The Duck Hook is attached to Dubai Hills Golf Course, and we’ve come here hoping for a dining experience that’s above par.
With what are undoubtedly some of the most beautifully cultivated botanical views in Dubai, The Duck Hook really is an outstanding al fresco dining spot. And we’re almost at that time of year when terraces start to look appealing again.
But leaving our autumnal daydreaming to one side – we’re at The Duck Hook because it’s reportedly much more than a casual 19th hole for golf fans to polish off a round in. The venue, which opened last year, presents itself as a family-friendly English-style gastropub.
One that has already secured a ‘hidden gem’ status amongst patrons for its acclaimed Saturday roast (AED 125); authentic Brit-style steak pies (AED 105); duck scotch egg (AED 70); a 300 minute long daily happy hour (3pm – 8pm); and whimsically eccentric interior design – think courtly English portraits, but duck heads where the powdered wigs ought be. Sports fans should also note, they show all the big games.
The name ‘duck hook’ is derived from a golf shot that, unintentionally, curves hard to the left and it sort of makes sense. They’re not playing things the easy way here, straight down the middle. The menu is a little bit left-field for Dubai and we are totally fine with that.
To tee things of we go for a refreshing prawn cocktail (AED 55) and delicious duck pâté (AED 65), both of which are solid strokes to open up the score card. We take a moment to absorb the atmosphere whilst our mains are prepared – golfers, couples, families, kids and a few dogs can be seen running outside – yes canines are as welcome as nine irons.
Nobody would be blamed for mistaking corners of this pub for the Shires of England.
The mains arrive. Wagyu rump steak (AED 155), beef Wellington (AED 365, fit for two) and Duck Confit (AED 95). A decidedly meaty affair but we’ve been good reducetarians all week and fancied a carnivorous blowout. It’s a decision without regret, all of the dishes are on point, but the beef wellington is the grande dame. Each carved tranche is a deliciously perfect medium. And the duck confit deserves applause too, tender and full of flavour, this is must.
We ask if there is a Friday brunch available to which the friendly and attentive waiters tell us that Hillhouse Brasserie, the sister restaurant next door, offers that option. We’d also like to give a shout to The Ducklings Menu, which offers delicious and healthy alternatives for kids. Your hatchlings can enjoy dishes of fish & chips (AED 40), a big small burger (AED 35) and tomato pasta (AED 30).
Duck Hook opens from noon–midnight. Average cost AED 425 for two people with paired beverages. Dubai Hills Golf Course. 800666353.