Aug 21 2012

Duck & Waffle

This is officially the tallest restaurant in Europe. Duck and Waffle is located in the Heron Towers on the 40th floor, one floor above Sushi Samba but contrary to Sushi Samba, Duck and Waffle does not have an outside area, but that does not change the fact the views of London from this restaurant are impressive. I went there for lunch with my friend Paul and before going there I had had a sneak peak at the menu, which I thought was extremely creative and contained dishes I had not seen before in similar type of restaurants that offer “seasonal food”. The menu is a one page A4 piece of paper and consists of smaller dishes, plates to share, plates from the oven and then larger 3 dishes for the table, which includes the mysterious “duck and waffle” dish. To start our meal Paul and I ordered some “chip shop cod tongues” (and I still am so confused about this – I don’t think fish have tongues, so I have no clue what I am eating when I order this). The mysterious cod tongues were served with a nice sauce and the waiter also brought us a bottle of malt vinegar, the type that costs 60p in Tesco (I actually saw it there the other day). The cod tongues were delicious, not so much with the malt vinegar, but definitely with the sauce.  The other snack that we had was “peas in the pod, smoked bacon”, and I ordered this as “peas and bacon” is one of the most typical dishes in Latvia, although the peas we use for this dish are black peas and the bacon is chopped and fried with onions and later added to the boiled peas but when I saw this on the menu, I was so intrigued, I had to order it. The peas were green peas with the whole cover, so like sugarsnaps, and much to my surprise when I tried to eat one sugarsnap I realized it was so chewy and not meant to be eaten at all (someone should have warned me) and it turned out that only the small peas were edible (a bit of an edamame concept going on here) as well as the small pieces of bacon that were lounging around, so 2/3 of the dish you could not eat. But overall I did think this was a creative dish, have not seen this as a starter anywhere else, and it was quite delicious (once you worked out how to eat it). As for the other dishes I really wanted to order the “duck and waffle” because as a signature dish the restaurant should get it right, but Paul was really not that keen saying it would be weird, and savoury duck would not go together with the syrup and pancakes and so we did not have it and instead ordered some heritage tomatoes, burrata with capers, pickled red onion and parsley, smoked haddock scotch egg, octopus with chorizo and some “seasonal game” which turned out to be grouse, as the season had just started. The heritage tomato dish was a total disaster, the tomatoes were super watery, had no taste and it had a strange type of goats cheese added to it (usually this dish has no cheese and the menu did not indicate we would be having cheese with it). It would be so simple for them just to pop down to Whole Foods and buy some nice tomatoes which they obviously did not do. The burrata dish was not a burrata, it was more like mozzarella, sure burrata is made from mozzarella and cream and but here it just looked like mozzarella. Not that I don’t like mozzarella, this is just misleading which I don’t like as I study menus and think thoroughly about the calories I want to take in with my meal, so I don’t like eating things I would not have ordered otherwise. The scotch egg was great though. I have never had a scotch egg before, it is quite a typical British thing and I have not yet accustomed myself with it, so this was the first time eating a scotch egg (Paul being typical British ordered it), and I did enjoy it!! Maybe it was because it was surrounded by a haddock crust, which was so delicious, and I could have had more. The octopus dish was average, not a disaster but also not the best octopus I have had. But the grouse dish did let me down. The meat was nice, but the gravy was too overpowering, I dipped my meat in it and then found it too hard to eat it, the bread with pate on top was not amazing, and the crisps that were supposed to be cooked in grouse fat were just soggy and not tasty at all. Also what was a total disaster during our meal was the waiter! It is so rare I ever comment on waiters, but here I have to, this guy (who was Spanish, he told us this so many times, even told us we have to have the octopus dish as it has some chorizo, and Spanish people love chorizo) kept coming up to us literally every 2 minutes, totally interrupting me and Paul every time he came along and trying to tell us some totally useless information we did not need to know. He kept asking for feedback on the dishes, kept telling us random facts, I don’t even remember everything as my mind has tried to block him subconsciously as much as I can (note maybe just maybe he was doing this as he thought I was important as I was taking pictures with my big camera, but still). So overall duck and waffle is a cheaper way to see the amazing London sights than Sushi Samba and it does offer some nice dishes but a lot of the dishes are not right in some way or another (I spoke to my friend Vatchy yesterday who had gone to Duck and Waffle recently and he had the same experience and he said the dishes were “hit and miss”). But the good thing is, some men in suits were sitting on the table next to us and were having the famous duck and waffle signature dish and as I asked nicely if I could take a picture, and they allowed me to get my camera all over their food, so see the signature dish in the picture below. After seeing the picture I would like to have it next time I go there, and no one will stop me, not even Paul.


Date: 21/08/12

Price for 2 including service charge, no alcohol: £96.19

Location: city


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Duck & Waffle
Heron Tower 110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY
United Kingdom
Duck & Waffle Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2.5