[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne evening, ages ago, whilst I was sat in the living room typing away on my laptop and Robin was at the end of the hallway, typing away on his, I yelled out “Want to try Duck & Waffle in July?” I took his grunt as some sort of agreement and made the reservation. Our reservation date zoomed by and last week, on the hottest day of the year ever ev-ver, I melted into a puddle and THE END!
Well, it felt like that anyway. The air was so thick and swampy with the heat and humidity that I practically swam my way off the train to meet Robin by the Heron Tower.
The entrance to the lift to get up to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower where Duck & Waffle resides is a little off putting. It’s guarded by three doormen, and they will deem wether you are smart enough to cross the other side of their velvet rope and skywards to wine and dine. In short- really not my thing. HOWEVER, if you have a reservation, and are smart casual, without a flash of a trainer or Nike Balance in sight, then you’ll have no problem. To be fair, once up into the restaurant, I experienced some of the nicest and friendliest service I’ve ever had.
It’s really pretty up here!
We lucked out with our reservation and got a table by the window…
…and a couple of Gin & Tonics to cool down
As I sat there fanning myself to keep cool, a waiter came over and asked if we would like some lemon and ice for our water, and I could have cried because all I felt like doing was dunking my head into a bucket of ice (it hit 36 degrees that day, just FYI)
We decided to share lots of small plates and then share the signature Duck & Waffle dish for mains.
I was the most excited for the Spiced Ox Cheek Doughnut in Apricot Jam…
I’m a huge fan of sweet and savoury flavours mixed together and this was the dish which intrigued me the most, more so than the signature Duck & Waffle dish. The outside of the doughnut was crisp and rolled in smoked paprika sugar and the fluffy inside encased the slow cooked and tender meat. Dipping forkfuls of this into the apricot jam was just…amazing.
We got a couple of fish dishes too…
…the Yellowfin Tuna, with blood orange, pistachio and mustard.
This was followed with…
…the Atlantic Salmon on spiced poppadoms and curried garnish. It reminded me slightly of the salmon cups I had at Salmontini recently- but the curried twist on this dish was just lovely.
We also had the Foie Gras Creme Brulee
…just like a real Creme Brulee, you had to crack through the caramelised shell to get to the foie gras beneath. Served alongside it was a small brioche roll dotted with pork crackling. It was really rich and delicious, but I could only manage a couple of bites before I declared myself finished.
Our main dish finally came and I couldn’t wait to try it after hearing so much about it…
The waffle was perfectly fluffy and the duck crispy on the outside with tender meat hidden beneath it. I gave Robin most of the egg, but dipping a bite of my waffle into the egg yolk was dangerously good. Again, I just love sweet and savoury flavours together, and drizzling the mustard maple syrup all over my portion of duck and waffle was the icing on the cake. It certainly lives up to the hype.
We had a side of Ratte Potatoes mixed with thyme and Marmite. Yep, marmite. If you love it, get it. If you hate it, avoid like the plague because this was deliciously marmitey!
After a cocktail (get the Distilled Hemingway- rum, maraschino liqueur and citrus juices- divine) we ordered ourselves some dessert.
A pistachio and dark chocolate macaron sandwich for Robin and…
…the Baked Alaska for me!
His macaron dessert was insane; thick, chocolatey mousse sandwiched between pistachio macaron shells, surrounded by drunken cherries that had been marinating in rum (I think)
My Baked Alaska was a delight. Hidden beneath the fluffy meringue was a scoop of strawberry and elderflower sorbet, on top of a cakey disc. Surrounding the meringue dome were pieces of strawberry and coulis and I had absolutely zero trouble finishing this off.
As we finished our meal and headed back towards the lift, the sun was going down and the temperature had cooled. It was really beautiful up here.
Also…floor tiles here just Win. I’m putting this into my thought bank when it comes to redoing our kitchen one day!
We booked well ahead to get a dinner reservation here, and it’s worth it. It was nice to have something to look forward to and as a date night spot- perfect. Cocktails are pricey here at £14 per glass, but then again, coming here for dinner is more of a treat and special occasion rather than a midweek ‘don’t-want-to-cook’ visit. We shared all of our plates and found that we ordered just enough to satisfy our appetites.
Duck & Waffle
110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
+44 203 640 7310
Oh, and here’s the view coming down the lift, because I’m that cool. Sorry my phone was the wrong way!