Duck & Waffle, the upstairs neighbour of SushiSamba, holds the coveted title of the UK’s highest restaurant, sitting on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. Opened in the summer of 2012, it’s a 24-hour affair, serving its modern British and European sharing plates to bleary-eyed tourists and late-night stragglers alike. Its popularity has refused to wane in recent months, with fans still struggling to get a table at what is undoubtedly one of the capital’s most popular restaurants.
After an exhilarating elevator ride to the 40th floor, you find yourself in the bar of Duck & Waffle, where those without a reservation can partake in the same incredible panoramic views as those dining next door. The restaurant itself has a buzzy, lively atmosphere with an open kitchen and low ceiling featuring a cornucopia of hanging decorations. The menu is designed for sharing, with simple dishes transformed by gourmet flourishes: wild mushrooms served with a fried duck egg, sprouts, walnut and truffle, and wild Cornish Pollock balls with lobster cream.
Despite being a 24-hour restaurant, the brunch dishes are the main attraction, particularly the eponymous duck and waffle itself (although this is also served on the all-day menu). The tender, juicy duck leg complements the fluffy waffle and soft yolk perfectly, especially when doused in that mustard maple syrup. With so many contrasting flavours and textures, you could be forgiven for being skeptical, but it really does work. Another hit was the duck egg en cocotte, which was served with a decadent blend of Gruyère, mushrooms and truffle, while the ox cheek benedict is one of the tastiest we’ve had for a long time. The spicy ox-cheek doughnut and the crispy pig's ears are also definitely worth a try; although you may end up keeping them both to yourself...
Duck & Waffle is undoubtedly somewhere to book for a special occasion, particularly as the waiting list for a table can be up to two months. Whether it’s a sunrise birthday start or a sunset engagement, there are few places in the capital that rival its impressiveness.
Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2 (duckandwaffle.com).