Wednesday 8 June 2016

Restaurant Review: Duck & Waffle, London

Do you know where the highest restaurant in the UK is? You’d be right to guess London, but it’s not actually the Shard, the 95-storey skyscraper near London Bridge that was completed in 2012 – that is the tallest building in the European Union. The highest restaurant in there is on the 35th floor, and there is a bar on the 52nd floor, but it's not a restaurant.

In fact, the highest restaurant is just up the road from London Bridge, on Bishopsgate - Duck & Waffle. It's on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, a commercial office building; you step into a glass lift and get a great view over the City as you are whisked upwards.

The restaurant is definitely something special; it's also quite expensive as you might expect from somewhere that can boast such incredible views. The décor inside is worth noting as well - steel and glass meets weathered wood with impressive chandeliers - but of course it's the view everyone comes for. The main dining room (there is also a private room) has floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, so wherever you sit you are almost certain of a great view.

The restaurant is amazingly open 24 hours a day - after dinner they go into a late-night service which runs until 6am which is when they open for breakfast! So if you want to be here to watch the sun rise or sun set that would be a pretty magical experience.

I went with some work colleagues for breakfast as someone was leaving and we met at the slightly more civilised hour of 8am. We were all in awe of the view and the food was almost secondary but it was extremely good.

duck and waffle, at Duck & Waffle

As befits the name, waffles are one of the specials on the breakfast menu, both sweet and savoury. If I liked bananas I'd have gone for the "full Elvis" - PBJ (peanut butter and jam?), banana brulee, Chantilly cream "and all the trimmings", £15. The waffles with cherry and yogurt ice cream and white chocolate crumble (£10) sounds more like a dessert than breakfast! On the savoury side there is Ox Cheek Benedict (on a waffle rather than English muffin), £11.

Then there's the full English breakfast, or you can also have something simple like fruit salad, porridge or beans on toast - though the beans on toast at £9 offer a Cheddar and buttermilk scone with house baked beans and parmesan, so probably a bit different to your standard Heinz on white bread.

But as we were in Duck & Waffle I knew what I had to have: the duck and waffle. I knew what to expect as I'd eaten chicken and waffles in Memphis - not a potato waffle like you can get in the frozen section of the supermarket here, but a sweet waffle, a jug of maple syrup, and crispy fried chicken or in this case duck. It sounds odd but it does go together really well! Here, for £15 you get a crispy leg confit of duck, a fried duck egg, mustard maple syrup on a waffle. It was a half (semicircle waffle and a small duck leg that had a lot of bone so it wasn't exactly a filling breakfast - though obviously more filling than what I often had for breakfast at that time which was a yogurt (lately I've stopped having breakfast at all). It was very good and felt like a really luxurious, even slightly decadent, way to start the day - it was a shame when it got to 9.30 and we all had to go into work!

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