A week or two after trying SUSHISAMBA on a stormy day, we thought we’d revisit Heron Tower, this time trying Duck & Waffle, and see if our view was any better. Obviously it was another stormy day in London (surprise, surprise), but when you’re high up on the 40th floor, overlooking the whole of the city, even London’s gloomy weather won’t stop you from being impressed.
With floor to ceiling windows to show off this view, Duck & Waffle’s design is simple and elegant, with leather booth seating, white marble tables and an interesting yellow textured ceiling, which could perhaps be based on the namesake waffle.
The menu is inspired by British and European cuisine, with emphasis on local, seasonal British produce. Dishes are designed to be shared, encouraging a fun, social environment.
We started with the yellow-fin tuna with watermelon, balsamic and basil, beautifully presented atop a pink Himalayan salt block. Not only did the salt block serve to display the gorgeously fresh fish, but it also added a subtle hint of saltiness, which brought out the flavour and gave a lovely contrast against the sweet watermelon and balsamic glaze.
The bacon-wrapped dates were as delicious as they sounded, and then some. Underneath the crispy, salty bacon was not just a date, but a date stuffed with linguiça sausage, creating an incredibly tasty combination of sweet, salty and smoky flavours that came together beautifully. If I hadn’t been intent on trying as much of the menu as I could, I would have happily ordered a second and perhaps even third helping of these beauties.
The freshly baked ’nduja and Gruyère bread, although a little too salty for some, was lovely and comforting for others (i.e. me). The soft, fluffy bread, topped with spicy ‘nduja (a sort of spreadable salami) and gooey melted Swiss cheese was like a seriously fat pizza, but in a good way.
Whilst the beetroot with goat’s curd and honeycomb was a nice idea, but nothing to write home about, the roasted octopus with chorizo, potato, lemon and capers was perfectly cooked, with a soft, satisfying texture and delicious Mediterranean flavours.
Now it’s time to discuss the main reason we were there: the namesake duck & waffle. If you like the combination of sweet, fluffy pancakes with crispy, salty bacon, you will adore this dish. Think crispy duck leg confit, a fried duck egg and a soft, fluffy waffle, all drizzled in mustard maple syrup. Whoever came up with this dish (most likely Chef Daniel Doherty) is a genius.
You’d think it would be hard for any dish that followed to compete with this, but our dessert of dark chocolate brownie sundae certainly tried. Chunks of decadent brownie, chunks of crunchy peanut butter, vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel made this almost like a deconstructed Mars bar: how can you possibly go wrong with that?!
Prices, as far as the food is concerned, are fair, with dishes ranging from £6 to £17 (HKD78 to HKD220), unless you go for the oysters or the rib eye. The cocktail menu and wine list is where your bill is likely to shoot up as high as the restaurant itself, making our total bill a staggering £70 (HKD910) per head.
What’s great about Duck & Waffle is that it’s actually open all day and all night, every day and every night. I’m not sure how often people crave duck and waffle at 3am, but the fact is that if you ever do have a craving for this curious yet delicious dish, you can get yourself to Heron Tower, stumble into the super speedy lift and satisfy that craving.
Duck & Waffle
40/F, Heron Tower
London EC2N 4AY
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3640 7310