Hong Kong Tatler
Duck & Waffle's Daniel Doherty on 24-Hour Dining and Taste of Hong Kong
Feb 25, 2016

Daniel Doherty, the chef behind London's famous 24/7 gourmet dining institution, Duck & Waffle, will be at Taste of Hong Kong on March 12 to serve up 1,000 plates of his restaurant's eponymous dish. Hong Kong Tatler spoke to the celebrated chef on the inspiration behind his eatery.

Do you think Hong Kong will get the dish?

Yes. Essentially the waffle is a fluffy vehicle for a crispy duck so it’s not a million miles from a bao.

Presumably it’s your most popular dish? Yes. Every day, every table—unless they’re vegetarian or pescatarian—orders it.

Why do you think the Duck & Waffle dish works so well?

We’re open 24 hours a day and I think it’s the one dish that really does fit the 24-hour brief. If you’re hungover or you feel like you need a bit of comfort food, it’s great for breakfast—that’s actually my favourite time to have it. Throughout the day it works well; then overnight, if you’re a bit wobbly, it’s a good one to line the stomach.

What inspired the 24/7 dining concept?

There are 8 million people in London and there wasn’t a 24-hour restaurant before. There’s nothing really to do after midnight unless you go to a hard-core nightclub. We offer a popular alternative to that.

What’s the longest you have had a table stay?

We had someone come for a 6pm dinner and stay until breakfast. He wanted to stay for sunrise but didn’t realise it was wintertime and sunrise is at 8 in the morning, not 4, so he was there a little while.

 

The-Duck-&-Waffle.jpg

The Duck & Waffle; Photo courtesy of Duck & Waffle

Do you get many bookings for 4am?

Yes. It can be an amazing end to an evening or a great start to a day—everyone in the restaurant is at different stages of their day or night.

What is the biggest challenge of a 24-hour restaurant?

We serve food non-stop and cook up to 1,100 covers on a busy day, and we have to clean the restaurant while people are dining—which is a military operation.

Is having an online persona an important part of being a chef?

You wouldn’t invite someone to your house and not speak to them, and a restaurant is the same. Interacting with social media allows you to take that to the next level. People can connect and ask questions—tell you you’re an idiot even.

Have you been to Hong Kong before?

Yes. I came five years ago, for a job interview actually, but at the time moving wasn’t really feasible.

So you were almost a Hong Kong resident. Could you see yourself living here?

Well, never say never. Hong Kong and New York are the two cities that pull my heartstrings.

Daniel Doherty, the chef behind London's famous 24/7 gourmet dining institution, Duck & Waffle, will be at Taste of Hong Kong on March 12 to serve up 1,000 plates of his restaurant's eponymous dish. Hong Kong Tatler spoke to the celebrated chef on the inspiration behind his eatery.

Do you think Hong Kong will get the dish?

Yes. Essentially the waffle is a fluffy vehicle for a crispy duck so it’s not a million miles from a bao.

Presumably it’s your most popular dish? Yes. Every day, every table—unless they’re vegetarian or pescatarian—orders it.

Why do you think the Duck & Waffle dish works so well?

We’re open 24 hours a day and I think it’s the one dish that really does fit the 24-hour brief. If you’re hungover or you feel like you need a bit of comfort food, it’s great for breakfast—that’s actually my favourite time to have it. Throughout the day it works well; then overnight, if you’re a bit wobbly, it’s a good one to line the stomach.

What inspired the 24/7 dining concept?

There are 8 million people in London and there wasn’t a 24-hour restaurant before. There’s nothing really to do after midnight unless you go to a hard-core nightclub. We offer a popular alternative to that.

What’s the longest you have had a table stay?

We had someone come for a 6pm dinner and stay until breakfast. He wanted to stay for sunrise but didn’t realise it was wintertime and sunrise is at 8 in the morning, not 4, so he was there a little while.

 

The-Duck-&-Waffle.jpg

The Duck & Waffle; Photo courtesy of Duck & Waffle

Do you get many bookings for 4am?

Yes. It can be an amazing end to an evening or a great start to a day—everyone in the restaurant is at different stages of their day or night.

What is the biggest challenge of a 24-hour restaurant?

We serve food non-stop and cook up to 1,100 covers on a busy day, and we have to clean the restaurant while people are dining—which is a military operation.

Is having an online persona an important part of being a chef?

You wouldn’t invite someone to your house and not speak to them, and a restaurant is the same. Interacting with social media allows you to take that to the next level. People can connect and ask questions—tell you you’re an idiot even.

Have you been to Hong Kong before?

Yes. I came five years ago, for a job interview actually, but at the time moving wasn’t really feasible.

So you were almost a Hong Kong resident. Could you see yourself living here?

Well, never say never. Hong Kong and New York are the two cities that pull my heartstrings.