Contributing Editor: Emma Walton
There is one restaurant that as soon as it opened back in 2012 became popular with the locals.
It isn’t a small family run Italian joint or a greasy burger shack selling the finest junk food in the back streets of London (though there are a few of those that I will tell you about soon). Instead, it’s a high-end, modern British restaurant set 40 floors up above the city. Its name is Duck & Waffle and it is located atop the Heron Tower.
Now there are plenty of fancy restaurants in London to choose from and Duck & Waffle isn’t the only restaurant offering stunning 360⁰ views of the London skyline. So what makes it so special?
The restaurant has one thing that the others don’t - a fantastic all day menu that manages to take you from brunch with the girls, to lunch on your birthday, a special anniversary meal watching the sunset, to post-work drinks and nibbles celebrating the closing of a big deal or promotion.
That’s right, this restaurant is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whatever the occasion, Duck & Waffle is like an old reliable friend ready to welcome you with open arms and cook you up an amazing meal. Here are some of your options.
Breakfast / Brunch
Perhaps my new favourite meal at Duck & Waffle is brunch where you can choose from: the ‘Full Elvis’ Waffles topped with peanut butter and jelly, banana brûlée, chantilly cream and more; the House Breakfast (essentially a huge fry up); duck egg en cocotte with wild mushrooms, gruyere, truffle and soldiers (pictured below); or the Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut with apricot jam and dusted with smoked paprika sugar.
Don’t forget to order a mimosa! But more on cocktails later…
Lunch / Dinner
Served all day, but perfect for lunch and dinner is the signature dish Duck & Waffle. Expect two incredibly light and fluffy waffles, topped with crispy confit duck leg, fried duck egg and a jug of spicy mustard maple syrup. Plenty for one, but can also be shared between two with sides.
Other highlights include puy lentils with toasted buckwheat and nettles (one of my personal favourites, pictured below), coal charred aubergine with sumac yogurt, wild Cornish pollock meatballs and scotch bhadji.
If you find yourself at the bar late into the evening, make sure you grab the bbq-spiced crispy pig ears and the roasted octopus with chorizo, potato, lemon and caper. They’ll help soak up the champers!
When you’re not eating your way through this spectacular menu you should most definitely be sipping on one of their signature cocktails. The cocktail list is as inventive as the food menu.
My personal favourite is the Ristretto Negroni – Bombay Sapphire gin, vermouth and amaro, slow-dripped through coffee (pictured above). It will most definitely pep you up no matter what time you find yourself in Duck & Waffle.
The cocktail of choice for the other half and my male friends is the Marmite Black Velvet. It sounds like a love / hate kind of cocktail but what's not to love about Marmite and Guinness reduction topped up with champagne?!
If you’re struggling to decide what to have, the staff will be more than willing to walk you through the menu and make recommendations. They are a great combination of attentive and hands off so you'll feel looked after but not smothered.
I’m not going to lie to you, Duck & Waffle does have its fair share of bad reviews. But from what I can see they are all from people disappointed they couldn't get a table at 7pm on a Friday the night before and those who tried getting in for late night drinks dressed a bit too scruffy and a bit too drunk. Ignore these negative reviews and see for yourself why Londoners like me keep going back.
If you’re visiting London, a table at Duck & Waffle comes highly recommended (book as far in advance as you can for the best choice of evening sittings). It is one of the best ways to feel the buzz of the city while contemplating the vast and varied landscape that is London. You won’t regret it.