A Monday night burger craving saw us heading to Dukes in Greenside, one of Joburg’s first “all about the burger” joints. Having been around for quite some time and being a real burger institution, I just knew someone would nominate it. Having not been for quite some time, I was quite excited by the prospect.
I must admit though, I had my reservations – the last few times I had been, I left disappointed – but I was hoping that Dukes had upped it’s game and returned to its former awesome glory.
Confession: I did have bronchitis and was feeling a bit miserable. It is for this reason we have a scoring system.
As mentioned, Dukes has been around for a while. When it first opened, I thought the décor was pretty cool – a little retro, a little different, but now the inside just kind of looks dirty and dated. It needs a bit of a revival in my opinion. The outside area is slightly better. Tables under fairy lit trees will always work for me.
There wasn’t one. To be fair, we went on a Monday night and sat inside. I can’t honestly review this aspect as most restaurants are pretty dead on a Monday, even busy Greenside ones.
Dukes has a big patty selection, which I love. You can have beef, lamb, chicken, ostrich or proper veggie patties. I went with a beef (consistency, yay) and although the patty itself was perfectly cooked and deliciously juicy, it was a little on the small side. I would be interested to know if it actually was 200g, I have my doubts. Across the board, restauranteerers seemed happy with their patties.
Average score – 7/10
A coupla’ comments – “needed a little more salt”; “a little bit crumbly but well done and delicious”; “it’s chicken-was juicy and salmonella free”; “very small, had hard bits in it”; “nice and juicy”.
Once again, Dukes has a massive selection. Seriously, every conceivable combination is on the menu and if it isn’t, you can make it up yourself. It took me forever to decide what I wanted because everything sounded amazing. I finally settled on a good ol’ bacon, avo and brie burger and I was only slightly disappointed – not enough brie Dukes!
For sides, you have the option of fries, sweet potato wedges and normal wedges. I had the sweet potato wedges which were terrible. The fries were great but the portion was far too big – really off putting.
I didn’t notice any banting options but you can obviously order your burger without the roll. Ta-da
Average score – 8/10
A coupla’ comments – “the bacon needed to be crispier, the chorizo too”; “tomato relish-yum, emmentaler cheese-yum”; “great selection, made it difficult to decide”; “average, chips were cold”
Ease of Consumption:
Crappola. For some unknown reason Duke tries to make their burgers the tallest burgers in all the land by piling all the toppings really high and spearing the burger together with a cucumber ribbon and a skewer. While this looks cool, it really doesn’t work. I had to remove the ribbon to actually eat the burger… there was too much avo and the patty slid to one side… which meant I had avo all over one hand and a broken up burger in another. A knife and forker for sure. Not cool. I see from other people’s comments that there burgers also fell apart – the score doesn’t really reflect this though, not sure why.
Average score – 7/10
A coupla’ comments – “went down like a home sick moley”; “fell apart”; “knife and fork as fell apart towards the end”; “fell apart, guac made it slippery, piled too high”; “ate it with one hand”.
Below average. The waitress was on the ball when only 4 people had arrived. As soon as the other diners arrived she disappeared. I could see all the staff standing around the kitchen area practically the whole night, they didn’t seem too bothered to do anything but that. There was a guy who I assume was the manager walking around but he didn’t check in on us so I can’t be sure.
Average score – 6/10
A coupla’ comments – “waited about half an hour for my beer, mains took 10 minutes too long”; “slow, slow, slow”; “slow. Couldn’t find waitress. No cold beer. No manager in sight”
I was disappointed. I really hoped that Dukes would have upped its game but it hasn’t. It has been surpassed by the likes of bigger, better burger joints such as Wolkpack and Hudsons and quite honestly, it seems to have given up. On a positive note, if you do decide to go, try the meilie poppers and the milkshakes – the only saving grace of the night for me.
Average score – 7/10
A coupla’ comments – “Love this place”; “Difficult to judge on a Monday night”; “Meh. Milkshake was good”; “Sweet potato fries were gross”
Overall: 35/50 (current last place)
I’m quite sad that Dukes was such a letdown (for me). It used to be one of my most favourite places but in all honesty, I don’t think I will go back any time soon.
14 Gleneagles Road
011 486 0824