Duck & Waffle is so hip and popular globally that it only seems like “real life” that it would be a restaurant which disappoints. But my understanding of this place happened to be more sophisticated than that since I had been religiously following executive chef Daniel Doherty‘s food porn on Instagram. His daily capture of beautiful top down mouthwatering shots is easily enough to convince anyone to put Duck & Waffle on their No. 1 must try list in London.
They’re actually open 24/7 but since I’m no longer a partying student, I just went at a civilised hour – lunch. Actually I came to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday and the ambience was really apt, especially because we got the window seat.
Fancy 40th Floor
I’ve heard of Duck & Waffle many times. But I never knew it was actually a bit of a fancy restaurant which is situated as high as 40 floors above ground. That meant that the view was extremely beautiful. Even if you don’t get a window seat, their bar is an equally perfect place to take some photos.
The Menu – Much more than Ducks and Waffles
If you think Duck & Waffle is like “Burger & Lobster” (which I LOVE too) in the sense that they literally just serve ducks and waffles, you need to read on. It’s not. It’s so much more than that. Apart from the beautiful views which have to be highlighted, the food was amazing.
We ordered three small plates and the signature Duck & Waffle to share between two. We also got one dessert in the end.
The small plates were excellent and the execution of the food really impressed us. Asparagus with egg may seem so straight forward but every component was cooked perfectly and the flavours from all those dots of ingredients meshed together seamlessly in each bite. The same was true of the octopus – all the pieces came together so well and we wiped the dish clean. Plus, we had never eaten octopus which was so tender and soft in texture.
I hate to love the most mainstream dish most, but the beef tartare was really a highlight. The beef was super flavourful and this is rarely the case because raw beef can be quite flavourless.
The Duck & Waffle
Just to know what it’s all about, I had to order the signature dish. The combination of duck confit on a waffle, topped with a duck egg and with mustard syrup poured over, is super random (and unique). But it does work well together. The waffle is an interesting and necessary carbohydrate-y sidekick to go with the super fatty parts of the duck leg. At the same time, the syrup glues the sweet and salty components together.
Actually, I had a knockoff version of Duck & Waffle first in Hong Kong at The Pudding Nouveau, so I wasn’t entirely surprised at the whole sweet-salty flavours. FYI, of course, the real version was levels better.
At Duck & Waffle, the duck confit was cooked to absolute perfection. The skin was super crispy, and the inside was tender with a sinfully good amount of fat. The egg was good; the syrup was good. The waffle was just a normal waffle, but the amazing duck overcompensated for all. So I loved the dish!
The desserts are relatively skippable – yup, fill that second stomach up with mains here. I ordered the baked alaska with lemon curd. It actually tasted pretty good, but it was not super impressive considering everything else we had had up to this point. Plus, the lemon curd was just dotted on the side of the dish and didn’t really partner too well with the baked alaska.
Eating at Duck & Waffle is not cheap. But when scrolling through the menu, I didn’t find it pricey either. With most dishes priced in the early- to mid-teens, it seems like the average dining-out price you pay in London, especially for a slightly more upscale spot.
But the wine and cocktails were expensive. My Pina Kale-ada was delicious, but at 14 pounds (HK$160), it was really pushing my bank account limits. I remember the glass of wine was pretty extortionately priced too. I definitely wouldn’t have ordered it if I wasn’t in a I’m-celebrating-who-cares kind of mood.
Must-visit for first timers, and I’d go again
With the beautiful views and excellently prepared food, it’s a must-visit for first timers in London. Since their menu was quite varied, I would definitely be keen to return when I’m in town again to try different things – perhaps pop in for their brunch next time. However, I’d probably skip their drinks and go elsewhere for the morning/afternoon booze.
Duck & Waffle
40/F Heron Tower
London EC2N 4AY
Phone:+44 20 3640 7310
Spend per person: 50 pounds (incl. cocktails and 1 dessert)