Tale #38 Duck & Waffle

Another place to cross off the list. Duck & Waffle is one of those places you have to book quite far in advance, and they kick you out of your table if you’ve gone past your allotted time slot amongst other annoying pre-requisities. That, and, its inconspicuous entrance. I’d be lying if I said we didn’t circulate the entire tower looking for it.  Located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, it’s lucky they’ve got amazing views to make up for these annoying little nuances.

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The waiter explained that the concept of the restaurant is sharing although that’s not entirely clear from the menu. Now, the beast really really doesn’t like sharing as then the evening becomes a slight panic over being able to eat the food you really want and hoping everyone doesn’t steal it. But, it is difficult to write about a restaurant’s food and accurately review it if you don’t get to try a variety of dishes. So in an effort to be amicable (and for the benefit of the blog), sharing was allowed.

There were freshly baked breads (which were in actuality, glorified mini pizzas) with caramelized onion, anchovies, and capers and bread with n’duja & gruyère — each for £6. I’ll take this opportunity to say that n’duja is awesome and it’s not a featured food on many menus so I will give the restaurant some points for meat selection.

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For small plates there was fillet of angus beef with foie gras, truffle, and essentially an entire sheet of pecorino cheese layered on top.  There was a very interesting spicy ox cheek doughnut with apricot jam — a good idea in theory to have a savoury doughnut but the sugary, cinnamon sweetness of the doughnut didn’t really jive with the meaty shredded ox cheek filling. Ox cheek is naturally rich and stringy, and this particular meat was mixed with cream cheese and chillis which is just too much flavor to be lumped with a doughnut. Best to leave savoury doughnuts to Chinese cooking which does these without screwing up. Best of all the starters were the wild cornish pollock meatballs with a lobster cream and parmesan and the smoked mozzarella salad with granola, sage, honey and lemon. It’s rare that the beast likes salad so much but the flavors were bang on. And it’s the kind of salad you actually enjoy eating and don’t just eat simply because you think it’s healthy.

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The title dish is two fluffy waffles with a hunk of crisp-skinned duck confit, a fried duck egg and a pitcher of spiced maple syrup. This is what I like to call the posh version of American fried chicken with waffles. And it tastes pretty damn good. I’d have to say this was the best dish at the restaurant, which is good that they didn’t fuck it up considering it is their signature dish, well at least I think they didn’t anyway.

Strangely, Duck & Waffle describes itself as a British restaurant with European influence, however, upon doing further research, their signature dish was in fact inspired by American chicken and waffles. So there you have it. So much for British or European.

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All in all, just another trendy restaurant bringing in the crowds that happens to be really high up and have stunning views of the city. What have we learned? Having amazing views doesn’t make you an amazing restaurant. It makes you decent. However, D&W is open 24/7, so breakfast or late-night snacks are further possibilities for the beast to explore…

Word to the wise, if you’re afraid of heights, don’t sit near the window.

Restaurant Info

Duck & Waffle

Heron Tower  110 Bishopsgate

London EC2N 4AY

Tel: 020 3640 7310

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