When I first heard that there was a new restaurant called Duck & Waffle, I thought that someone was having us all on! After a few days however, I realised not only that it was not a joke, but that getting a reservation any time of day or night (since it is open 24 hours) was almost impossible. Indeed, I had to call the owner of the building to book a table to go with my son Lloyd and his wonderful wife Margaret so that they could take me out for my birthday. What a lucky mother I am!
Accordingly, when we arrived at the top of the Heron Tower and were seated by the window in a cosy corner, I thought it was as near to heaven as I would ever get.
The dream continued as we studied the intriguing menu that lived up to the restaurant’s curious name. It was hard to choose from so many things that we thought we would like. BBQ spiced crispy pigs’ ears was just one on our hit list – and what a hit it was! The three of us devoured the large portion in about three minutes.
Next came the now famous duck and waffle, which was, as advertised, a fabulously fluffy and beautiful Belgian waffle topped with crispy duck leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. All three of us shared this dish too.
Next came wild mushrooms sautéed with walnut and truffle, accompanied by a fried duck egg and sprouts. This was also a winner, closely followed by fabulous foie gras crème brûlée with a pork crackling brioche.
So many wonderful tastes having already been experienced, you might wonder how we found room for dessert. But, being my favourite course, it was not to be denied – and the torrejas with maple caramel apples and cinnamon ice cream beat out the wonderful-looking dark chocolate brownie sundae.
Torrejas with maple caramel apples and cinnamon ice cream (image courtesy of Duck & Waffle)
All of this imaginative food was described on a brunch menu that included so many other good things that I clearly must return soon, if only to taste a spicy ox cheek donut with apricot jam and smoked paprika sugar.
But even better than the amazing food, brilliantly prepared by chef Tom Cenci, was the wonderful warm welcome and excellent service overseen by Hadi Aknin, the General Manager. Excellent, thoughtful management is hard to do in a place this popular and filled with young, noisy, City-types. Even though the noise level was higher than I usually like, the food was clearly three-star, fun, and well worth the detour – for those of you that know the code.