Zekki’s food borrows from his Cypriot childhood, with influences from the wider Mediterranean, and beyond, using some of the best produce to be found in the local surrounding countryside. The menu is complemented with wines, spirits and local beers.
Expect the eclectic.
Duende opened November 2017, on the heart of the historic market town Wiveliscombe on the edge of Exmoor, nestled in the Brendon Hills. Duende is in a Georgian listed building, combining the traditional with contemporary. Duende will initially be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
PLEASE NOTE that throughout September, there is a tasting menu event, 7 courses for £45. No A La Carte menu.
Thursday - Saturday:
6pm - 10.30pm
A very interesting approach to eating out. Quiet and definitely for foodies. The set selection of 7 courses was beautifully presented and innovative. We enjoyed all of them.
You don't leave stuffed to the armpits but if that is what you want, then there is always the Hungry Horse ...
We shall certainly go again, for that special occasion.
We had a seven course tasting menu at Duende and enjoyed all the food overall. There were some unexpected flavours. Some dishes shone out for us (mackerel, crab, beetroot) and staff were both helpful. We enjoyed being able to have just a couple of the wine pairings as we had a driver and an early start next day. It was nice not to feel pressuried into the entire wine flight when it was not ideal for us on this occasion.
A lot of work had clearly gone into the dishes and we felt the meal was good value. We would go again if we were in the area.
Lovely tasting menu with very creative dishes that were beautifully presented. Nicely selected wines to go with each of the seven courses, or you could have something off the wine list.
£44 per head, plus £25 if you wanted the full wine flight (you can also dip in and out and pay by the glass).
It was barely half full on a Friday night. This meant good service but the ambiance was a bit lacking. I think the rather stark decor doesn’t help either and the restaurant was quite cold.
I’m not sure that the Wivvey area has the demographics to fill this restaurant regularly, so word still needs to spread to bring people from further away. It’s definitely worth it.
The food is amazing and we’ll definitely be back.
Outstanding. The tasting menu had everything you could have hoped for being varied, beautifully presented, unusual, delicious and very well matched with the recommended wines. The quality of the ingredients spoke for themselves and everything on the plate added something and was there for a reason. No pretentious foams and gels, just beautifully balanced, well-seasoned deliciousness in every mouthful. Great textures too. Very slick, smooth, friendly and knowledgeable staff made this a perfect experience.
We have previously greatly enjoyed dining at Duende. This was our first experience of their Tasting Menu but will certainly not be our last.
Let me, from the outset, say that in our opinion Tim Zekki is an outstanding chef. His combinations of textures and flavours coupled with the best of local ingredients and exquisite presentation marks him out as a very accomplished cook.
The seven course menu: Six of the courses were outstanding with our particular favourites being the Citrus Glazed Mackerel, tartine of almond, Parmesan and micro herbs and the Pickled Beetroot, butternut squash purée, pickled pear and roasted pumpkin seeds.
In saying that we also hugely enjoyed the Crab and mango, the Guinea Fowl, the Lamb with pea purée and a eucalyptus sauce and finally the Kumquat with gingerbread crumbs and clotted cream ice cream.
The one course not to our personal taste was a grilled duo of cheeses with shortbread and a plum sauce. We are not fond of cooked cheese and the sharp plum sauce rather dominated the dish.
The wine flight was also enjoyed. The surprise was a Vino Verde chosen to accompany the Mackerel. Initially we thought this would be too dry a wine but the citrus in the dish
‘sweetened’ the wine and it was an inspired choice.
Service was explemporary. Attentive, professional, courteous, efficient, informative, knowledgeable - and all done with a smile and a pride in ‘their’ restaurant.
The cost: £45 a head for the seven course menu. For the quality this is remarkably good value.
What an absolute find! Only in the area for the weekend but saw they were doing a tasting menu and were extremely impressed. The dishes were superbly envisioned, presented and executed. Having enjoyed a number of tasting menus previously, I can honestly say that the food at Duende has taken the crown.
Our 4th visit to Duende and still a very high standard of cuisine, some confusion on our behalf mainly as we were expecting to order from the usual a la carte menu, having seen it that day on the web site. To be presented with a 7 course taster bill of fare was not what we were looking for, but having been given an option to leave, we decided to stay, persuaded by the head waitress. We were not disappointed at the end of the evening; even if the final bill was a lot higher than we intended.
I cannot praise the service, the food and the atmosphere enough, myself and friends had a fabulous night and I would recommend Duende to anyone.
Duende has been going from strength to strength since it opened less than a year ago. The food is original and adventurous and the service excellent. The only thing that slightly lets it down is the background music, which was too loud - and in any event unnecessary.
This little gem is easily missed neatly snuggled between its shabby neighbours but delivers large on fresh innovative food. A decent restaurant in this area at last!
Wonderful food and service. The combination of flavours is a delight to the palate. Duende is more than a cut above any of the eating places for many miles around and Wiveliscombe is very fortunate to have such a lovely fine dining restaurant. We cannot recommend it enough.
