Stunning views of London, with food to match
Duck & Waffle opened in the summer of 2012 and has been raved about ever since. It’s inspired by European and British influences and places emphasis on local, rustic, seasonal and sustainable British ingredients. It’s located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, just above Sushi Samba. Both boast incredible views of the capital and Sushi Samba has the added draw of an open air terrace.
Weekend brunch gets booked up weeks in advance here so you need to plan your visit accordingly. I booked 3 weeks in advance for a table at 12:45 on a Sunday, a day that would follow an afternoon of drinking at the IRB Sevens at Twickenham. From past experience, I knew we’d be in need of something special to revive us and Duck & Waffle didn’t let us down.
After a nightmare (thanks to engineering works,) trying to get from Highbury to Liverpool Street we arrive at the base of Heron Tower just in time for our booking. It’s a sunny day and it looks stunning. We get to a doorway with a small sign for Duck & Waffle and a much bigger, much more neon one for Sushi Samba, are shown to a lift and told to head to the 40th floor. The lifts are on the outside of the building so you get a great view of London moving away from you as you fly up so fast that there’s a danger you’ll come out of the lift an inch or two shorter.
In the welcome area of Duck & Waffle, there’s an area with a bar, a few tables, grafitti covered walls and full height windows on both sides. We’re then taken through, past a private dining room, which has one long table in it with a view down to the Gherkin, past the open kitchen, to the main dining room, which has a completely different feel to the bar at the entrance. A mix of wooden and marble topped tables as well as a row of semi-circular booths fill the space and there are full height windows on three sides, which let plenty of light in as well as offering you one of the best views in London wherever you’re sitting. It was just stunning.
We’re given a fistful of menus – bunch, all day, cocktail and wine. I’d already decided to have the Duck & Waffle (£17), which is under the ‘For the table’ section of the menu along with a 400g Yorkshire Rib Eye (£35) and Whole Roasted Honey Glazed Ham Hock (£26) amongst others, although it’s not really big enough to share and once you’ve tasted it, you won’t want to! The combination of crispy skin, confit leg, waffle, runny egg yolk and a dip in to the pot of mustard maple syrup was incredible! As good a mouthful of food as you’ll ever have.
Antonia had the Duck Egg en Cocotte (£10), which came in it’s own little pan covered in wild mushrooms, truffle and melted gruyère with a stack of soldiers willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause. Not exceptional but a solid dish none the less and surprisingly filling given it’s size.
We also had a portion of BBQ Spiced Crispy Pig Ears (£5), which, unexpectedly came in a super cool brown paper bag with a duck seal. Once you rip it open you see a pile of thin, crispy pig ears that look like a game of pick-up-sticks. They’re really crispy as you’d expect and the BBQ seasoning is pretty decent. They’re kind of what I hoped the pork scratchings at Barbecoa would be like.
Considering you’ll spend about the same amount as a ticket to go on the London Eye or up The Shard but have some delicious food and better views, Duck & Waffle is great value. The service was excellent throughout our vist and they recently announced that it would be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’ve no idea how much trade they do in the small hours but next time I’m in the area at stupid o’clock I may well popup for a drink, snack and another look at those views.
|BBQ Spiced Crispy Pig Ears||£5.00|
|Duck Egg en Cocotte||£10.00|
|Duck & Waffle||£17.00|
|Pink Grapefruit Juice||£3.00|
London EC2N 4AY