Duck and Waffle – Heights and Hype:
I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time eating and writing about food. Despite that, until recently I hadn’t been to the much hyped Duck and Waffle – still trending despite opening in restaurant terms, an age ago in the summer of 2012. After a little arm-twisting I dragged a few friends along for a Friday evening supper. The catch, or perhaps the benefit of trying to review when you are socialising with friends, is that focus on food tends to be subsumed into good conversation and catching up on gossip. This review is short and the photos not my finest. No reflection at all on the quality of what we were eating or on the ambience – this particular evening was hit with all of us.
Of course, part of the lure is that on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, almost touching noses with the Gherkin it has fantastic views across the city. It’s also the grown-up, laid back big brother of Sushi Samba – a hip cocktail bar a couple of floors down that I believe was the cause of the nightclub like queues and bouncer. That and the fact that one of the lifts was out of order.
On a Friday night, perhaps not suprisingly, Duck and Waffle was packed. But not unpleasantly so – and we were shown to our table quickly. We all kept making excuses to pop to the ladies, lurking in the bar area, admiring the view and watching the growing crowd on the terrace at Sushi Samba
Everyone inside was friendly and smiley too, despite an obviously busy night.
We were waiting for one late arrival so ordered a selection of small plates – her loss because she missed out on the feather light foie gras creme brulee with butter roasted scottish lobster and the silky smooth coal charred aubergine with sumac yoghurt, cumin, garlic and grilled naan my favourite pair from the four plates we picked
Main courses – we had to try the signature duck and waffle – for me a slightly odd combination of crispy leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. I don’t like eggs so this dish just wasn’t on my personal wishlist.
But, the delicious angus rib eye most definitely was and still is. Served with gnocchi, bone marrow and cauliflour (sic) gratin, pickled turnip and watercress, this was a generous sharing plate for £36
The food is actually very reasonably priced for somewhere so hip and trendy in the heart of the City. Generous ‘small plates’ are £9-£16 and we looked enviously at the whole roasted shropshire chicken which comes with ratte potatoes, while mushrooms and truffle, and is ample for mains for four people. Wine though is marked up, so if you are on a tight budget be careful.
All in a great night out. The view alone makes it worth a visit…but even if it was in a basement in Putney, I’d make the trip.
Duck & Waffle
Floor 40, Heron Tower,
London EC2N 4AY.