About Ducking Time! | Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
A blog post about Duck & Waffle? Like the world needs another one of those. It’s no secret that we haven’t visited what is possibly the most talked about and popular restaurant amongst the London food circuit. Until last week.
It’s not that we haven’t wanted to go to the UK’s highest restaurant, just twenty minutes from our day job office. We have. We’ve even had to cancel several bookings, something always seems to get in the way. We even started to wonder if it just wasn’t meant to be. We asked ourselves if perhaps we’d die in a freak lift accident, or choke on a duck bone if we did go. Despite being superstitious, we’re not the kind of people to be defeated, so we persevered on.
Even on the night that we finally visited I ended up being an agonising 45 minutes late due to Southeastern trains being their typically annoying selves. Leaving Ade at the table alone with the threat of our booking being taken away from us.
It was our fourth wedding anniversary and I had been daydreaming of a romantic meeting outside Heron tower and experiencing the ear-popping super-fast glass lift together. But no. I turned up dripping with sweat and in a foul mood [nothing new there then – Ade]. It was impossible to stay like that with the staff being so nice, although I suspect they secretly hated us for being so late but did a good job of hiding it.
Once I’d calmed down and cooled off, I ordered a Roasted Cosmo 2.0 (£14) which I didn’t enjoy as much as Ade’s Hay (Old Fashioned) (£14) – Jack Daniels, hay, salted caramel and maple served in a little wooden pot of hay. I didn’t spot the ingredient of bone marrow on the menu for my drink or I would have ordered something else, just weird.
Ade’s next cocktail was a Truffle (£14) – Monkey Shoulder whiskey, lemon, sugar, egg white, truffle. I don’t know what’s wrong with us, he didn’t realise it actually had truffle in it, what an idiot, so was a tad apprehensive when it arrived. Somehow the frothy top smelt strongly of it but the taste was far more subtle with the whisky and lemon coming through.
Our waitress helped us with the menu, we knew we just had to try the signature dish of Duck and waffle (£17) but didn’t know how many other things to get (it’s all about sharing dishes). She guided us just the right direction and we had the perfect amount.
We’d already tried the BBQ spiced crispy pigs ears (£5) at Taste but had them again with the deceptively filling Bacon wrapped dates with linguiça, manchego and a watercress salad (£3.50 each) as pre-dinner nibbles. These little sweet and savory parcels of deliciousness really reminded Ade of Heston’s Devils on Horseback at The Hinds Head in Bray – not a bad thing. When I first heard about the crispy pigs ears, all I could think about was those dog chews sold at pet shops, once I got past that I fell in love with them. Like pork scratchings without being break-your-teeth hard.
We started off with seriously piping hot Bread with hand churned butter and Puglian olive oil (£6). We got married in Puglia at Trullo Fico and normally go to a Puglian restaurant called Ostuni for our anniversary, so it was nice to have a touch of Italy here.
Before it turned up we thought six quid was a bit steep for bread but you actually get a massive hunk of it. It was an interesting mash-up of pizza crust and fluffy crumpet, well worth the price tag. With the bread there’s a choice of six tempting options such as n’duja and gruyère and onion jam and stilton. Although due to my stupid problem with cheese, most of these were out of the question.
I wasn’t too sure about what we had next – Coal charred aubergine with cumin, garlic and sumac yoghurt (£9). I found it too sloppy although the flavour was great, I guess I was expecting a dry dish. That’s the thing with Dan Doherty‘s menu, things aren’t always what you anticipate them to be. Ade loved the subtle curry taste and the cooling creamy yogurt I think he may actually be going all vegetarian on me.
Roasted octopus with chorizo, baby potato and pickled cucumber (£13) was delicious, again the food was steaming hot. Perhaps this is to allow for the annoying people who wander off for a photo/fag during their meal. Atlantic salmon with spiced poppadums, curried garnish (£10) was a surprise (a good one). Although it’s a bit of a tiny portion it tasted amazing, I love robust dishes like this.
They saved the best til last and I’d been conscious of not putting too much food away before it arrived. The Duck & waffle (£17) – crispy leg confit, fried duck egg with mustard maple syrup was the winner in my eyes. You can see why this dish is constantly flying out the kitchen, it’s cooked to perfection – sounds so cheesy, but it’s true.
The waffle is crunchy and fluffy, the egg faultless and the duck itself was cooked to fall-off-the-bone perfection. I didn’t think anything could get better than the fried chicken and waffles at Home in Los Feliz, LA, looks like I might have been wrong.
Dessert time. Ade’s Pistachio & dark chocolate macaroon [sic] sandwich (£9) with drunken cherries, crystallised white chocolate was one of those made-for-him-dishes. We both loved it but he preferred my super sweet and gooey Baked Alaska (£9) with English strawberries and elderflower and a solid cooling ice cream centre.
We’d more than outstayed our welcome by now (not that you’d know it as the staff were still being nice to us) so we thought it was about time we headed home. As mentioned earlier, the staff here are so good, they ought to receive some kind of award for their patience in dealing with annoying customers.
I think some people must have mistaken Duck & Waffle for a ‘free’ viewing platform to take pics of the incredible views across London. Frequently disappearing from their tables to huddle in between other diners and pout for photos, leaving their food to go cold and generally getting in the way. We must admit that despite scoring high on the people watching barometer, these wandering selfie addicts did affect the enjoyment of our meal. Life’s too short people, enjoy the moment and sit down!
110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Telephone: 0203 640 7310
Opening hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Book a table online
Nearest station: Liverpool Street (2 mins walk) Aldgate (7 mins walk)
Moorgate (10 mins walk)
We received a discount at Duck & Waffle, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.