Super 5 course tasting menu with wine flight. Unpretentious fine dining, with every mouthful justified and delicious. Highlights were the crab and mango, sea bass on potato puree, and cream pudding with maple. Wines went well. Great for the price. Relaxed atmosphere and attentive service, with courses delivered at a good pace but not rushed. Chef poked his head out at the end and received spontaneous and rapturous applause, which says it all. Can't wait to return for the a la carte.
Exceptional food and a great atmosphere. We attended for a family get-together and had the 5 course tasting menu on a Sat evening. We had two vegetarians in the party and 4 meat eaters. All of us were very happy with our dining experience. We were so pleased to be introduced to the chef so we could ask some questions about the magic that had been worked on our food! Can't wait to go again now...
We ate at Duende on a Friday evening with some friends. It was our third visit and once again we had a very enjoyable evening. My scallops were perfectly cooked as was my sea bass main. My wife's lamb was tender and succulent and our friend's were very complimentary about their choices also. Highly recommended.
We had a delicious meal and very good wines from the small wine list. I live in this small town and it was wonderful to be able to walk to and from the restaurant on a balmy summer's evening. The staff were helpful and direct and confident, even if the waitress was not very experienced. The service was open and refreshing. It is a great place to have a meal at even if you have to drive.
The occasion was a five-course tasting menu. We chose the recommended matching wines and were not disappointed. Original thinking expertly executed. We look forward to the next time.
We went for the tasting menu. The food was absolutely superb. Definitely worth a detour.
The evening was faultless, staff were so good, food fab and interesting to see the building, I last entered it about 50 years ago when it was a clothes shop
This was my first time to dine at Duende, Just a short walk from where I live. Local friends recommended it and it lived up to their expectations. An imaginative menu, an obviously talented chef and very good value plus very attentive amiable service.
What more could one want ? I will be returning soon.
Second time at Duende and it was lovely again. Great food, wonderful service, I highly recommend.
Couldn’t have found a better place to enjoy great food and ambience to celebrate my partners birthday staff terrific nothing to much trouble,we were greeted at the door as we arrived and shown to our table, food fantastic very fresh. We will certainly recommend DUENDE to all our family friends and clients visiting the area
Thankyou to the whole team
Claire and Craig
Overall the food we had was good, however it was very disappointing that the only fish main course had run out by 7.30pm on the Sat. evening and had not been replaced by an alternative fish dish.
Thoroughly enjoyed our evening, recommendation from a friend, our Wedding Anniversary. Service was excellent no long wait for the courses and beautifully presented, but superbly cooked.
We were entertaining some visitors from Australia who are use to good food. There was sufficient choice for everyone including a non meat eater. The food was good and the service excellent. We have been there before and it was as good as before
Fabulous meal, fantastic service, friendly staff and a great atmosphere.
We have been meaning to dine here for awhile but circumstances prevented us. We finally found a date we could go and we were not disappointed! We were greeted by a very attentive staff member who welcomed us to Duende. Food choices covered a good range and when it arrived was absolutely delicious! Each course surpassed the other! I would definitely recommend dining here. Although I would suggest you pre book as it gets very busy.
Very warm place with excellent services. Food quality outstanding and fancy deco. Excellent value for money. Will be back next time
Duende is a small restaurant with some good decorative features (love the lightshades), but it is rather dark and the high ceilings and hard surfaces make it rather noisy for easy conversation. However - the food is excellent! It's the first time I've been tempted to eat pudding in a restaurant for years - and the 'cream pot' was superb! Portions are on the small side for Somerset - OK for me but less so for some of the fellows. But all in all Duende is a great asset to Wiveliscombe and we shall certainly go again.
Food was good but could have done with a small selection of vegetables with the main. Loved the design of the restaurant nice atmosphere.
WE had two courses from the menu for the special offer for Saturday lunchtime and the meal fully matched our expectations from previous evening visits
Food excellent and interesting. Portion size perfect for me.Beautifully presented but sadly so dark inside the restaurant it was hard to appreciate.
Unusual decor that sadly didn't enhance the dining experience. Dark and gloomy
Service ok but it wasn't busy when we went.
Our first visit and not at all disappointed.
Portions not over generous but good quality.
We have been to Duende before and once again the food was superb.
Our third visit. Food excellent and combined with attentive professional service. Restaurant was a little quiet (Friday evening) so ambience suffered a bit.
Really want this place to work as it’s local and of a good quality but have been a couple of times now and the portions are too small for what is being charged. It was very quiet.
It lacks atmosphere and is very dark. I don’t think we will be going again.
Outstanding food! Perfect portions, cooked fresh to order! The lamb was superb!
We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening at Duende. Excellent food, beautifully presented and the staff were polite and friendly.
We all really enjoyed our dinner. The food was interesting, well cooked, well presented and well sized portions.
Staff were helpful and attentive.
Our first visit was for himself's birthday.
One word sums up our view- delicious! My chicken liver starter and my duck main were superb.
Delicious food from a short menu, so everything was beautifully balanced and cooked. Portions were not large so three courses was about right. Quite expensive (c.£40 a head plus tip) for Wivey, but worth it.