Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Restaurant Review: Duck and Waffle

One of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant openings of the year are those atop Heron Tower. Sushi Samba and Duck and Waffle opened earlier this month. Having visited Sushi Samba on the opening weekend (read all about it) It took me far too long to reserve my table for Duck and Waffle!

We arrived at 6.15 for a quick drink before heading to our table, via the Gherkin of course.

We had an absolutely delicious table overlooking Canary Wharf. Being in the booth it felt a bit like VIP, as the other diners were behind us. Now, I'd done my research and knew at least some of the dishes I was desperately craving, but the whole menu is so enticing. It is also designed for sharing so ordering a number of small plates for the table and nibbling. One of the best ways to dine in my book....minimise the risk of entree envy.
The Duck and Waffle Seasonal Menu
Interior view from our 'VIP' table

'The View' from our table
I have a massive weakness for scallops, but these weren't your standard. Served on a salt almost ice like block, the longer you leave them / harder you rub them (ahem) the saltier they become. Having 5 between two of us, I obviously went for the lonely one at the end. I knew there was a risk of later regretting this when one of our other dishes would probably have an odd number and I'd have to sacrifice in the name of 'fairness'.
Scallops on their salty bed
Not long after the scallops were wolfed down we were presented with this gorgeous, curious little brown bag of deliciousness. Inside? Pigs Ears. Lighter than a pork scratching (I can't really believe I'm comparing them...) these little beauts were absolutely gorgeous. Very salty and sweet with an amazing crunch. Later we would dip them in a curried mayonnaise and take them rocketing to the next level. Amazing. Plus I'm a real sucker for cute presentation.
Champagne, pig ears, Canary Wharf. Fabulous
Crispy, curly pig ears
The aforementioned curried mayonnaise accompanied these mackerel scotch eggs. I've never had a scotch egg before that wasn't pork based. It was so light and delicious, even the egg was better than your average with a perfectly cooked yoke so that it was still moist but kept it's form. These were honestly divine. I'd seen them on the Duck and Waffle Twitter and were on my coveted list of things to eat...expectations were high and they were not disappointed.
Mackerel scotch eggs with curried mayonnaise
Eggs with a side of the City
Next up were THREE (see I knew I was going to regret having the 5th scallop) tender, juicy and ridiculously delicious lamb cutlets. The two sauces complemented each-other perfectly. Luckily I was allowed to have 'some' of the odd cutlet. I may have actually cried if I couldn't . These were our only 'meat' dish and so worth it.
Lamb cutlets
Finally the meatiest most flavoursome octopus I've ever encountered. Served with chorizo - who knew these two were such good bedfellows. Not a tad greasy the octopus was firm and satisfyingly textured. Not even the suckers could put us off. Coming to the end of this meal was incredibly sad. Although we were satisfyingly full I could have eaten it all again.
Octopus and Chorizo are best friends, they love each other
Meaty, tender, delicious
Tentacle-ly Technically Heaven
It turned out the scallops were the least 'oh my god, my eyes are rolling into the back of my head' of the dishes. I HIGHLY recommend everything else. I mean the scallops were good and anywhere else they'd probably be a highlight, but the standard of the octopus, lamb, pig ears and scotch egg were far too high, the poor blighters can't compete.

We finished at the perfect time, as if the view wasn't good enough already we witnessed the most amazing sunset you've ever seen. Now I'm not one to get excited about sun sets but there is no other word than spectacular. It can't be captured on camera but everyone in the restaurant including the staff stepped back and watched this spectacle as the sun touched the highest peaks of London before disappearing in an awesomely bright flash.
The sun just touching Canary Wharf as it goes down
The camera is not doing this justice


Once the sun went down it was time for pudding. We didn't have to peruse very hard...warm chocolate brownie with peanut butter ice cream and crunchy caramel? Two spoons please. As if we weren't being looked after enough the lovely staff paid attention to our special occasion! A really nice touch. Not to get distracted by the lettering I was straight in there. The caramel was more accurately described as the chewiest, most delicious honeycomb you've ever tasted. It was stuck in our teeth so much we actually had to stop talking. Shocker. The peanut butter ice cream was creamy and perfect, the brownie rocked, there is nothing else I can say about this. It was obscene, filthy and utterly delicious. The perfect way to finish our meal.
Time for something sweet
Chocolate brownie with peanut butter ice cream and crunchy caramel
After dinner we headed back down to the bar on the 39th floor for some cocktails and champagne by the fire, staying until very late and toddling home very happy, satisfied and a little bit tipsy. The food is also not as expensive as you may be thinking. We drank champagne had plenty of food and with tip it worked out around £60pp, for where you are and the quality that is damn good in my book. An amazing night, a fabulous location, impeccable service and possibly my new favourite restaurant in London...shhh don't tell Sushi Samba...
The view from Duck and Waffle down to the Bar
Shiso Fine by the fire
Orange Tree...
Goodnight London
Atmosphere: 5/5, the sunset time slot can't be beaten
Food: 5/5
Drink: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
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