Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle is London’s highest restaurant. It’s also a wildly popular spot; opening 24 hours a day, serving its signature synonymous dish (and other things too, of course!)
Since it’s opening in 2012, I have always wanted to go, and finally got around to it. It always feels good to tick another little something off my list! I happened to be in London for work recently, so made a point of making a lunch reservation a few weeks before to ensure I got me some crispy duck. And waffles. A pairing I hoped was a match made in heaven. While I sat near heaven.
Look at that view! It was pretty dull that day, but it works. Riding up to the 40th floor in a glass lift was fun too. My stomach definitely flipped on the way up.
We arrived a few minutes early, so naturally took the opportunity to sit at the cocktail bar in the foyer for a drink. And so I could admire these dreamy tiles…and the view of course, but I wasn’t sure if the nice tiles continued inside the restaurant. Turns out they don’t. I’m wise.
The menus are brimming with inventive dishes, with plenty to choose from depending on the time of day – breakfast, brunch, late night and desserts. They’re even nicer to read with champagne.
What I found most intriguing on the Duck & Waffle menu were the small plates. A selection of really creative and interesting dishes that jump off the page! I settled on two of the three dishes to share that I thought sounded the most exciting, and they didn’t disappoint. I let my dining partners pick one – you know, to be somewhat considerate.
Smoked mackerel with lime yoghurt, apple, cucumber and curried scraps. This wasn’t my choice but it was tasty – fresh, zesty and looks pretty cute.
This little dish is foie gras crème brûlée with pork crackling brioche. It was AMAZING. It totally confused my brain and tastebuds as it tasted quite caramel-y, like a sweet fois gras mousse. I loved it. Five of those next time.
The third small plate dish was a spicy ox cheek doughnut with apricot jam and smoked paprika sugar. The doughnut was soft and pillowy, the layer of paprika sugar on the outside was a nice contrast and felt almost like sandpaper (in a good way!) The meat inside was tender and lightly spiced. 10/10. I’d eat five of those also.
The small plates were scraped clean and I was ready for something more substantial, and ordered…the picture gave it away. The signature dish! The duck was crispy, the waffle was good and both were served with a fried egg on top with a side of mustard maple syrup. While enjoyable, the duck & waffle was tasty but in my opinion a little overhyped – I definitely found the creativity and flavours of the small plates more memorable.
My nice dining partners shared the 38 day aged angus bone-in-rib-eye (cooked medium rare) served with raw summer salad and gribiche sauce, which they loved.
The overall experience and service were really good. We spent just over two hours there, enjoying the views and relaxed atmosphere. While a little on the expensive side, Duck & Waffle is nice for a different kind of lunch, or meal at any time of day.
I would love to go back and visit in the middle of the night to see the bright city lights for a completely different experience, and try the rest of those delicious small plates! Sushi Samba is also located in the Heron Tower, on the 38th floor. You could always do both…
For more information on Duck & Waffle click here.
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