert tasty but three Scallops for £17 and you know where this is going.....so nice but the menu needed greater choice

A
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite Italian restaurant in London. The food and service are consistently excellent! I highly recommend it!

LI
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 22 October 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The food is always good, the ambiance perfect for lunch or dinner, and the staff lovely, kind and attentive.

TM
London
1 review
Dined on 18 October 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The tables are very close to one another. My liver was bland and would have benefitted from potatoes and a rich gravy

R
London
5 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Always reliable for good basic Italian style food.

D
London
3 reviews
Dined on 1 October 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Having been here on a number of occasions this time was really disappointing. The food was terrible! Al Duca...... what has happened. Started of warm mozzarella wrapped in parma ham was a cold watery soggy mess. Other started of octopus was in a very bitter tomato sauce with no other flavoring. Main of "slow cooked ham shin" was a greasy mass of very very (>50%) fatty ham with a side of "roast vegetables" that was four or five strips of veg that had clearly been pre-cooked and warmed in a microwave.... again soggy. Second main of past with porcini mushrooms and truffle was very dull, little truffle flavor and gritty mushrooms. Sorry Al Duce but for this sort of money in St James's a real awful meal. My advice..... go to Sartorria on Saville Row, a great and sophisticate Italian.

m
London
6 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Staff all very good. Food disappointingly average

FT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on 25 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I visit London 3 or 4 times a yet and always find time for a meal at Al Duca. The service is good but unobtrusive and the food quality is excellent.
I can thoroughly recommend this venue for lunch or dinner.

SB
London
5 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good

AJ
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food and service was outstanding. The wine list was not impressive

OT
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

A good experience but restaurant was really quiet

e
London
10 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

First time for a business lunch at Al Duca, excellent experience. Food was delicious and not too overwhelming portions, service attentive and good with advice. Could imagine if full it would be quite noisy, but wasn't like that on this visit. Would certainly return

JD
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Well, the noise level was low because there was only one other table occupied while we were there. Have given excellent marks to food and service because they were deserved. Half-portions of the pasta course were just right and our main course was delicious and also right-sized. This was a return visit for us and you'll remain our number one choice if/when we return to London.

TB
London
8 reviews
Dined on 17 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely people, great service, great food. The summer is great as they open the windows and it is almost al fresco.

MJ
London
33 reviews
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely restaurant. Delicious pasta. Great service.

TD
London
14 reviews
Dined on 22 June 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The service was great and we hot a nice table too but unfortunately the food wasn’t enjoyed as much as we had hoped apart from my tagliatelle with black truffle and mushrooms which was delicious!

R
London
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Service was slow and portions tiny. Regressed since my last visit 12 months ago.

JC
London
2 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice friendly and attentive Italian staff. Food consistently good and we always enjoying visiting this restaurant.

OT
London
10 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

If you want a reasonable, predictable italian meal, served quickly and (by comparison to nearby rivals) cheaply this will fit the bill. A good choice for a business meal, pre-theatre etc. Service coulf improve as could more or les everything ( its a bit tired) but I have no specific negative comments. What you see is what you get.

S
London
7 reviews
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a delightful family run, genuine Italian restaurant in the heart of Mayfair. The food is first class and moderately priced for the area and the wine list is extensive classic Italian wine. The serving staff are warm and friendly and its almost like dining at a friends house

OT
London
8 reviews
Dined on 5 June 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

This used to be a favourite of mine and I stopped going because of a not-great experience, but I thought I would try it again last night to entertain business colleagues over from China.

Mistake! The food is nice enough; not outstanding but fair for the price. Unfortunately the service was embarrassing. Everyone was very polite; just REALLY slow. There was an an excruciatingly long wait between the starters and the main course, compounded by five of the six dishes coming together and then a pause whilst the guest of honour sat with an empty space in front of him snd the rest of our food cooled down.

Whilst a verbal nudge elicited some apology there was little communication from the waiting staff, and as our table was on their route to the kitchen, a remarkable lack of willingness to have any eye contact.

Perhaps if you go when the restaurant is only half full and the waiting staff and kitchen are better able to cope then you might have a better experience. Unfortunately having been let down twice I will not be returning.

t
London
8 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Pasta is too salty, veal Milanese is basically 70% breadcrumbs, disappointing experience.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service. Reasonably priced. Would recommend and visit again

R
London
19 reviews
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was very welcoming, knowledgable and helpful, in helping select the wine and in explaining the precise nature of some of the dishes. The chef was accommodating in modifying certain dishes to individual requests.

As unassuming establishment where the quality of the food presented was high and the range of Italian wines on offer was unusually well curated in terms of price, grape varietals and geography.

Well worth a visit

c
London
1 review
Dined on 7 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The service was very good and staff very friendly. Everything that we ordered to eat was melt in the mouth amazing. Would defiantly recommend and will be back very soon

RE
London
1 review
Dined on 25 April 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Very dependable and genuine Italian, friendly service, one of the best in Town!

SB
London
5 reviews
Dined on 25 April 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good food, served by friendly and enthusiastic people - a long term favourite !

FT
New England
9 reviews
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have eaten at this restaurant 7 times in the last 2 years and have never been disappointed with the food or service. I visit London 3 or 4 times a year and almost always have a meal with friends or family at Al Duca. I can thoroughly recommend this restaurant for lunch or dinner. The staff are polite and friendly and the food is good. The service is excellent but not intrusive.

TB
London
8 reviews
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I took an Italian to Al Duca and he was very happy. What more could you say! It's authentic Italian with very good good, good value, and charming staff.

MB
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience1

The food at this restaurant was great, however the ambiance was extremely loud. I ate with family members and we basically stopped talking to each other because it was such a strain to hear or speak.

TB
London
8 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a charming Italian restaurant in the heart of St. James's. The service is excellent and the staff absolutely charming. Excellent pastas, very good starters, and some delicious meat dishes as well, and all so reasonably priced. And a nice touch...my friend with whom I was dining left an item by the table and one of the waiters came running down the street with it afterwards - how often would that happen?

JG
London
3 reviews
Dined on 12 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Al Duca is consistently good and makes a perfect venue for a casual meal or a romantic evening. The staff are always super friendly and efficient and the food is great. It’s our go to restaurant and we are always happy to introduce it to other people!

S
London
28 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

The welcome was wonderful, the espresso martini great. Unfortunately the main course was disappointing, my truffle pasta had no aroma of truffle, and was over salted, as were a side of sauteed potatoes that my dining companion ordered. It was such a shame, the staff were wonderful

ML
1 review
Dined on 5 March 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great quality food but the portion size on the large past dishes could be a little larger. Also side plates for the bread basket would be preferred.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Enjoyed the food but something is missing, it felt liked serving us was too much effort for some of the staff.