Duck & Waffle may be the talk around town but high-rise London restaurants are nothing new, right? There are plenty of tower restaurants across the city such as Rhodes 24, OXO Tower and Paramount, so what makes Duck & Waffle different? Well, you need to experience it to find out.
A couple of weeks ago the girls and I tried to get a table at the bar for drinks early Saturday evening. Duck & Waffle was fully booked but it was suggested we try the bar at Sushi Samba on the level below. We were instantly ‘wowed’ from the moment we stepped foot into the lift which transported us up to the 39th floor. Transported seems as adequate a word to use to describe our experience which felt like we had stepped foot into some futuristic movie involving a short period of time travel. The lift travelled at quite an alarming speed yet it felt smooth and safe enough, which allowed us to enjoy the breathtaking views across London. Looking out of the clear glass walls, our faces lit up as we were reminded what a beautiful city we live in.
After a pleasant evening at Sushi Samba, we decided to book brunch at Duck & Waffle to see what all the fuss was about and mainly to experience the lift again! We were lucky enough to get a table a few weeks ahead (it gets booked up quick!) and the lift was as impressive as before. Duck & Waffle is spacious with a relaxed, slightly up-market (but not at all pretentious) atmosphere. Surrounded by windows on the 40th floor, the restaurant has far better views than the bar at Sushi Samba. This is mainly because of the use of the space and the way the tables are set out to ensure spectacular city views. Duck & Waffle is open 24/7 serving breakfast right the way through to late-night nibbles. The brunch menu features an array of interesting dishes including bbq-spiced crispy pigs ears, smoked finnan haddock and the all important duck & waffle which consists of a crispy duck leg confit , fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. Mmmm!
I felt it was only right to have something duck related so I ordered the duck egg in a brioche basket with gruyere, truffle and watercress, along with a skinny cappuccino. Our drinks arrived first and then our brunch a little while after. My delightful looking dish consisted of a slice of thick toasted brioche filled with a cracked duck egg and cheese and topped with watercress. I couldn’t taste the truffle but that didn’t matter as the bread and the egg were cooked to perfection. Once I had eaten the egg and cheese I found the bread a little dry to eat alone, but this wasn’t a problem as I wanted to save myself for what was to come.
It occurred to me that after experiencing the ‘duck’ it was only right that I now experience the ‘waffle’ so we each ordered dessert. Kate and I shared Belgian waffles with banana and Nutella. We couldn’t resist ordering the warm chocolate brownie with peanut butter ice cream and crunchy caramel too! Both were well presented on the plate, with a manageable sized portion for post-brunch. The Belgium waffles were beautifully cooked but I would have liked the Nutella to taste a little more of hazelnut as it didn’t taste like the Nutella I have at home.
The chocolate brownie was our favourite dish of all with the peanut butter ice cream receiving all sorts of “Mmm’s” and “Ahh’s”. Pieces of hard caramel, similar to honeycomb, sat alongside the brownie which was accompanied by a smooth whipped cream and caramel sauce. It really was a match made in heaven for a sweet tooth like me – this was my breakfast after all!
So I have finally, and quite literally, experienced Duck & Waffle and its outstanding panoramic views. The food was great, not the best I have experienced but certainly worth my bill of £27 for 2 courses and 2 coffees. The service was attentive and we didn’t feel rushed, although I did have to check to see where my espresso had got to. We enjoyed a good couple of hours at our table which allowed us to chat and have a go at spotting iconic London landmarks. Duck & Waffle is an excellent place to visit on a special occasion or if you want to impress someone with something a little different. I can’t wait until I can afford to take Sam there for dinner and drinks one evening (or maybe he will take me!) and show him the lights of London. No wonder Duck & Waffle is the talk around town; I can certainly see what all the fuss is about.
Living life, loving cake,