This place is in the heart of Sidmouth, but what a shame it does not have a bit more style! The following comments are based on my recent visit to the restaurant as a party of four:
The restaurant is poorly laid out, with poor lighting, and suffers from a distinct lack of ambience. It is better to sit in the conservatory part, but even here it can become hot, stuffy and very steamed up!
The food is of canteen standard - with everything brought in pre prepared (except the vegetables). I mean, is it really difficult to prepare roast potatoes? It's not rocket science! The ones I had were obviously prepared some weeks ago, cling wrapped in a catering pack and opened about an hour before cooking. They were obviously cooked in oil which left them leathery. The belly pork was barely passable even though it did not have a crispy skin and was still too fatty - not so much slow roasted as quickly roasted and finished off with a blow torch. It came swimming in fatty meat juices which were disgusting.
My starter of figs and parma ham showed even less care and attention. The figs unripe, the parma ham of poor quality and the cooked tomatoes very underdone. Terrible.
The creme brulee was too heavy and without crispy top. Taste was acceptable.
The only (very) good point about Dukes is their waiting staff. They are an important asset.
All in all a very disappointing visit, particularly as I had taken my house guests from London - come on Dukes, you should be aiming higher than this!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 29, 2012
We were extremely diappointed to read your recent review. We were even more saddened that none of your points were bought to light on the evening you ate with us, we never like anyone leaving us unhappy and we would have readily offered alternatives to your meal if you had let our staff know. We would like to state that none of our food is bought in, packaged and cooked. All our food is delivered daily from the markets, freshly prepared and never out of a packet - highlighted by our recent Taste of the West Silver Award in the Dining Pub category and our AA dining award. We would ,of course, have loved the opportunity to speak to you regarding your experience at Dukes before posting your review and would still be happy to do so, if you would like to contact us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.