Hurrying along to make my 8:40pm booking, the glittering Heron Tower stood before my eyes. The bright neon signs for “sushi samba” and colourful lights beaming from the tower lit up the whole street.
Through the glass and metal doors the porter greeted us and directed us to the lifts. The lift only takes you to 3 different places, the first one I cannot recall. Duck and Waffle is situated on the 40th floor whilst it’s sister restaurant Sushisamba is on the 38th.
Sushisamba is a Japanese – Brazilian and Peruvian fusion. Did you know that Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community, outside of Japan?
Entering the enclosed glass lift with bright light panels, and the night skyline view of the financial district of London, we ascended to the top of 40 storeys high in no time.
Our other 2 friends had already arrived and were chilling at the bar with cocktails in their hand. The bar itself was breath taking, with lavish decors and it’s rusted wooden ceiling, and colourful glass wine lights hanging off the ceiling. London glimmered like a gem from the panoramic view. We was already impressed, I tried some of my friends cocktails and really like the yazu accented gin & tonic.
Duck & Waffle is opened 24/7, I didn’t expected it to be that busy that I had to push back my booking for a week and the best time slot was late evening at 8:40pm. The lady on the phone made it clear that with a party of 4 we could only dine for 2 hours max. Even with our prompt arrival we had to wait for our table to be ready.
The menu is inspired by British and European influences, with head chef Dan Doherty behind the kitchen. Dan is lovely he would tweet and say hello to diners. Unfortunately that night he was in the other kitchen with a private party.
Dining late at night, we found the crispy pig ears; wagu beef was all sold out. L
As I knew I wanted to save my stomach for desserts, my kept my starter light with 2 carlingford rock oysters. It certainly was delicious, fresh, and juicy plumped; it was like tasting the sea.
My friends picked the spicy ox cheek with apricot jam, bacon wrapped dates, scallops.
The thinly sliced scallops served on top of perfect shaped rectangles of apple chunks, came served on a pink Himalayan salt. The combination of the salt, apple and raw fish was enjoyable. The apple was sharp and citrusy, that stood out after finishing the raw scallop layer.
The bacon wrapped dates went down a treat with all of us, other then the oysters this dish stood out from the rest. I liked the sweet and salty combination of the flavours.
The Pollock meatballs, was springing in texture, with a rich creamy lobster sauce, I was slightly surprised with the lack of Parmesan.
The caramelised onion baked bread, was hot, soft in texture and tough to rip to be shared. The onions were quite overpowering and still lingered in my tongue until the main course.
I now present you the weirdest dish of them all, spicy ox cheek donut and apricot jam. The donut ball was humungous; there was far too much dough the ox cheek was at the rock bottom. The meat was not spicy, as advertised and was a bit bland.
We all ordered the signature dish; it took a long while for the wait around 40 mins after we finished our starters. The plate consisted of a fried confit duck leg, waffle, a pot of mustard maple syrup and a fried egg to top it off. I was quite frightened with the maple syrup, my friend brought me some from Canada and 1 drop was enough to give me a sugar rush overdose. I tasted a drop and was rest assured, it was a diluted and happily smothered my duck and waffle with the whole pot. The duck was properly one of the best I have ever tried perfectly fried with a lot of moist, and not overly salty. The mixture of the sweet, salty and different textures worked well.
Lastly the desserts, two of my friends were stuffed and couldn’t handle another thing in their bellies. So it was down with “T” and me, my eyes was steering towards the brownie and “T” picked the fried mars bar. You see I can get a fried mars from my local chippy and didn’t want to spend £7.
The brownie with peanut butter ice cream and crunchy caramel was a delight. The brownie was chocolaty and moist without it being over sweet, the peanut butter was rich and creamy; the honeycomb pieces of caramel gave the added crunch to the dish.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience of being swooshed into the sky to Duck & Waffle; the views are spectacular at night. The signature dish may take a while to prepare; our party didn’t expect to dine over 2 hours. We were left with satisfied bellies. The damage was about £35-50 per a head.