Thursday, December 19, 2013

London Guide: Duck & Waffle

Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, just above Sushisamba, is Duck & Waffle - the best London restaurant that I have been to in a while.

Being the highest restaurant in the UK, Duck & Waffle has a very American feel to it, simply due to its height.  Another unusual (for Britain) feature is that the restaurant is actually open 24/7, serving breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, but also late night food from midnight to 5am every day.

The view from the restaurant is stunning and, if you're seated in the right spot, you overlook the Gherkin. However, I was quickly distracted by the menu.  I was with a group of ten of my female colleagues on a ladies night out, so we had the set Christmas tasting menu and all of it was amazing.

First course
Parsnip crips
Rosemary & garlic bread
BBQ-spiced crispy pig ears
Potted pheasant with cranberry jam
Pumpkin arrancini with sage and ricotta
Bacon wrapped dates with chestnuts, linguiça and manchego

Second course
Spicy ox cheek doughnut with apricot jam
Peal barley & wild mushroom ragout with goat's curd and 63 degree organic hen egg
Roasted Essex beetroot with goat curd, honeycomb and watercress
Jerusalem artichoke tortelli with crispy turnip tops, aged pecorino and roasted hazelnuts

Third course
Smoked cow ricotta salad with granola, sage, honey and Amalfi lemon
Whole baked sea bass with jerusalem artichoke, salsify and trumpette ragout 
with smoked butter
Whole roasted organic chicken with Tuscan sausage, potato and wild mushroom ragout with black truffle

Panettone bread pudding with spiced vanilla ice cream
Mince pies

All of the dishes were brought out as sharing platters, similar to tapas but with more than enough food to go around, and the first and second courses were brought out so quickly that I was somewhat overwhelmed - but overwhelmed in the best way possible.  My favourite dishes were the spicy ox cheek doughnut (pictured above), which had a sugar coating on the outside that wasn't to everyone's liking, and the Jerusalem artichoke tortelli, which I would have been happy eating on its own.  By the time the main (third) course was brought to the table, everyone was getting quite full, and the amount of food was a bit overkill.  After all of the food involved in the first two courses, for ten people, we had three whole sea bass, two whole chickens with sausage and potatoes and three ricotta salads.  

I wasn't so full that I couldn't eat the panettone bread pudding, ice cream and mince pies though...

The only disappointment was that they didn't serve Jager bombs and the cheapest shot was £11 (I work with seriously great women) the duck and waffle wasn't on the menu.

Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)

Food: 9
Atmosphere: 10
Service: 9
Price: £££
Overall experience: 9

All images above from Duck & Waffle

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