I’ve been following Dan Doherty, the Executive Director of Duck and Waffle, for over 3 years now on Instagram. And every Instagram post had me craving the eye-pleasing dishes. And now, after over three years, I finally made my way to Duck and Waffle in Heron Tower.
After convincing everyone of the place I was nervous. Will the food be great or just average? Did I over-hype the place up to myself?
Standing in front of the Heron Tower another thought fluttered through my mind. I have no idea where Duck and Waffle is. Luckily the doorman at the entrance of the building helped us find the entrance. He, literally, pointed at the entrance. If I was him, I would’ve make us walk around the building. Once in the building, we took that nauseating lift up to the 40th floor. Clearly I’m not a semi-speed junkie.
After that adrenaline rush, the nervousness set in again. Would my guests appreciate the choice for dinner or had I been a bit too adventurous by introducing a new restaurant? However, after entering and seeing the bar. All nerves were gone. The beautiful bar area, with its lighting, definitely helped me feel better about my choice.
Once seated we were introduced to 2 waiters. This I didn’t understand. The first waiter (in a red shirt) explained the menu to us and the second waiter (in a black shirt) did the exact same thing. Except you couldn’t order from the waiter with the black shirt. It was odd. I’m assuming the waiter with the red shirt was for food and the waiter with the black shirt was for drinks.
Anyway, once wine was ordered we ordered a bunch of plates. One plate too many actually.
First to arrive was the ‘Nduja seared octopus. As expected the ‘nduja was spicy and added plenty of flavour to the perfectly cooked octopus. Then the fennel with the green sauce and yellow lentils added a cooling feel and some crunch. Definitely one of my favorites.
Then was the foie gras crème brûlée. When I looked at the menu I was most intrigued by this. Once the dish arrived, I couldn’t wait to knock the hard caramel lid. And it cracked perfectly. I must admit the foie gras was average but what was great was the caramel. It added depth to the foie gras – a sweet and crunchy depth. The marmalade brioche added more sweetness and fluffiness. I helped myself to 2 slices of the bread, it was that good.
A great debate emerged at the table over the smoked eel. My boyfriend was adamant no one would like it because, lets be honest, eel is an acquired taste. So when the debated dish arrived at the table Lee’s argument failed. The smoked eel was delicate, creamy, and had a bit of spice from the horseradish. Definitely a dish to try.
Next to try was the pork and apple corn dog. I’ve never tried a corn dog but if all corn dogs taste like Duck and Waffle’s version then I’m hooked. The outside was crunchy and the inside soft. The chipotle mayonnaise was fantastic and added piquancy to the dish.
Not pictured was the roasted brussel sprouts that we had. I enjoy roasted vegetables but brussel sprouts aren’t a favourite. However, Duck and Waffle changed that. The vegetable was sweet, salty, and tender on the inside. It turned out to be a favourite dish.
The last of the “starters” to arrive was the lamb keema (soft minced lamb) with hara bhara sauce (a sauce made from spinach, peas, and potatoes). The bread smelled amazing and the bite that followed burst with flavour. But then came the kick from the chilli. That was quite unexpected but appreciated. The spiciness elevated the dish.
Our snack appeared next: BBQ-spiced crispy pig ears. I enjoy pork rinds because of the crispiness. So pig ears peaked my interest. The pig ears arrived in a paper bag with a duck and waffle seal. It was different and not expected. However, the pig ears were well coated with bbq spice and had an amazing crunch.
On a whim we ordered the pulled goat doughnut. The doughnut was soft and had a sweet and spicy taste from the jerk sugar. Inside the pulled goat was well cooked and tender. A delightful doughnut that hits all the spots.
Up next were the main dishes. The duck and waffle was a duck confit leg with half a waffle and maple syrup with mustard seeds. Once again the dish was delicious. The duck was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The waffle was perfectly cooked: crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Eating all the components together provided a crunchy, salty, and sweet experience.
The next dish was the miso glazed rabbit and was one dish too many for 4 people. Nonetheless, we soldiered on. The rabbit was tender and a bit salty (from the miso). And a rather large portion once you’ve eaten everything.
Accompanying the main dishes were the roast sweet potatoes, which were soft and spicy. I didn’t try the sweet potatoes with the duck and waffle. But I did try them with the the rabbit and it was a great accompaniment. And a delicious plate on its own.
After all that food you would think we would skip dessert. Nope! Dessert was ordered. I had the salted caramel choux bun and the others had ice-cream. I was surprised when the choux bun came within 5 minutes. Due to the quick arrival of the choux bun, I was expecting a stale dessert. I was wrong. The choux was light and fluffy. And the salted caramel provided a sweet and salty sensation. Something I’ve come to love in London. The smoked hazelnut cream was light and provided richness.
The food at Duck and Waffle was fantastic! It definitely is a place to enjoy different taste combinations. So you shouldn’t walk in with a fear of trying dishes. Every dish we tried was delicious and was bursting with flavour.
Being at the top of Heron Tower you have amazing views of London. And the atmosphere of the restaurant is vibey.
The service was also great, as the food arrived quickly and waiters were knowledgeable on the menu. However, there was a lull in the service as we tried to get the bill.
I definitely enjoyed my food experience at Duck and Waffle. And because of that, I give them 4.5 stars.
Extraordinary (read: if you have to make a sacrifice to be here, do it)