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Monday, 10 September 2012

Duck and Waffle

Duck & Waffle on Urbanspoon Square Meal

View from D&W bar - that is the Shard
Spread over three floors in the sky joined together by luminous orange windy stairs are Sushisamba and Duck & Waffle. The views are ridiculous as you can imagine, and the extremely trendy bars belonging to each restaurant are filled with the type that these sky high places would attract. The outside terrace belonging to Sushisamba is very much New York rooftop Moscow bling and you probably either love it or hate it, much like marmite. Although I am not sure how anyone could ever hate THAT view? … Maybe just the glass lift..
View from D&W bar staircase down to Sushi Samba
Duck & Waffle (D&W) restaurant on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower is very much part of the sky with its contemporary dining room and floor to ceiling windows. An open kitchen brings warmth to the dining area while the service somewhat resembles Michelin-star quality. But there are no table cloths and the prices are very reasonable ranging from £4 to £10 per plate. 

D&W trendy bar same floor as restaurant - window to the right
The menu is split into five sections; Snacks & Bread, Raw, Small Plates, Brick Oven and For the Table which includes a whole roasted chicken with potatoes and wild mushrooms for £32 and the namesake dish Duck & Waffle for £13.
Open Kitchen Plan view from table
We decided to go for a selection starting with BBQ-spiced crispy pigs ears (£4) which were delightfully moreish. Compliments from the chef came one of my favourite dishes from the 'raw' menu - the scallops. The salt block was not only visually superb but also added the needed salty kick to the apple and lime combination of the scallop. A dish to eat with your fingers and then lick them after, spot on.
scallop / apple / black truffle / lime /  £8
bbq-spiced crispy pig ears / £4
The mackerel tartare (£6) sprouted more flavours towards the end suggesting that it was possibly served too cold, but overall a pleasing dish.
mackerel tartare / pickled cucumber / smoked vodka / crème fraîche / £6
Another winner of the night was the roasted Essex beetroot (£8) from the Brick Oven. Red and white beetroot with varying levels of sweetness and bitterness went surprisingly well with the crumbled honey comb while the goat curd added the extra richness. For a beetroot lover this is heavenly.
roasted essex beetroot / goat curd / honey / watercress / £8
I wasn't too keen on the Shetland mussels and clams (£10) however, but I am very particular when it comes to shellfish. For me they were too fishy and the sauce lacked the oomph which I enjoyed in Sardinia, Italy. Never mind. 
shetland mussels & clams / n’dujal / fennel broth / house bread / £10
Another dish of D&W quickly becoming famous is the Foie Gras all day breakfast (£12) which consists of think brioche toast covered with hazelnut spread, a slab of seared foie gras, two panchetta strips and two balls of deep fried black pudding topped with a quail egg. Oh yes, all you lovers of sweet and salty combinations this does sound amazing. And it was, in parts where the ratios of each ingredient were spot on. Slightly less hazelnut spread and possibly more panchetta or punchier foie gras would make this dish outstanding on each bite. For what it's worth however, I will order this again.
foie gras ‘all day breakfast’ / £12
Overall a great experience topped by breathtaking views and personalised service. The bill came to £57.50 for two including service a bottle of sparkling water and one glass of wine. I have already booked in for breakfast and perhaps will try the Duck & Waffle then. Watch this space.


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