Located upon the 40th floor of London’s Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle isn’t just the highest restaurant in the UK, it’s also one of the most popular amongst London’s foodie elite. Open 24 hours a day, it’s still incredibly difficult to book a table for two. Arriving a little earlier than planned, we begin our visit at the already bustling bar area, taking a seat with a glass of Wine before being whisked away into the dining area and seated at a window-side table. Needless to say, the view is sensational. To the East, The Gherkin, so close we feel as though we can reach out and touch the roof. The Westward sunset carries the City into darkness, illuminated by thousands of almost magical bright lights.
Not only is the menu jam-packed with exciting contraptions, the dishes on offer are also rather reasonably priced. Classics include Crispy BBQ Pig ears (£5), which arrive in a brown paper bag, tasting like lightly sweetened crackling that’s been perfectly cooked and Bacon Wrapped Dates (£3.50 each) are like a sweet version of Christmas Dinner favourites – Pigs in Blankets. The Spiced Ox Cheek Donut (£10) is unbelievably stodgy, comprising an odd mixture of sweet, savoury and spicy elements. The signature dish – Duck & Waffle (£17), however, is perhaps the most underwhelming. The Waffle is incredibly heavy and the eggs are undercooked. The rich Duck is okay, as is the Mustard Seed scattered Syrup, although each so rich that we’re unable to complete the dish. Finishing the meal with a small selection of Fruit Sorbets and a handful of homemade Biscuits, notably including the restaurant’s own take on a Chocolate Bourbon, featuring Maker’s Mark Whiskey, before a light Green Tea is in order as a powerful digestive.
If a plethora of well-executed dishes is what you’re after, then Duck & Waffle may be for you. An over-zealously aggressive security guard that uses his voice and mass as a weapon of intimidation, however, did manage to completely deface our recent experience, spectacularly.
After my girlfriend and I were violently sick following the meal, we were asked to leave because Duck & Waffle has a policy that any illness “makes the restaurant look bad”. The policy alone would be enough to disgust plenty, but falling victim and being physically slung into the lift (so fast that it nearly forces a repeat of the earlier bodily unpleasantness) is not only humiliating, it’s grossly insensitive.
Until this unsavoury finale, Duck & Waffle had become one of my new favourite spaces. Unfortunately, having been violently ill and treated with such disrespect, the overall experience at Duck & Waffle is far less favourable than the City’s surrounding restaurants in the sky such as City Social, Searcys and Oblix.
Duck & Waffle can be found at Heron Tower, Floor 40, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY.